Installing Windows Server 2012 R2 Core - Additional Tools and Scripts
Although Windows Server Core is a great way of ending up with a slim and trim diet server, it can be a little bit tricky when first getting started configuring it. During my experiments running Server Core VM’s I found that there were a few tools either built into server core or available separately that can help get over this configuration “hump”.
SConfig.exe is a built in command line tool (with a simple command line GUI) that allows you to perform some simple configuration tasks on your core installation.
Some of the functions include:
- Renaming the computer
- Joining a domain or workgroup
- Enabling remote management (Win-RM)
- Enabling remote desktop
- Installing windows updates
- Configure network settings
- Change system date/time
- Shutdown/reboot server
When installing a new copy of one of the Windows Server Core versions it’s quite useful to install several additional tools that will help manage the server from a command prompt and/or PowerShell console.
Corefig allows you to configure some of the main settings of a Windows Server Core installation as well as installing updates and windows features and roles.
The Windows Update PowerShell module allows you to install windows updates from a PowerShell command line by executing (after installing the module onto the server):
The Remote Server Administration Tools PowerShell module is available as an installable feature on Windows Server Core edition. It needs to be first installed by executing the following command at a PowerShell prompt:
Add-WindowsFeature -Name ‘RSAT-AD-PowerShell’ -IncludeAllSubFeature
The PowerShell Community Extensions project provides various useful PowerShell cmdlets. I always install this onto the server and copy the entire PSCX modules folder:
c:\Program Files (x86)\PowerShell Community Extensions\Pscx3\
folder into the system modules folder:
This makes the PSCX module available by the import-module command in PowerShell.