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Iain McDonald and Andrew Mason show off the new Windows Server OS

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Ok... this is wicked, Iain and Andrew show me a version of the next Windows Server OS that has essentially no UI, no desktop, no other apps... just pure Server goodness and a command line. Toss the monitor and give me just a scrolling LED screen on the front and I'm set. Iain also talks to me about some of the other features that exist across all the version of this new OS and we ramble off topic onto how great the Sonos home audio system is... good stuff all around Smiley

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  • hmmmm.....yeah...cool. But what does this really buy you? The attack surface is minimised, but when you run an existing (2003) server in a headless configuration then you are not touching IE or the Windows shell anyway, all it spends CPU cycles on is displaying the login prompt.

    Are there any hard numbers about how much memory or CPU cycles this configuration saves? I doubt it is anything significant.
  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty
    Did I hear corectly? No .NET Framework? Can we at least run SQL Server on Core?:O
  • Jeroen Ritmeijer wrote:
    Are there any hard numbers about how much memory or CPU cycles this configuration saves? I doubt it is anything significant.
    I was testing CORE on p3 800 with 512MB RAM and it was running good.
  • Tom ServoTom Servo W-hat?
    Yeah well, it still boots the GUI, so it's not really command line, which would be text mode.
  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!

    yeah I would like it to be login in text mode, no gui at all.... I like this Big Smile

     

  • PerfectPhasePerfectPhase "This is not war, this is pest control!" - Dalek to Cyberman
    AaaApl wrote:
    Jeroen Ritmeijer said:
    Are there any hard numbers about how much memory or CPU cycles this configuration saves? I doubt it is anything significant.

     I was testing CORE on p3 800 with 512MB RAM and it was running good.


    I imagine it would be great for things like high density blade systems where you have no need for graphics hardware.

    Edit: OK, so it still needs hardware..
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Great, great, great guys!  Needed that for awhile now Smiley
    Naturally, not having .Net in the core will be problematic for PowerShell admin on the boxes.  I see why no .Net for core only, but then you have the reality of wanting to use PS for admin on all boxes.  So they are competing requirements.  Maybe Core+PS would be another install option in the future.  Love the direction.  Can I boot a core off that 2GB USB device?  That would be cool, hand out USB boot images at next event.  That means the bios needs to understand USB - right?.
  • "Did I hear corectly? No .NET Framework? Can we at least run SQL Server on Core?"



    The idea of Core is that if you just need a Core functionality box such as a DC, File, DNS or DHCP server then you dont need all the bits and pieces that go with it...such as .net framework.

    What he said is they are trying to add more roles into the Core and in the future IIS may be one of them and presumably apps like SQL Server might also.
  • zzzzzzzzzz Yes its an Economy vehicle
    about time

    I spend allot of time removing or turning stuff off
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...

    So how is the MS print server configured in general?

    Server has the queues and the drivers for each printer, then each queue will point to the specific HP DirectJet card using TCPIP (i.e. no NetBIOS)?  So I assume you don't also get DirectJet broadcasts on the network which would confuse people - so PrintServer Queue is the only way to "get" to that printer with no backdoors to print directly to the card.  Is this right?  TIA

  • rjdohnertrjdohnert You will never know success until you know failure
    Looks like Cutlers dream has been realized.  From what i have heard he wanted a Core system when he started NT, but Bill Gates wanted the interface included.
  • rjdohnertrjdohnert You will never know success until you know failure
    You can also use Nlite and strip out everything, IE, Media player, edit your registry and use cmd.exe as you user shell initially doing the same thing as core but, you blow any suppot contracts you have.
  • staceyw wrote:
    

    So how is the MS print server configured in general?

    Server has the queues and the drivers for each printer, then each queue will point to the specific HP DirectJet card using TCPIP (i.e. no NetBIOS)?  So I assume you don't also get DirectJet broadcasts on the network which would confuse people - so PrintServer Queue is the only way to "get" to that printer with no backdoors to print directly to the card.  Is this right?  TIA



    Stacey, if the printer is TCP/IP enabled then you can multiple print servers pointing to the same printer, equally you can multiple queues for the same printer. XP and Vista can also act as print servers if you have the appropriate permissions so in answer to your question this is not a way to restrict anyone printing to the printer directly, it purely acts as a central administration point and also acts as a place where jobs are centrally spooled. If you wanted to do what your talking about you'd need to look at printer level security and perhaps putting the printers in their own VLAN so clients couldnt directly route to them.
  • ...word to the wise for basic video/photography 101.

    NEVER snap or video a person in front of a bright object, like an outside widow - hard to see.

  • Silly question.  Iain mentioned by removing the UI about 70% of the attack area is removed, doesn't say much for Windows, but that's a moot point.

    If the Server can be remotely administered (MMC snap in) won't attacks come from the remote machine, as in the 70% that was removed...

