WSUS Product Team Blog

WSUS Product Team thoughts, information, tips and tricks and beyond :-)



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WSUS has this great feature which can be used to manage your WSUS server from a Windows XP or Vista machine.


WSUS3 comes up with this new concept of *console only* install.

If you want to use this feature, you need to specify "CONSOLE_INSTALL=1" parameter while running the wsussetup.


Note that the option to choose console only install is not available in the UI wizard of wsussetup.

So you will need to type "WSUSSetup.exe CONSOLE_INSTALL=1" in a command window.

Also note there are no forward slashes or any other funny characters in this command.


When you specify "console_install=1", minimal set of WSUS server bits are installed on your machine to allow a remote WSUS server to be administered from this machine. This includes UI and few API binaries.

Following is a list of prereqs and platforms.



Following pre-requisites are required on the machine.

·         MMC 3.0

·         Report Viewer (if you wanna view the reports)

·         .NET Framework 2.0 


You can have the console only install on following platforms.

·         Windows XP SP2

·         Windows Vista Beta2

·         Windows Server 2003 SP1


Have fun with WSUS3 B2 !!


Chinmay Parekh(WSUS).


stop press:
The setup files which beta2 users can download from connect site are named WSUSSetup-x86.exe and WSUSSetup-x64.exe. In the above blog, whenever I mention WSUSSetup.exe, I mean WSUSSetup-x86.exe or WSUSSetup-x64.exe based on the architecture you want to install WSUS on.


  • I installed all theses components but i cannot manage the WSUS sever w/ no errors reported.

  • i think the XP SP2 MUST BE in the WSUS SERVER same domain if you want to succeed connecting the console to the wsus server.

    Is there a way for inserting in the WSUS SERVER Admin group a user from another domain ?

    Because all 3000 xp are in another domain.

  • Hi Ricardoz,

    You said: "cannot manage the WSUS sever "
    Can you please describe it in detail?

    Did your console only install went fine?
    Can you connect to remote wsus server?
    Is there any error message you see in the UI?


  • Hi P. Maquoi,

    does trust relationship exist between 2 domains?


  • Will this be the same method at RTW or just for the beta?

  • I just started playing with this today, like the changes that have been made but was disappointed that console installation instructions was not in the documentation provided.  Thanks much.

  • William,

    We are planning to make some changes around this.
    We are eagerly anticipating feedback from our beta2 users, and will be glad to hear your suggestions. What you liked/disliked and make changes accordingly. That is the purpose of this beta :)

  • I too have been unable to get this to work.  The install went fine and I can open the MMC console with the WSUS plug-in, but I cannot connect to the WSUS Server.  I have the WSUS server running in a VM and the MMC is on the host machine.  When I try to connect it just says 'Cannot connect to <server name>. The server may be using a different port or different SSL setting.'
    I have tried connecting by name and by IP address with and without SSL.  I turned off the firewall on the host.  Nothing helps.

  • Nigel,

    I agree that it is little difficult to find this information in the documents. And that motivated us to post this blog :)
    However, the information is in wsus30ReleaseNotes document (Issue 7: WSUS 3.0 Setup command-line parameters).
    You can download the doc from the connect site.

  • Peter,

    Can you connect to the WSUS server from the console on your VM?
    [If "NO" then please follow these steps...]
    Which OS is running on your VM?
    Do you see any suspicious entries in the eventviewer of VM?
    Can you check if the IIS on the VM is not in "isolation mode".

    Are you a member of wsus3 beta2 newsgroup at
    Do you mind posting the softwareDistribution.log from \program files\Update Services\logfiles

    Other tips:
    (1) Try resetting the IIS on WSUS Server.
    (2) Try resetting the SQL Service.
    [If "Yes", let us know :)]

  • I apologise for polluting this space with an unrelated comment, but I'm trying to get an information that seems very elusive. I've made an exhaustive search through the Internet, Platform SDK, MSDN, etc. but with no luck whatsoever.

    Parsing WSUS PSF file format

    I need to extract individual patches from an PSF file and generate target (updated) files, just as the update application would do on a client machine when a client requests an express update (through WSUS - Windows Server Update Services).

    The only difference is that I am starting from a PSF file and want to generate all possible versions of a file for which patches are available in the PSF file.

    For example, if a PSF file contains version V0 of an A.DLL plus three patches for it, namely patch1 (V0 -> V1), patch2 (V0 -> V2), and patch3 (V0 -> V3) I would like to be able to extract all four components of the PSF file and produce three new versions of the A.DLL, namely V1, V2, and V3.

    To be able to do that I need know how to parse a PSF file and extract its components. I could do that manually if I knew the PSF's file format, or I could do it using some API. I couldn't find any reference to such API on the Internet, so I assume it not publicly available (maybe I'm wrong).

    The next step in the process would be recognizing the seed file from patches in the PSF file, then decompressing it and applying patches to it to generate missing versions of the seed file. The patch application can be done, I think, using the Delta Compression API (PSDK\Include\PatchApi.h).

    I would really appreciate if there is anybody out there willing to shed some light on the PSF file format and how to parse it.

    Kind regards,
    bmazic [at] onetel [dot] com

    The only information I could find on the Internet about PSF files, comes from the following document:

    The sets of delta files for any given software update package are stored in a patch storage file (PSF) that is hosted on an HTTP 1.1 server. In addition to delta files based on any number of older, previously released versions of the new files, the PSF also contains compressed copies of the updated files. If a given target computer does not have an old file that matches any of the delta files contained in the PSF, a compressed copy of the updated file is downloaded instead of a delta file. This provides a seamless, fault-tolerant mechanism to ensure that all of the new files can be produced on the target computer regardless of its existing configuration. Because each PSF contains all of the compressed new files and many delta files for each new file, the patch storage files are often quite large. However, because each individual installation downloads only the required set of delta files necessary for that target computer, each installation will download only a small fraction of the entire contents of a PSF.

    Delta Compression Application Programming Interface

  • Hi,
     Besides remote management on MMC 3.0, does WSUS 3.0 Beta2 have Web Management Console without installing WSUS Console on other remote machine?

  • Aaron, no. We do not have web UI.

  • Hi

    i implement WSUS 3.0 with remote console is very good play with this software, is very productive

  • I am very disappointed to find the WSUSAdmin is missing from WSUS 3.0

    I know you can configure MMC for remote admin but that means another app running.

    I could administer all my machines from a browser before this including WSUS 2.0

    Was it dropped due to popular demand?

    I doubt it!

    Was it dropped to make things more complicated?

    I cannot see any other reason.

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