How to Configure a Server Core Domain Controller: Vanilla to First DC in a Forest

How to Configure a Server Core Domain Controller: Vanilla to First DC in a Forest

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Hi All


Sometimes you just want a new Domain created quickly for a bit of testing.  Given that Windows 2008 ships with server core, a light footprint version of the OS, it’s ideal for being the domain controller.  As I am fairly inexperienced with Server Core I had to search all over the place to find information on how to go from a vanilla server core build, to a dc running a brand new domain.  I figured out a set of commands that achieve this, so thought I would share them with the world. 


Rename Host

Netdom renamecomputer <OldName> /NewName:<NewName>


Set IP

netsh int ip set address "Local Area Connection" static 1



Netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=”<idxname>” address=<IP Address> index = 1


Install DNS Role

start /w ocsetup DNS-Server-Core-Role


Create New Domain

dcpromo /unattend:c:\unattend.txt


Unattend.txt Contents



Another cool Server Core reference can be found on Mark’s blog here:


Hope this helps





  • One of the things I have pointed people to a few times recently&#160; is the Windows Server Core document

  • The Read-only Domain Controller is one of the new and most existing features of Windows Server 2008.

  • In my case i have seen that i had to first disable the firewall on the server core, only then could i ping that that a requirement?

  • enable file and print sharing firewall rules to allow ping without disabling firewall

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