Older versions of Visual Studio 2017 will not install in Windows Server 2019 containers

If you try to install Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017 into a Windows Server 2019 or newer container image, such as mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:1809 or mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:ltsc2019, the install will quickly terminate without error and without installing anything. This is due, in part, to changes to the Windows Server container image to reduce size and improve startup performance.

To install into Windows Server Core 2019 or newer, please download Visual Studio 2017 version 15.9 or newer, including Visual Studio 2019 Preview 1.

Note: all previous Windows container images are now available in the Microsoft Container Registry (MCR), and all new container images including build 1809 (aka “RS5”) will be available only on MCR. See the Virtualization Blog for more information. However, Build Tools should still only be installed on microsoft/dotnet-framework images available on Docker Hub. See Known issues for containers for more information.