Manage IIS on a Container with the IIS Admin Console

Many legacy apps are based on IIS and ship with documentation which describes deployment and management operations primarily via the IIS Manager. This console is a GUI. Windows Containers do not support any form of GUI, so all ‘local’ operations must be performed via a command line interface. We will demonstrate how to prepare containers for IIS administration via a remote instance of the IIS Manager.

Step by Step

In this step-by-step we will:

  1. create a container based on an image with IIS already installed
  2. add remote IIS admin support to the container
  3. connect to the IIS admin console on the container host to the IIS Admin Service service the container

On the container host:

- Open a PowerShell admin session

- Start interactive container

- With .net 3.5 -

docker run -it --name frame35 cd\-v c:\shared:c:\shared microsoft/dotnet-framework:3.5

- with .net 4.6.2 -

docker run -it --name frame46 -v c:\shared:c:\shared microsoft/dotnet-framework:4.6.2

- or start detached and then attach to container -

docker run --name <name> -d=true -v c:\shared:c:\shared microsoft/windowsservercore:latest

docker attach <name>

Note: To add Active Directory support to any container, add --security-opt "credentialspec=file://<CredentialSpecName>.json" to the docker run command line. See <ref> for more details.

i.e. docker run -it --name frame46 -v c:\shared:c:\shared --security-opt "credentialspec=file://adoncontt1.json" microsoft/dotnet-framework:4.6.2

This will switch the console from container host to container. This is now the 'container console'.

From container console:

Start Admin PowerShell


- Install IIS + IIS Management

Install-WindowsFeature -name Web-Server -IncludeManagementTools

- Install IIS Management Service

Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:IIS-ManagementService /all

- Enable remote access

New-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\software\microsoft\WebManagement\Server -Name EnableRemoteManagement -Value 1 -Force

--- optional - add any or all of these features ----------------------------

Import-Module Dism

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-WebServerRole
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-WebServer
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-CommonHttpFeatures
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-HttpErrors
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-HttpRedirect
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ApplicationDevelopment
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-NetFxExtensibility
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-NetFxExtensibility45
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-HealthAndDiagnostics
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-HttpLogging
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-LoggingLibraries
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-RequestMonitor
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-HttpTracing
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-Security
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-URLAuthorization
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-RequestFiltering
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-IPSecurity
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-Performance
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-HttpCompressionDynamic
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-WebServerManagementTools
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ManagementScriptingTools
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-IIS6ManagementCompatibility
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-Metabase
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-HostableWebCore
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-CertProvider
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-WindowsAuthentication
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-DigestAuthentication
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ClientCertificateMappingAuthentication
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-IISCertificateMappingAuthentication
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ODBCLogging
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-StaticContent
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-DefaultDocument
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-DirectoryBrowsing
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-WebDAV
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-WebSockets
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ApplicationInit
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ASPNET
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ASPNET45
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ASP
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-CGI
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ISAPIExtensions
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ISAPIFilter
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ServerSideIncludes
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-CustomLogging
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-BasicAuthentication
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-HttpCompressionStatic
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ManagementConsole
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-ManagementService
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-WMICompatibility
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-LegacyScripts
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-LegacySnapIn
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-FTPServer
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-FTPSvc
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName IIS-FTPExtensibility


- Stop Services

net stop Iisadmin
net stop W3svc
net stop wmsvc

- Start Services

net start Iisadmin
net start W3svc
net start wmsvc

- add admin user

net user <username> <password> /ADD
net localgroup administrators <username> /add

Open another PS admin session on the container host, this will be the new 'container host console'

From container host console:

- List containers

Docker ps

- Note containerID


- Find container IP address

docker inspect -f "{{ .NetworkSettings.Networks.nat.IPAddress }}" <container id>

This will display the container IP address, copy it.

From container host desktop:

- Start IIS manager console

Start IIS Console

- Select 'Connect to a Server', Connect to container IP address

Start IIS Console


- Provide the <name> and <password> provided above in [net user <username> <password> /ADD]

Start IIS Console


- Click on Next. You will get a certificate error dialog

Start IIS Console


- Click 'View Certificate'. You will get a 'Certificate' Dialog

Start IIS Console


- Click 'Install Certificate'. You will get a certificate import wizard

Start IIS Console


- Select 'Local Machine', click 'Next'

Start IIS Console


- Select 'Place all certificates in the following store', click 'Browse', select 'Trusted Root Certification Authorities', click 'OK', nick 'Next'

Start IIS Console


Click 'Finish'

Start IIS Console


- Click 'Cancel'

Start IIS Console


- Click 'Next'. The screen below indicates success. Others screens may indicate error.

Start IIS Console


- You may now administer the IIS service running on the container from the IIS admin console running on the container host.

Start IIS Console


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