At least since the introduction of Windows Server the Windows world has changed dramatically. No excuses anymore for administrators, because if they are struggling with the huge amount of Windows updates, it’s up to them to install Core instead of the full graphical user interface installation method (Desktop-Experience).
The downside of Server Core was that many administrators are not familiar with sconfig.exe, PowerShell and Server Core overall. That’s now over. First, Windows Admin Center has been released and second, Features on Demand (FOD) is out which enables you to install a subset of graphical tools you are used to from the Desktop Experience installation method. For example, FOD enables you to administer Server Core with mmc.exe, Windows Explorer, Windows PowerShell ISE and much more.
To achieve our goal, all we need is Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 1809 and the FOD ISO file. Let’s jump in.
Installing Features on Demand (FOD)
First, download the Features on Demand ISO file from your Visual Studio portal or Volume License Service Center. Store the file on a network share.
Next, log on to your Server Core.
(Optional): Create a folder for storing the iso file that we will copy in the next step.
New-Item -ItemType Directory Temp
Now copy the ISO file from your network folder to a folder on your Server Core. In my case, I copy the file from \\dc01\share to the Server Core local folder C:\Temp.
Copy-Item -Path \\dc01\Share\en_windows_server_2019_features_on_demand_x64_dvd_c6194375.iso -Destination C:\Temp\
Now mount the image from the local folder.
Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath C:\Temp\en_windows_server_2019_features_on_demand_x64_dvd_c6194375.iso
Next, check out the mounted ISO drive letter with Get-Volume.
Finally, run dism.exe to install FOD as shown below. Watch out the drive letter in the source parameter.
DISM /Online /Add-Capability /CapabilityName:"ServerCore.AppCompatibility~~~~0.0.1.0" /Source:f: /LimitAccess
Once done, we should follow the suggestion and restart the computer.
The New Features
After the restart, I check if some important new features are actually installed.
Windows Explorer on Server Core
MMC on Server Core
You certainly know what this means … we are now able to administer Server Core with a subset of MMC Snap-Ins, such as the Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security and much more …
PowerShell ISE on Server Core
… and much more …
Have fun with your Server Core installation option!
Categories: Windows Server