Server Core for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012
Server Core is a minimal server installation option for computers running on the operating system. Server Core provides a low-maintenance server environment with limited functionality.
As in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 offers Full Server and Server Core installation options. Starting with Windows Server 2012, it is possible to transition between Full Server and Server Core without reinstalling the operating system.
Server Core is an installation option that is capable of the following server roles.
- Active Directory (AD)
- Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (ADLDS)
- DHCP Server
- DNS Server
- File Services
- BITS Server
- Printing Services
- Streaming Media Services
- Load Balancing
- Unix Migration
- Active Directory Certificate Services
The following table lists the benefits of Server Core.
|Reduced Servicing||Because Server Core installs only what is required for a manageable DHCP, File, DNS, Media Services, and Active Directory server, less servicing is required.|
|Reduced Management||Because less is installed on a Server Core-based server, less management is required.|
|Reduced attack surface||Because there is less running on the server, there is less attack surface.|
The minimal nature of Server Core creates limitations:
- There is no Windows shell and very limited GUI functionality. The Server Core interface is a command prompt with PowerShell support.
- There is limited MSI support (unattended mode only).
Server Core is designed for use by network and file service infrastructure developers, server management tool and utility developers, and IT planners.
Server Core requires Windows Server 2008 or later. This documentation describes Server Core as implemented on Windows Server 2012.
General information about Server Core.
Information about using Server Core.
Reference documentation for Server Core.