About Server Core

Server Core is a minimal server installation option for the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. Server Core provides a low-maintenance environment capable of providing core server roles.

Server Core is designed to provide an environment that reduces:

  • Servicing requirements
  • Management requirements
  • Attack surface
  • Disk space usage

To accomplish its core, critical roles, the Server Core installation option only installs the binaries required by its supported roles. For example, the Explorer shell is not installed with Server Core. Instead, the Server Core user interface is the command prompt.

When configured, Server Core can be managed locally and remotely using Windows PowerShell, by using a terminal server connection from a command line, as well as remotely, by using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) or command line tools that support remote usage.

In this section

About Windows Server Installation Options

Server Core for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012

Server Core for Windows Server 2008