Windows Server 2008 core installation under Virtual Server

Windows Server 2008 core installation under Virtual Server

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For those of you who are unaware - Windows Server 2008 includes a new installation option - the 'core' installation.  This gives you a stripped down version of Windows Server that is designed to just key server roles - with no Windows shell or other overhead.  Windows Server 2008 core is great for inside of virtual machines, especially if you need a small virtual machine to run DHCP / DNS / AD for a private environment.

Windows Server 2008 core installations are straight forward under Virtual Server - you just use the Windows Server 2008 beta 3 installation media and select a core installation option.  Indeed the only catch to be aware of is that to install Virtual Machine Additions you will need to manually start the installation by running \Windows\Setup.exe on the CD-ROM drive:

coreVM coreVM2 coreVM3

Once you have it up and running - you can learn how to set things up by reading this.


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  • How does this affect the size of the VHD - core vs. "normal"?

  • Can anyone comment if Server 2008 will run under Virtual Server host without a VT/Pacficia-enabled processor?

    I would love to give it a shot, but fear that my 3GHz Xeon w/o VT would not run it on a considerable speed ...

    I tried running Vista on that same Virtual Server host machine and things like click on start menu button took 1-2 seconds to respond. On the flip side, up to 10 parallel Windows Server 2003 and XP guests run really fast on it.

    Again, I would love to hear people's comments on running Server 2008 with reference to the hardware used.



  • Tobi -

    Yes, it will work fine without VT/Pacifica support.



  • Quad Core host, how nice :)

    I like Microsoft's direction with the Core edition of Server 2008. However I hope that the shell is changed from cmd to powershell (cmd being an option of course) and that telnet is removed (and therefore not an option at all) and replaced with SSH. This would be superb for Windows SA all over the globe.

    Also to tobi, Vista and Server 2008 (all editions) run fine on my 3.2Ghz P4 w/o VT (comparible to your 3Ghz Xeon). I know it sounds stupid but are you sure the VMAdditions installed correctly? If so make sure the guests have at least 1GB RAM, swapping kills Vista if you have less than 1GB in my experience.

  • thanks, ben, so I have hope that my hardware is not too old for a Server 2008 Core guest :-)

    and yes, MP, I had vmadditions installed and 1 GByte RAM for the guest. It was not "unusable", but significantly slower than XP or Win2k3 ....

    Cheers everyone!

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