How to join a domain using Server Core

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Set the preferred DNS server using sconfig:

  1. Type sconfig and press enter to open Server Configuration
  2. Type 8 (Network Settings) and press enter
  3. Type the number in the Index# column for the network interface you want to configure and press enter
  4. Type 2 (Set DNS Servers) and press enter
  5. Type the address for the preferred DNS server and press enter. This needs to be the IP address of the Domain Controller (DC). A pop-up box with message "Preferred DNS server set" appears. Select OK.
  6. Type the address for the alternate DNS server and press enter (example: 8.8.8.8). A pop-up box with message "Alternate DNS server set" appears. Select OK.
  7. Type 4 (Return to Main Menu) and press enter
  8. Type 15 (Exit to Command Line) and press enter
  9. Type ipconfig /all | less to verify the DNS servers have been set

Set the preferred DNS server using PowerShell:

  1. In the command line of Server Core, type powershell and press enter
  2. Use this command to join a domain, replacing x.x.x.x with the IP address of the Domain Controller (DC):
    • Do not be alarmed if PowerShell display an error message regarding the -InterfaceAlias option
Set-DNSClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias Ethernet -ServerAddress x.x.x.x

 


 

After DNS has been set, PowerShell can be used to join the Server Core machine to the domain, replacing example with the actual domain name:

Add-Computer -DomainName example.local -Restart

 


 

If the Domain Controller is using Server Core, follow the steps to ensure the Server Core machine has been added to the domain:

  1. In Server Manager, select Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers
  2. If an Organizational Unit (OU) for MemberServers has not been created, right-click on the root of the domain, select New > Organizational Unit, and name the OU MemberServers
  3. If the Server Core machine is listed in MemberServers, this verifies the Server Core machine has been joined to the domain


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