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SQL Server on Windows Server Core part 3–Installing SQL Server

In my previous two posts in this series I have installed and configured Win Server Core, and now I am ready to install SQL Server.  There are a number of things to be aware of here:

  • Only SQL Server Denali is supported for server core.
  • SQL Server depends on the .Net framework
  • SQL Server needs the the .Net 4 framework.
  • You can only install SQL Server on Server Core using the command line.
  • Only certain parts of SQL Server will run on Windows Server Core:
    • the database engine
    • full text search
    • analysis services
    • replication
    • client tools connectivity
    • integration services server

Turning that lot into a step by step guide works like this:

  • Install server core as per part 1 of this series
  • Install service pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2, if it’s not part already included in the media you used to install Server Core (known as a slipstream install).
  • Install the .Net Framework 4.  There’s a special download for Serve Core for this.
  • Join the server to you domain.
  • Install SQL Server from the command line:












Note:  the last switch enables TCP for you for remote access to SQ Server

added 22 August 2011: SQL Server Denali will add in the .Net features automatically if they aren’t already there, although in the video I did all this up front in part 2

  • Open the firewall to allow you to connect to SQL server remotely..

netsh [enter]

advfirewall firewall [enter]

add rule name=”SQL Server default port 1433” dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=1433 [enter]

Here’s my video of doing all of that


  • You’ll need an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2008 R2  (this has sp1 included) for this if you haven’t got a TechNet subscription.
  • Service Pack 1 for Windows server 2008 R2 is available here if you need it.
  • .Net Framework 4 for Server Core is available here 
  • You’ll also need SQL Server Denali ctp 3
  • The video is part 3 of a series and I have put links on them so you can watch them in sequence to get SQL Server working core as quickly as possible. However there will be accompanying posts and notes to help as well .