Containers Known Issues and Restrictions

You should be aware of the following limitations when using Visual COBOL with containers:


  • On Ubuntu, in order for debugging to work within a Docker version 18.04 Container, you must update the kernel of the Docker host from version 5.0.0-27 to 5.0.0-31.
  • When using the COBOL Application launch configuration type to debug a COBOL application in a container, you cannot provide input to or see output from the application. This problem does not occur when using Docker commands to run the container, but does sometimes occur when running the application in a container from the IDE.


  • Java is supported from version 8 update 162 onwards.
  • It is not possible to containerize COBOL applications using lightweight operating systems such as CoreOS Container Linux, SUSE MicroOS and Alpine Linux.
  • It is not possible to run COBOL applications in containers on Linux on PowerPC or S/390 chipsets.
  • Using the Micro Focus Customer Care Support Scan Utility, MFSupportInfo, in a container is not supported on Windows.
  • The microsoft/windowsservercore image only supports the English language so you cannot use any other languages in images based on that image.

    The base images for Visual COBOL Build Tools for Windows that are created by the Docker demonstrations are based on the microsoft/dotnet-framework image (which is based on the microsoft/windowsservercore image), so this restriction applies to any images created using the Docker demonstrations.

Operating Systems

Visual COBOL is supported for use with Docker on the following operating systems:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 or later
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3 or later
  • Windows 10 (Pro or Enterprise editions) with Hyper-V enabled
  • Windows Server 2016
Note: Docker cannot be used on a PC that has VirtualBox or VMware installed.

Visual COBOL is supported for use with OCI-compliant container tools (such as podman, buildah, skopeo, and runc) on the following operating systems:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 or later

Use with Micro Focus Products

  • If a region is hosted within a container which does not or cannot expose its internal network addresses, the Micro Focus Enterprise Server Common Web Administration interface will be unable to connect to the started region's ESMAC/monitor configuration unless the MFDS_EXTERNAL_ADDR environment variable is set within the container to an externally contactable address.