Configure First Active Directory Domain Controller with Windows Server 2016 Server Core

In today’s post, I will show you how to create your first Active Directory Forest and Domain Controller on Windows Server 2016 Server Core. The advantages of using Server Core is less overhead, lower resource usage, and lower attack surface.

NOTE: This Guide assumes you already configured a static IP for your Server.

1) Log into your Server and begin a PowerShell Session by typing in the following Command.

Entering PowerShell Session.

2) In the PowerShell Session, use the following command to install the Active Directory Services Role.

Install-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools
Install Active Directory Services Role

Wait for the Installation to Finish.
Wait for Installation to Finish.

The installation should be successful.
Installation Complete.

3) Type in the following command to configure your first Active Directory Forest and Domain Controller.

Install-ADDSForest -DomainName "PZ.LOCAL" -DomainNetbiosName "PZ" -ForestMode "7" -DomainMode "7" -InstallDns:$true -CreateDnsDelegation:$false -DatabasePath "C:\Windows\NTDS" -SysvolPath "C:\Windows\SYSVOL" -LogPath "C:\Windows\NTDS" -NoRebootOnCompletion:$false -Force:$true
NOTE1: I used “PZ.LOCAL” as the Domain Name and “PZ” as the Netbios name. You can change these to whatever you like to suit your environment.
NOTE2: The Value 7 in the ForestMode and DomainMode is the Windows Server 2016 Forest and Domain Functional Level. At the time of this post, Microsoft have not updated their documentation on this.
NOTE3: For more info on the switches used, go to the following Microsoft TechNet Link.

Commands to Configure Active Directory.

4) You will be asked to enter a SafeModeAdministrator Password. Input and record the Password you put in.
SafemodeAdministrator Password.

5) Wait for the Configuration to Finish.
Active Directory Configuration Progress.

6) Once the configuration is complete, the server will automatically reboot.
Restart Notification.

Once the Server has rebooted, you will have a functioning Active Directory Forest and Domain Controller. Please note that you should have a Client Machine with the latest Microsoft RSAT Tools installed in order to make it easier to manage your server.

I hope this Post has been Helpful! 😀