Changes to Nano Server in Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel

Applies To: Windows Server, Semi-Annual Channel

As described in Window Server Semi-Annual Channel Overview, Windows Server, version 1709 is offering a new option: the Semi-Annual Channel.

If you're already running Nano Server, this servicing model will be familiar, since it is already serviced by the Current Branch for Business (CBB) model. Windows Server's new Semi-Annual Channel is just a new name for the same model. In this model, feature update releases of Nano Server are expected two to three times per year.

However, starting with the new feature release of Windows Server, version 1709, Nano Server will be available only as a container base OS image. You must run it as a container in a container host, such as a Server Core installation of Windows Server. Running a container based on Nano Server in the new feature release differs from earlier releases in these ways:

  • Nano Server has been optimized for .NET Core applications.
  • Nano Server is even smaller than the Windows Server 2016 version.
  • PowerShell Core, .NET Core, and WMI are no longer included by default, but you can include PowerShell Core and .NET Core container packages when building your container.
  • There is no longer a servicing stack included in Nano Server. Microsoft publishes an updated Nano container to Docker Hub that you redeploy.
  • You troubleshoot the new Nano Container by using Docker.
  • You can now run Nano containers on IoT Core.

When the Insider Program starts, find more information in the Windows Container Documentation.