Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Windows Server 2008 Core: The Basics

The Server Core installation option of the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 operating system is a new option for installing Windows Server 2008. A Server Core installation provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles that reduces the maintenance and management requirements and the attack surface for those server roles. A Server Core installation supports the following server roles:

  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server
  • DNS Server
  • File Services
  • Print Server
  • Streaming Media Services
  • Web Server (IIS)

Local administration of a Server Core installation is done from the command prompt, but all roles can be administered from other computers running the appropriate MMC console. The Server Core Team Blog has a nice posting on the basics of getting a Server Core installation up and running. Here are the extreme basics to get a Server Core up and running on your network:

Change the Administrator Password

net user administrator *

Configure the IP Address and DNS Server

netsh interface ipv4 set address name <interface_name> static <ip_address> <default_gateway> <subnet_mask> 1

netsh interface ipv4 set dnsserver <interface_name> <pri_dns_server_ip> primary

netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver <interface_name> <sec_dns_server_ip>

Join the Domain

netdom join %computername% /domain:<domain_name> /userd:<domain_user> /passwordd:*

shutdown –r

Rename the Server

netdom renamecomputer %computername% /newname <new_server_name>

shutdown -r

Activate the Server

slmgr.vbs -ato

Allow Remote Administration (should really be done via GPO)

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Administration" new enable=yes

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