PowerShell installation on Server Core

Windows Server 2008 has a command-line installation option - Server Core - which significantly reduces the attack surface and patch requirements by the virtue of not having Explorer and other UI components not needed in datacenter. The problem is that it only ships with traditional cmd.exe and not PowerShell. To make things worse neither PowerShell […]

Windows Server 2008 has a command-line installation option - Server Core - which significantly reduces the attack surface and patch requirements by the virtue of not having Explorer and other UI components not needed in datacenter.

The problem is that it only ships with traditional cmd.exe and not PowerShell. To make things worse neither PowerShell nor .NET as they are today can be installed on such systems.

Below are the steps you can take to create packages of these tools which can be installed. Basically the whole procedure consists of just four main steps:

  1. Installing Visual C++ Redistributable Packages (required for .NET).
  2. Installing .NET 2.0 SP1
  3. Installing PowerShell.
  4. Jumping around the computer and shouting “I’ve got it!”

So let’s get started!

1. Visual C++ Redistributable Packages

This is the easiest one. All you need to do is download the packages you need:

After that, copy these files to your Server Core computer (e.g. using Robocopy) and simply run them there.

Full Guide