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Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core

With Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Core installations, more of the Windows server roles are available as optional configuration components. We’ve also broadened the capabilities available for previously available roles in Server Core. Select portions of the .NET framework are also now supported on Server Core. This significantly broadens the platform's Application Server role and capabilities. .NET feature subsets include .NET 2/3/3.5 and ASP.NET. Additionally, PowerShell is available with Server Core, allowing installations to benefit from local and remote command line administration and automation.

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Getting Started

The Server Core installation of Windows Server now supports the following additional server roles with optional features:
  • Subsets of .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5, including WCF, WF, and LINQ
  • PowerShell 2.0
  • WoW64 support for 32bit applications
  • ASP.NET and IIS support
  • File Server Resource Manager (FSRM)
  • Certificate Services

Components that were already available with Server 2008 are still supported. Consequently, the "step-by-step" guide at still applies. To install one of the optional features or optional server roles, perform the following procedure from a command prompt:

     dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:<component>

Where 'component' is one of the items in the following list (note that the component name is case-sensitive):
  • .NET Framework 3.0 and 3.5: NetFx3-ServerCore
  • Windows PowerShell: MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell
  • FSRM: FSRM-Infrastructure-Core
  • Certificate Services: CertificateServices
  • ASP.NET and IIS additions:
    • IIS-FTPExtensibility
    • IIS-NetFxExtensibility
    • WCF-HTTP-Activation
    • IIS-WebDAV
    • IIS-ManagementService
    • IIS-PowerShellProvider
  • WoW64 Support for 32bit applications: ServerCore-WOW64
  • Additional WoW64 support:
    • FailoverCluster-Core-WOW64
    • NetFx2-ServerCore-WOW64
    • MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell-WOW64 (requires NetFx2-ServerCore-WOW64 to be installed first)
    • NetFx3-ServerCore-WOW64
    • Printing-ServerCore-Role-WOW64
    • ServerCore-EA-IME-WOW64
    • SUACore-WOW64

You can view the installed additions using the following command:

    C:\> oclist | more

If you experience problems installing a component, you can view more detailed error log information using the following commands:

    C:\> dism.exe /Online /Get-FeatureInfo /FeatureName:<component>
    C:\> dism.exe /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:<component>
    C:\> notepad c:\windows\logs\dism\dism.log

Obtain the status of components within a feature area (e.g. ASP):

    C:\> dism /online /get-feature /format:table | find /i "ASP"      

Running 32-bit Applications on Server Core

Even though Windows Server 2008 R2 is exclusively a 64-bit operating system, 32-bit applications are supported by enabling the WoW64 optional feature. If this feature is not enabled and you try to run a 32-bit application, the application will fail to execute. The WoW64 execution layer is an optional component that is installed by default. You can save resources by removing the feature if you are not going to be running 32-bit applications on your Server Core install.

Install the WoW64 Execution Layer using the following command:

    dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:ServerCore-WOW64

If your solution has a .NET 32-bit dependency, then also invoke the following sequence:

    dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx2-ServerCore
    dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx2-ServerCore-WOW64

Note: With Windows Server 2008 R2 beta1, WoW64 is an optional feature. This is changing. With Windows Server 2008 R2 RC1, WoW64 will be enabled by default. If you don't want WoW64 enabled, just disable the feature as follows:

    dism /online /disable-feature /featurename:ServerCore-WOW64

Interesting New Solutions Scenarios

Last edited Jun 4 2009 at 10:00 PM  by philpenn, version 17
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