Server Core App Compatibility Feature on Demand

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Server Core App Compatibility (SCAC) is a new feature on demand for Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview Build 17709. The purpose is to significantly improve the app compatibility of Windows Server Core.

Server Core App Compatibility

Prior to SCAC is was not possible to install Citrix Licensing, Provisioning Server, SQL Management Studio or any of the applications show above. The whole idea is to ease the migration to Server Core. Let’s get started.

Enable Server Core App Compatibility Online

After you’ve installed Windows 2019 preview or Windows Server vNext Semi-Annual Preview you need to download the additional ISO to enable Server Core App Compatibility.

Put the ISO on a share and run the following commands:

Enable Server Core App Compatibility Offline

Now for automated deployments using tools like MDT or SCCM we would want to inject the feature offline to the WIM file. Copy your WIM file to C:\Temp and create the folder C:\Temp\Mount

Now copy the new WIM file back to your deployment share and deploy as you normally would. My WIM size grew from 2.486GB to 2.800GB.

You can identify that Server Core App Compatibility has been enabled by the new blue title bar.

Server Core App Compatibility

During my tests I successfully installed Citrix Licensing and Provisioning Services and used the regular tools for management from my management server.

When it comes general management of these head less Server Core instances Microsoft has released the next generation server management tool now called Microsoft Admin Center.

Project Honolulu was first released during Ignite 2017 and rumors have it that some amazing new stuff is coming. Check this blog post on how to automatically setup and configure Microsoft Admin Center with Single Sign On and a Domain Wildcard Certificate to replace the default self signed.

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