Since I went through quite a lot of pain in order to make this work, here is a solution that worked for me for running a linux container using docker desktop on a windows 10 VM.
First, read this page to understand a method for running a python script as a windows service.
Then run your container using powershell and give it a name e.g
docker run --name app your_container
In the script you run as a service, e.g the main method of your winservice class, use
subprocess.call(['powershell.exe', 'path/to/docker desktop.exe]) to start docker desktop in the service. Then wait for docker to start. I did this by using the docker SDK:
client = docker.from_env()
started = False
while not started:
info = client.info()
started = True
When client has started, run your app with subprocess again
subprocess.call(['powershell.exe', 'docker start -interactive app'])
Finally ssh into your container to keep the service and container alive
subprocess.check_call(['powershell.exe', 'docker exec -ti app /bin/bash'])
Install the service using
python service.py install
Now you need to create a service account on the VM that has local admin rights. When you’ve done that, go to Services in windows, and find your service in the list of services. Right click -> properties -> Log On and enter the service account details under “This account”. Finally, under general, select automatic(delayed) start and start the service.
Probably not the most ‘by the book’ method, but it worked for my usecase