Windows 2019 FAQ

Updated: 16 December 2023

Windows 2019 Server Core

1. How do I install Server Core?

You get the option between 'Server with Desktop Experience' or 'Server Core' during the initial stages
of installation. There are two Editions for Standard and Datacenter.

* Standard. No free guest licenses (you need to pay for VMs) and limited roles/features
* Datacenter. Licenced for unlimited guest virtual machines.

More info on Licensing fromWindows Activation.

2. What roles can I run on my Server Core server?

Active Directory Domain Services
Active Directory Lightweight Domain Services
Active Directory Certificate Services
DHCP Server
DNS Server
File Services
BITS Server
Print Services
Telnet Server
Streaming Media Services
Web Server (IIS)

For Windows 2019, Nano server now runs as a container based OS image.

DCB (Data Center Bridging)
DNS Server (Domain Naming Server)
DSC (Desired State Config) push mode
Failover Clustering
File Server
NPDS (Network Perf Diag Service)
Reverse Forwarders (for Ruby, Node.js etc)
VMM agent (Virtual Machine Manager)
Web Server (IIS)
Windows Server Installer

NB: This version does not install PowerShell Core, .NET Core or WMI by default.
The servicing stack is no longer included.

See these instructions on deploying Nano server using containers.

To install roles you can use the Powershell commands:
a) Get-WindowsFeature - List all Roles and Features
b) Install-WindowsFeatures - Install a Role or Feature
c) Uninstall-WindowsFeatures - Remove a Role or Feature
d) Install-ADDSDomainController - Install and promote server to AD DC.

or use normal Command Prompt:
a) Dism /online /get-features /format:table - List roles and features
b) Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:<name of feature> - Install a role or feature
e.g. Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:DHCPServerCore
c) Dism /online /disable-feature /featurename:<name of feature> - Remove a feature or role

3. What commands can I run from the command prompt?

Here are some useful commands to get you sorted:

a) Netdom - Change computer name, add/remove it from a domain.
b) Net Start|Stop - List, start or stop services (see Msinfo32 for service list)
c) IPConfig - View internet protocol configuration
d) Shutdown - Shutdown, restart (/r) or logout (/l) from computer in n time seconds (/t n)
e) Netsh - Change network settings
f) Net Time - Change time settings, set sntp server
g) Net User - Add, remove or change local user accounts
h) Ntdsutil - Active Directory utility.
i) Start /w ocsetup <role> - Install a server role
j) dsadd, dsrm, dsmod - Add, delete or modify domain objects.
k) Taskmgr.exe - Task Manager
l) Notepad - Text Editor
m) Start Cmd - Open a new command window (also try Powershell instead of Cmd).
n) Wmic qfe list - List installed windows updates
o) Wusa <update file name> /quiet - Install a windows update
p) Net LocalGroup Administrators <dom>/<user> - Add a user to local admin group.
q) SCONFIG- Server configuration. Set computer name, local adminstrator, update settings ,remote access,network settings
date and time, log off, restart, shutdown or exit to cmd line.
r) Hostname - Show computer or host name.
s) iscsicpl.exe - iSCSI Initiator tool for connecting to iSCSI disks.
t) Server Manager - Run from a remote machine to configure server incl. NIC Teaming.
u) msinfo32 - Microsoft system information tool
v) dism - Deployment image servicing and mangement tool. Also used to install/remove roles and features.
w) Systeminfo.exe - View system information
x) Control.exe - Load a control panel e.g. intl.cpl or timedate.cpl
y) pnputil –i –a <driverinf> - Install a driver.
z) icacls - Set file or folder permissions
aa) Takeown - Take ownership of files or folders.

4. Powershell commands:

The power shell is not installed by default. So, the commands to install it are:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:MicrosoftWindowsPowerShellRoot
dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell

or enable it via SConfig and select option 4) Configure Remote Management and enable the Powershell.

Some useful commands:

a) Get-Service, Stop-Service, Start-Service, Restart-Service - List, stop and start a service. Use '*' to list all services.
b) Set-Date - Change system time
c) Stop-Computer - Shuts down the computer.
d) Add-Computer - Add the computer to a workgroup or domain
e) Get-Hotfix - List installed updates. See SConfig on installing new updates.
f) Get-ADUser, Get-ADGRoup . View AD users and groups.
g) Get-Acl, Set-Acl, Set-SmbPathAcl. View or set folder permissions or for shares.

5. Remote Administration

To effectively manage server core, you can use the following methods:

a) Use the traditional Remote Desktop Connection (excl. Nano serverrs).
b) Powershell 2 and remote windows administration sessions.
New-PSSession - Authenticate a new session with the remote server.
Invoke-Command - Run a command to a remote server
c) Install Server Manager on your PC and remote connect to server to manage server (see Remote Administration in SConfig to allow access),
d) WinRM and use the winrs command to remotely execute commands.
e) Install the Windows Admin Center tool for web based management.

6. Web Access with Server Core

It is possible to access the web using server core using third party tools. If you have a web proxy server, you will need to
set the http_proxy environment variable first:

a) wget - Web Get tool, useful for downloads via the web or Powershell's Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet.
b) Lynx - Lynx is a text based Web browser. Requires Python and NTLMaps for Proxy servers.
c) Firefox - Firefox works with Server core. NEw versions will not start.
d) Opera - Opera 9 web browser.
e) Chrome - Google Chrome will work.
f) Powershell - Use the Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet (similar to wget).

7. ZIP Tools for Server Core

In the full version of Windows 2016 you have the Zip Folders feature provided by the zipfldr.dll library. There are thousands of tools out
there to provide Zip and Unzip functionality.

a) 7-Zip. Includes the 7z.exe for command line access.
b) Powershell 4.5 or later can compress or uncompress files. E.g. Compress-Archive, Expand-Archive.

8. Can I convert a Server Core installation to a Windows GUI installation?

No, you cannot do a in-place upgrade from Server Core to the GUI version of Windows Server. You will need to reinstall Windows Server, and select the
Desktop Experience version to get the GUI.

Note the some applications like Exchange 2016 will not install, as the Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell features are not available.

9. How do I configure Network Teaming in Windows 2019?

Network teaming is built into Windows 2019. You can configure it remotely using Server Manager, Local Server, NIC Teaming.
If you are logged on to the server you can use Powershell commands to configure NIC Teaming. If Hyper-V is installed you can use the following useful commands:
a) Get-VMSwitch - list network connections
b) Get-VM - view local virtual machines
c) Get-VMNetworkAdapter - load local network adapters.
d) Get-NetAdapter - view VM adapters
e) Get-NetLbfoTeam - view teams.
f) New-NetLbfoTeam - create a new team

10. Is there an even more cut-down version of Windows server?

Yes, it is called Windows Nano server role. The difference between Core and Nano, is that Nano has NO interface (graphical or command line) at all!
It can be used for a "compute" host for Hyper-V virtual machines, a storage host for Scale-Out File Server, DNS server, IIS web server or a host for applications that are developed using
clould application patterns or VM guest machine. In Windows 2019, it is now a container based OS image.