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Windows Containers

Windows Containers

It is possible to run Windows Containers like how one can run Linux containers on Cirrus Cloud Windows Cluster. To use Windows, add windows_container instead of container in .cirrus.yml files:

  image: cirrusci/windowsservercore:2019

  script: ...

Cirrus CI will execute scripts instructions like Batch scripts.

OS Versions

Cirrus CI assumes that the container image's host OS is Windows Server 2019. Cirrus CI used to support 1709 and 1803 versions, but they are deprecated as of April 2021.

  image: cirrusci/windowsservercore:2019

  install_script: choco install -y ...

PowerShell support

By default Cirrus CI agent executed scripts using cmd.exe. It is possible to override default shell executor by providing CIRRUS_SHELL environment variable:

  CIRRUS_SHELL: powershell

It is also possible to use PowerShell scripts inline inside of a script instruction by prefixing it with ps:

    - ps: Get-Location

ps: COMMAND is just a syntactic sugar which transforms it to:

powershell.exe -NoLogo -EncodedCommand base64(COMMAND)

Environment Variables

Some software installed with Chocolatey would update PATH environment variable in system settings and suggest using refreshenv to pull those changes into the current environment. Unfortunately, using refreshenv will overwrite any environment variables set in Cirrus CI configuration with system-configured defaults. We advise to make necessary changes using env and environment instead of using refreshenv command in scripts.


All cirrusci/* Windows containers like cirrusci/windowsservercore:2016 have Chocolatey pre-installed. Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows which supports unattended installs of software, useful on headless machines.