The Windows Server 2019 Core installation of a domain controller will be something you might need in the future. This is the bare minimum you need to install a Domain Controller and a new domain. I tried to make it as short as possible.


  • At least tone installed Windows Server 2019 Core server
  • 30 minutes of your time

Table of contents

Initial Config

After the installation process, you need to set a password in order to sign in. It needs to contain lower case, upper case, and special chars. After that you will see the command line.

  1. Type sconfig
  2. Change your computer name (Nr. 2), it will reboot. But don’t worry Server Core is that fast you won’t even get that it did a reboot.
  3. Logon and open sconfig again
  4. Configure your network to a static IP (Nr. 8) and configure your DNS
  5. I like my systems as silent as possible, so I change the Telemetry settings to basic (Nr. 10.)
  6. Activate your Server Edition (Nr. 11.)
  7. I like to enable Remote Desktop (Nr. 7), but this is up to you, we won’t need it.
  8. Update your system (Nr. 6)
  9. Type 15. to exit to the command-line.

Installing the Active Directory Domain Services and create a new domain

Note, this is when you install a new domain, if you want to add a server to your forest check the steps below this segment.

Type “start powershell.exe” to open PowerShell in an other window

Install-WindowsFeature -Name AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools

Install-ADDSForest -InstallDns -DomainName -SafeModeAdministratorPassword (Convertto-SecureString -AsPlainText "YourDSRM-Password" -Force)

Adding a Domain Controller to your domain

This step will prompt you for the DSRM password from the steps above.

Install-WindowsFeature -Name AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools

Install-ADDSDomainController -InstallDns -DomainName

Adding a Member Server (no GUI) to your domain

Before you add your server to the domain, make sure it can contact your domain by configuring the DNS server via sconfig. To add a server with no GUI to your domain you can use sconfig or you use the following PowerShell command. This will prompt you for administrator credentials (for example fistoftech\administrator) in your domain.

#Needs to run elevated
Add-Computer –Domainname -Credential (Get-Credential) -restart –force

Managing a Server Core 2019 Active Directory

Install RSAT Tools on any machine in the domain. For this example, I will use a Windows 10 machine. This will apply to version 1803 and later. Follow these steps:

Right-click on the Windows logo
Click on Optional features
Click on Add feature

Search for RSAT and install the ones you need. For Active Directory install “Active Directory Domain Services Tools”