First, it may be comforting to know that there are some GUI tools you might be able to use. For example, type taskmgr,
and you see the familiar Task Manager, which tells you how your server
is doing. You can also use Notepad, although you might prefer to use
one of the two Control Panel applets that are still available to you in GUI format. Type timedate.cpl (for the Date and Time applet) or intl.cpl
(for the Regional and Language Options applet). These were allowed to
stay in Server Core because they do not interfere with security, and
they make configuring certain aspects of the OS easier.
you accidentally close your command prompt, you can retrieve it by
pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete, choosing Task Manager, and then clicking
File, Run and typing cmd.exe.
Now, what would you normally need to do to configure a traditional server? Most likely, the following would come to mind:
Changing the computer name
Configuring network interfaces
Joining the domain
Installing (and activating) the license key
Enabling the firewall
Installing roles and/or features
Configuring Windows Update
To perform these tasks, you need to become familiar (or refamiliarize yourself) with the following commands:
For some of these commands to work, you might have to change your directory to c:\Windows\System32i.
Let’s look at how you might use these commands to make changes in Server Core.
To change the computer name, you would perform the following steps:
Locate the current name of the server by typing hostname or ipconfig.
Type netdom renamecomputer <ComputerName> /NewName <NewComputerName>.
Restart the computer, which you can do by using the shutdown command.
To make changes to the static IP settings on the server, you first need to identify your network interfaces. The netsh command is your friend in this case:
netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces
Make a note of the number in the Idx column for your network adapter(s). Then type the following:
If you want to use DHCP, you can type source=dhcp.
Netsh interface ipv4 set address name="<Id>" source=static address=<the static IP you are setting> mask=<the subnet mask for that address> gateway=<the default gateway for that address>
To configure your DNS settings, you need to perform an additional step with Netsh and type the following:
Netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=<interface name> address=<DNS Server IP Address> index=1
where index is the interface number.
To join your domain you would type this:
sure to use a domain account that has permission in the domain to join
computers to the domain. You can enter a password when you’re prompted
Netdom join <Name of Your Computer> /domain:<Name of Your Domain> /userd:<UserName> /passwordd:*
activate, you are going to want to make sure you put in a license key.
You may have done this during the installation process, but if you
didn’t, you need to now type the following:
Slmgr.vbs -ipk <License Key>
If you want to activate the server, you type the following:
To configure the firewall, you use the netsh advfirewall
command, although this takes a bit of work. A better method may be to
take the Firewall snap-in from a system running Windows Vista or
Windows Server 2008 and configure the settings remotely. However, you
first need to enable remote management of the firewall by typing the
Netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement enable
on to the installation of hardware, you may find that simply plugging
it in will work because the driver may be included with Windows Server
2008. If that is the case, you can install the hardware, and you are
all set. If that is not the case, perform the following:
Copy the driver files to the Server Core system. To do this, from the command prompt type the following:
pnputil -i -a <Name of the INF file for the driver>
your old DOS skills are a little rusty, it’s time to start shaking the
dust off some of those DOS books in your library...or just do a quick
search online for basic DOS commands, such as copy.
If you want to see a list of drivers on the system, type the following:
there are many other configuration commands you might want to
investigate and use, for now, use the following to enable automatic
cscript scregedit.wsf /AU /4
4 in this command is to automatically download and install updates.
There are other options in the GUI portion, and they are represented at
the command prompt by other numbers; however, they don’t work with a
Server Core server.
configuring Server Core through the command line is not your cup of
tea, you might consider searching for GUI alternatives. Several of them
have been developed to make your life easier. One such tool, the
Windows 2008 Server Core Configurator, is a collection of scripts that
allows you to do all the tasks just discussed. You can locate this tool
Install Roles and Features
you may initially think of using Server Manager to install roles and
features in Windows Server 2008, this console is not provided under
Server Core. You therefore need to use the ocsetup.exe command.
first thing you might want to do is see a list of the roles and
features that are currently installed. To do this, simply type oclist.exe at the command prompt. Figure 1 shows the list that is returned.
Figure 1. Viewing a list of installed roles and features.
Using this list, you can now use the ocsetup.exe command to install roles and/or features by typing the following:
Start /w ocsetup "role/feature name"
role/feature name is case-sensitive. See the list you pull up with
ocsetup.exe for the correct role/feature name capitalization.
For example, if you want to install the DNS Server role, you type the following:
Start /w ocsetup DNS-Server-Core-Role
prevents you from seeing the command prompt until the operation is
complete. Therefore, if you see the command prompt, you know that the
Active Directory is a little different in Server Core than in Windows
Server 2008. Much as in the full installation version of Windows Server
2008, you would still use dcpromo
to install Active Directory. However, you cannot use the wizards as you
would ordinarily do. Instead, you need to use an unattend file. Microsoft recommends that you run dcpromo on another server running Windows Server 2008 and create the unattend file for the installation. To install the role, you then type dcpromo /unattend:<filename>.
you install Server Core, the Server service is installed by default,
but there are additional file service features you might want to add,
such as the following:
File Replication Service (FRS-Infrastructure)
Distributed File System service (DFSN-Server)
Distributed File System Replication (DFSR-Infrastructure-ServerEdition)
Services for Network File System (both ServerforNFS-Base and ClientForNFS-Base)
In addition to the roles you can install, Server Core supports the following optional features:
Failover clustering (FailoverCluster-Core)
Network load balancing (NetworkLoadBalancingHeadlessServer)
Subsystem for UNIX-based applications (SUACore)
Multipath I/O (MultipathIo)
Removable storage (Microsoft-Windows-RemovableStorageManagementCore)
BitLocker drive encryption (BitLocker)
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) (SNMP-SC)
Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) (WINS-SC)
Telnet client (TelnetClient)
Installing features is very similar to installing roles. In this case, you type Start /w ocsetup <feature> (remembering that the feature name is case-sensitive).