Well this is interesting – my first, first-hand experience with Server Core. There’s only one command prompt window rather than the two that was present in previous betas. There is still a GUI, and you can run several apps such as Notepad, Task Manager, Regedit, which are probably the three most useful GUI apps I can think of off the top of my head, so that’s all good.
When you first log in to the server after install, you’re presented with a Vista-like logon window. I correctly assumed I would need to log in with “Administrator” and a blank password although this isn’t obvious. (No, I haven’t read the docs yet!) Once you’re logged in, you just get the command prompt window, but I think it would be better to get you into some sort of utility to force you change your password to something more secure.
Next issue I ran in to was how to install VMware Tools, or – did I need to install VMware Tools? I decided to give it a crack and found this article on the VMware support site which explains how to install the Tools silently from the command prompt. I used the following command as I didn’t want to install the Shared Folders feature, which I never want on a server: “msiexec -i “D:\VMware Tools.msi” ADDLOCAL=ALL REMOVE=Hgfs /qn” This didn’t go 100% well, as there were a couple of error messages that popped up about missing DLLs but I guess that would be expected with a Server Core system. The VM then rebooted and when it came back up, VMware Tools were installed.
At this point I thought I’d take a break and read through the Server Core Step by Step Guide. First I read this:
A server running a Server Core installation supports the following server roles:
- Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
- Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
- DHCP Server
- DNS Server
- File Services
- Print Server
- Streaming Media Services
So no web server role – which actually makes sense because I remember that the Dot Net Framework isn’t supported on Server Core, which is also the reason why PowerShell isn’t supported on Server Core either. But a Server Core Web Server seems ideal though because it is most vulnerable to attack (internet facing) so you would want it as stripped down as possible. So as my initial idea of the web server wasn’t going to work, I decided to forge ahead and create a domain controller for a new domain. (To be continued)