UPDATE: Mailbox role installed and running on 2008 R2 Core: http://www.nullsession.com/2009/12/07/exchange-2007-mailbox-role-on-core-2008-r2
Having successfully installed SQL Server on Server Core R2 I decided to go for Exchange 2007 also. After some tricks I managed to get Hub Transport and Client Access roles onto the box but Mailbox “depends” on CDOEX.DLL which doesn’t want to register either in 32- or 64-bit mode. So I’d say that this project was semi-successful.
If you want to give it a try, here are the steps I took to get the two roles onto the box.
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx2-ServerCore /featurename:NetFx3-ServerCore /featurename:MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell /featurename:IIS-WebServerRole /featurename:IIS-WebServer /featurename:IIS-ASPNET /featurename:IIS-WebServerManagementTools /featurename:IIS-ManagementScriptingTools /featurename:IIS-ManagementService /featurename:IIS-IIS6ManagementCompatibility /featurename:IIS-Metabase /featurename:IIS-WMICompatibility /featurename:IIS-LegacyScripts /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Web-Services-for-Management-IIS-Extension
Wait for it to finish. Goes fast to about 98%, then it’s waiting time…
dism /online /get-features
Check that all above components are activated.
Copy from a full installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 (Path:
c:windowssystem32 to the same directory of a Core installation, make sure the architecture is right too, x64)
Register the dll’s with regsvr32 (in 64-bit mode). Note that not all will register successfully, so it’s not an error on your part.
Extract and install ExchangeMapiCdo.
Insert the DVD / ISO into your machine and run an unattended install of Exchange.
setup.com /mode:install /roles:ca,ht,mb /organizationname:"Your Organization Name" /targetdir:"C:Program FilesExchange Server"
The installation will succeed as far as Client Access and Hub Transport goes. Unified Messaging will fail immediately (tried it twice, seems to need some graphical stuff from .Net) and Mailbox Role really really needs cdoex.dll which I can’t seem to register no matter what. If you figure that one out, let me know and we could make a community effort out of it.
Here are some screenshots from my installation:
Now I’m searching for other challenges, I’ll keep you posted!