Windows Server 2016 Core: Active Directory Domain Services

To lower my memory footprint in my home lab I decided to move from into Windows Server 2016 Core.  That said running Active Directory Domain Service seems to be the perfect candidate to start with my new architectured lab environment.

There are several prerequisites required for enabling ADDS, but I am not going to get into those here as if your reading this, there is a good chance you already know what those are.

We will be installing what is commonly referred to as a new forest/domain.

Step 1: Validate your hostname, IP address, and DNS settings

  1. Log into the console of your Windows Server 2016 Core System
    You need to log in as an administrator and should arrive at a command prompt
  2. Enter the command Sconfig and press enter
    The Server Configuration tool interface should be displayed
  3. Use the setting options to validate your host’s configuration

 

Step 2:  Installing Domain Services 

  1. From the Windows Server 2016 Core command prompt type: powershell then press enter.
    This will change your shell mode to PowerShell allowing you to use additional commands.
  2. Type Install-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools
    This will install the ADDS roles on the Windows Server 2016 Core System
  3. When completed type: Install-ADDSForest -DomainName yourdomain.tld
    Here is where you choose the name of your domain to be installed.
  4. You will be required to provide a recovery password, please enter one and take note of it
  5. Next, you will be asked to confirm the pending changes and allow the server host to be restarted
    Click yes to continue
  6. Your server will be restarted and return as a Domain Controller

 

Step 3: Validate DC Services

  1. From the Windows Server 2016 Core command prompt type: powershell then press enter.
    This will change your shell mode to PowerShell allowing you to use additional commands.
  2. Issue the following command line: Get-Service adws,kdc,netlogon,dns
    This will return details on the installed services 
  3. Issue the command Get-SmbShare
    This returns details about available shares, specifically the systvol and netlogon shares
  4. Use the get-eventlog command to review logs
    Example: get-eventlog “Directory Service” | select entrytype, source, eventid, message

 

Windows Server 2016 Core: Apply Windows Updates, with SCONFIG

In my previous post ‘Windows Server 2016 Core Configuration, with SCONFIG‘ I stepped through how to use the sconfig tool to modify settings on Windows Server 2016 Core.  In this post, I will introduce you to how to go about running Windows Updates and applying them to your server.

Here are the steps I used:

  1. Log into the console of your Windows Server 2016 Core System
    You need to log in as an administrator and should arrive at a command prompt
  2. Enter the command Sconfig and press enter
    The Server Configuration tool interface should be displayed
  3. Select 6 from the Server Configuration List
    This opens the Windows update software, allowing you to search for updatable software
  4. Select from the list of results the software update that you would like to download and install.
    You can choose a single update or update them all
  5. Depending on the update you may be required to reboot your system, select yes to restart

That’s it – Congrats you have updated your Windows Server 2016 Core Server

Windows Server 2016 Core Configuration, with SCONFIG

Windows Server 2016 Core has a built-in configuration tool named Sconfig.  This tool is used to configure and manage several aspects of Server Core installations. This simplifies tasks such as changing settings such as network, remote desktop, hostname and domain memberships, etc.

To use the Server Configuration Tool

  1. Log into the console of your Windows Server 2016 Core System
    You need to log in as an administrator and should arrive at a command prompt
  2. Enter the command Sconfig and press enter
    The Server Configuration tool interface should be displayed

 

Note: You can use Server Configuration Tool in 2016 Server Core and 2016 Server with Desktop Experience installations.

Install VMware Tools Windows Server 2016 Core

I just completed my install of Windows Server 2016 Core as a guest in my VMware Lab. Now that this has been completed the next step is for me to install the VMware tools so that I can take advantage of various features; specifically, template deployment with customization options

About:VMware:Tools: VMware software tools enhance the performance of the guest operating system and improve the management of the virtual machine guests operating systems.

How to install:

  1. Select your VM from vCenter and select ‘Guest OS > Install VMware Tools
    This mounts the VMware CD Image containing the installation files
  2. Inside the guest machine type ‘powershell’
    This will drop you from the command shell to powershell prompt
  3. Next type the command Get-PSDrive
    This will return the drives attached to the system
  4. Change to the drive that the VMware tools are currently mounted
    In my case, this was drive letter “D”
  5. Issue the command .\setup64.exe to start the install process

    Note: issuing just setup.exe or setup64.exe will end in an error as Windows poweshell does not load commands such as this by default 
  6. Follow the steps of the VMware tools installer and restart when completed.

 

Ref: http://jermsmit.com/howto-install-vmware-tools-on-windows-server-2102-r2-server-core/

vSphere 6.5: OVF Import – The provided manifest file is invalid

Importing a template from vSphere 5.5 and importing to vSphere 6.5 the following error was encountered: The provided manifest file is invalidInvalid OVF checksum algorithm: SHA1

To get fix this error the following steps were taken:

Step 1 – is to extract your ova template (after all its only a zip)

You will notice 3 files once extracted

*.vmdk – is your disk containing all your data

*.ovf – is the configuration (also the file that we will edit)

*.mf – is a manifest containing a reference to the vmdk and ovf, also holding a SHA1 hash which ESXi will check for validation. This file needs to be deleted as we are making a change to the ovf and this will surely break that hash.

Example of what the contents of the .mf file looks like:

SHA1(template.ovf)= 908e804f140ffa58083b8bd154dace330b440c78
SHA1(template-disk1.vmdk)= 29c2d44d908d0207005360dabb58967f01a1

Step 2 – Delete the file with the *.mf extension. If this exists ESXi will attempt to validate and throw an error about the templates integrity being invalid. Once this has been deleted you can deploy your OVF Template.

Ref: http://jermsmit.com/unmount-local-iso-before-making-it-an-ovf-template/

Happy Importing