Hi there! Ever wondered how to deploy delphi applications inside a Windows Docker container? And how to debug them once they’re inside the container? Search no more! I will explain how to run a Windows Docker container with PAServer up and running, ready to debug your applications.
This can came in handy when:
- Your service/app/… works great, but it fails miserably when it’s executed in a container and you need to debug it
- You want a quick & dirty deploy way of your service/app/… into a container, without the hassle of building a Dockerfile
Remember that in Windows containers you don’t have a GUI, so you only can run service-like apps (no VCL, no Firemonkey…).
The fast way
To follow this tutorial you’ll need:
Ok, let’s go ahead, follow these steps:
- Run Docker for Windows
- In context menu: Switch to Windows containers
- Open powershell and run:
docker pull jaruzafa/paserverwindows
docker run -d -h mypaserver jaruzafa/paserverwindows
- Now you have a Docker Windows container running PAServer at default port (64211) on host “mypaserver”
- Fire up RadStudio and open your project (or a console blank project just for testing)
- Right-click on your target plataform (Windows 32 or 64) and select “Properties”
- At “Profile” combo select “Add New...”
- Hostname: mypaserver
- Port: 64211
- No password
- Important! If your target platform is Windows 32 make sure that: Project->Options->Delphi compiler->Linking->Include remote debug symbols->TRUE (otherwise you’ll get an error, eventually)
- Click OK and set a breakpoint on your code.
- Run with debug (or press F9) and wait until your breakpoint is reached 🙂
- Enjoy the life
This video shows all the steps:
Under the hood
So you want to know what’s going on to hack it and customize for your own needs, right? Good, I love your attitude. Let’s go and take a look on what you need to debug delphi apps in a container.
First of all we need to build an image with windows and PAServer installed and running. This Dockerfile will do the job:
FROM microsoft/windowsservercore ADD install_paserver.bat /paserver/install_paserver.bat ADD http://altd.embarcadero.com/releases/studio/19.0/PAServer/Release2/setup_paserver.exe /paserver WORKDIR /paserver RUN install_paserver.bat EXPOSE 64211 CMD ["/Program Files (x86)/Embarcadero/PAServer/19.0/paserver.exe"]
It downloads the PAServer setup package from Embarcadero servers, installs it, expose the port 64211, and starts paserver.exe
Pretty straightforward don’t you think? But wait… what’s that install_paserver.bat? why don’t just call setup_paserver.exe?
For some reason (unkown to me), setup_paserver.exe returns an error code=1, when running on silent mode. That error code breaks the docker build, so I came up with an install_paserver.bat that forces error code to 0:
setup_paserver.exe -i silent exit /b 0
So far so good! Build the image (mind the point ‘.’ at the end, it’s important):
docker build -t paserverwindows .
After a while you’ll have the docker image, named “paserverwindows”.
Now that you have the image, your next step is running it:
docker run -d -h mypaserver paserverwindows
That’s it. It just works like a regular Remote Debugging project. You may name your container with a hostname using the -h parameter.
If you want to tune your PAServer with a password or a custom port you’ll need to copy out configuration file. If you need more info, go to PASever documentation.
- Source is available at https://github.com/jaruzafa/paserver-dockerwin
- Unfortunately, I couldn’t use microsoft/nanoserver image (just sized 1GB) because it lacks of 32-bit Runtime, needed for PAServer.
- You can run the container in interactive mode with:
docker run -i -h mypaserver jaruzafa/paserverwindows
- But…. the console interface is quite laggy and it turn to be unusable. I have not found a solution to this, but if you come up with one, please leave a comment.
I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Comments, bug reports and thoughts will be highly appreciated!