Server Core – Why you should care about it

Why you should care about it? Well, I think that in the future most of your server workloads will be on one of these babies. No GUI since you won’t need it. All your management will be remote anyway, either through MMC, WinRS or even better automated through System Center Operations Manager.

But now you’ve installed Server Core? Finding it hard to manage? Some admins do NOT get along with that command prompt. And some admins are so young they don’t even remember that it actually was the only thing you had back in the days…

If you’ve read this far and still wonder what Server Core is you better hop on over to Andrew Mason’s blog. He’s Mr Server Core over at Microsoft and the guy who got it all started.

How do you actually manage it then? Well, there are actually at least 7 ways of taking care of that:

1) Local command prompt.
2) Remote Desktop Connection
3) Remote MMC
4) WinRS
5) Powershell / WMI
7) SSH

The local command prompt requires you to know which command does what. It’s not that hard to actually type the commands, the hard part is usually figuring out which command to use. You can find the Server Core reference sheet over at, which will get you started.

There are also a bunch of software available that will help you with the configuration. CCC, Core Configuration Console, is one of them. It’s written by me and Robin Granberg and is available for Windows Server 2008 Core. There’s not an R2 version available yet, but there might be in the future. CoreConfigurator by SmartX is another one and finally there’s Server Core Configurator over at Codeplex. In R2 Microsoft has added their own little utility called sconfig which will help you get the ball in motion.

In the next post we’ll take a look at the local command prompt and Remote Desktop. The last option needs some configuration before it works, but I’ll get to that!

0 thoughts on “Server Core – Why you should care about it”

  1. Whoohoo!! a cripled Linux! That costs money! Man, i am so happy that the development actually goes forward, and any day now you can use it just like a normal unix. I am so amased that windows actually did catch up in the technorace, and now are where unix where 30 years ago. 😉 Puss och kram vännen!

  2. Well, actually it’s a crippled Windows 😉 But in the R2 version you get PowerShell and some other stuff like .Net… Which makes it a splendid platform for hosting Windows applications. And in the future when all Windows admins have learned not to go into the serverroom and point and click every time, it’ll be the only Windows OS. But Linux does have its advantages. I think. Maybe.

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