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How can I assign a service to Windows nodes only?

Article ID: KB000264

To run a service only on a specific subsets of nodes, use labels and the constraint parameter.


Before performing these steps, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Nodes are running on version 1.13 or later

Step 1: Label the Windows Nodes

First, all Windows nodes must be labeled using these steps for each Windows node:

  1. Open the following configuration file for the Docker daemon. If it doesn't exist, create the file.

  2. Add labels to mark it as Windows node:

        "labels": ["os=windows"]
  3. Restart Docker Engine:

    Restart-Service docker
  4. Verify that the label is in place:

    > Docker info    

Step 2: Start the Service with Contraints

By adding constraints, you can selectively assign a service to specific nodes using the following steps:

  1. Create a service with constraint:

    > docker service create --constraint engine.labels.os==windows --name winonly microsoft/nanoserver cmd /c “ping docker.com” -n 30
  2. Make sure only nodes with the os==windowslabel were assigned:

    > docker service ps winonly 
     ID            NAME            IMAGE                        NODE   DESIRED STATE  CURRENT...
     itm33*******  winonly.1       microsoft/nanoserver:latest  win00  Running        Running...

What's Next

There are many more options that you can set for Docker daemon. List of all supported options for Windows can be found in the Docker docs.