  • Jeroen - we usually don't go for hard numbers at beta 2 as there is still a bunch of flux.  we believe it will be significant for some roles.

    rasx - at the moment, no framework.  from an inital point, their setup has dependencies on higher level (ie not included) things.  sql is, at the moment in the same category.  we're working this - i would really like sql...

    kryptos - yeah we'd like a command line login as well, but you have to remember winlogon is all new in vista/longhorn - i would not want to block for just waiting on that.  also there is a load of extensibility in winlogon - how would this handle that extensibility?  thats kinda unknown & its a corner case. i wouldn't hold you hopes up for text mode login...

    staceyw - wow that idea of having a system on a key never occured to us.Expressionless actually, it did, i'm just torquing you...

    rj... - yeah you could do that with tools that exist in todays system, but there are no guarantees the system will work in that case.  this is somehting that will be supported

    tomax7 (1) - i thought it was quite slimming actually.  & i need that...
    (2) so let me get what you are saying - you ar ethinking that someone is going to use an attack vector that is on an admin machine using a remote mmc session?  geez, if i were writing a virus or trojan for that scenario, i'd be a doof - "hey i have a good idea, lets attack .01% of systems in the world being used by the most knowledgeable users".  but seriously, that vector is the same as attacking a full windows installation. (don't think i am dissing you - that is a question that has been asked a number of times internally)

    finally - we're going at this as a first go around - we love seeing the responses - i am super happy to hear direct feedback on server beta 2, core or full - if you have issues send me a mail.  i am guessing if you are here you could find how to mail me...

    /iainmc...
    i hate emoticons.  except this one Perplexed

  • RichardRudekRichardRudek So what do you expect for nothin'... :P
    Iain, you gotta be Aussie... Smiley

    Good to see this happening. I was really pissed when the UI stuff was moved into Kernel in NT 4.0. For Workstation, fine. But for Server... lets be Phil-osophical here: What were they thinking.. (Dr Phil).

  • ...i am just a peon in the big world of computing, was just sharing my thoughts, akin to a root kit.

    Not worried about being dissed, as I said, just a voice in the wilderness.

    0.01% would make it even more a trophy

    Wink

    cheers
    tom

  • Well first of all I like the idea of Server Core. It responds to the advantage BSD and Linux has in headless servers.

    It would have many uses without .NET altough I would hope a .NET layer would be added as an option.

    That is the whole point.. Everything gets added as it is needed and only if it is needed. This can also become the core of embeded software for robotics when those systems pass the power limits of mobile.net.

    There was a good question raised about how many CPU cycles are saved by not having a GUI. I think the answer is that by not having a GUI you force problems to be solvable from the command line and to be solveable via scripting or batch files. That is a breakthrough in scale.

    At less than 1GB of image one can also make pure computational blades that load the latest image over IP.

    So I hope this is the begining of headless servers and faster grid like load balanceing from reduced demands.

    Keep up the good work.

  • warrenwarren atom heart mother
    ChrisA wrote:
    Is Microsoft going to supply BASH, TCSH or any type of unix type shells? Where is a list of command line commands for core server? cmd.exe is a weak shell and unless enough cli tools are provided to make this thing really useful


    Windows isn't as shell-centric as Unix is.

    Philosophically, you don't generally pass around bits of data between multiple programs in Windows.  Instead, you write script in VBScript, JScript, etc. and have cscript (or wscript) execute it.  You get contructs and tools (string manipulation, file I/O, logging, etc.) which are more or less equivalent to what you'll get from the GNU set of tools, as well as access to a lot of neat information and functionality that the OS provides, through WMI and COM.

    Microsoft has already been providing piles of Unix command-line tools for years, including tcsh and ksh.  More info here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/interopmigration/unix/sfu/migun2wi.mspx

    Whether or not this stuff will be installable as part of Server Core is something MS will need to clarify someday.
  • actually what I'd really like is to provide powershell in server core.  However, we're not there first go around but we're working on how this would happen.

    i just reckon if we don't promise anything to you guys we can exceed what you expect...

    /i
  • Xaero_VincentXaero_​Vincent Sexy me
    iain wrote:
    actually what I'd really like is to provide powershell in server core.  However, we're not there first go around but we're working on how this would happen.


    Powershell would be nice tho since it's so different from BASH, there might be a significant learning curve for those who have just migrated from Unix.

    iain wrote:

    i just reckon if we don't promise anything to you guys we can exceed what you expect...
    /i


    It is disapointing that Microsoft doesnt follow these sort of guidelines for their product release dates.


    Regards,
    Vincent
  • figuerresfiguerres ???
    iain wrote:
    actually what I'd really like is to provide powershell in server core.  However, we're not there first go around but we're working on how this would happen.

    i just reckon if we don't promise anything to you guys we can exceed what you expect...

    /i


    WIth "Core" I'd love to see that become the base of windows server installes and follow the model of IIS 7:

    pick a feature / function and list any issues and then add the bits.

    .Net:  I would think you might go the SQL CLR route --
    IMHO the server CLR should have been kinda this way from the start, what I mean is this:

    BASE CLR --  IO,Network, FIles and Streams, Threads and Exceptions etc.... No Depends on UI,IE etc.....

    then have CLR + Options:

    ASP.NET

    Windows Forms

    and so on....

    the only place I would have an IE dep is with WinForms not with ASP.
    based on the premis that a Web Server is a Server and a Browser is a Client.

    I think that would build a clean tree that could allow a
    "Core Web Server" with .Net and ASP.NET and 75% of the current CLR / Framework... GUessing that 25% is winforms, keeping ComInterop in the base etc...
  • figuerresfiguerres ???
    ChrisA wrote:
    I personally dont see the advantage to this system. The Linux "core" system is much more functional, has more tools and we still dont know the cli commands or what tools are available for the core server. if it matches the norm cmd.exe shell then this is destined to be a weak system. To label this a unix or linux killer is premature.


    ??  do you know what the "core" of Linux and other UNIX type OS's *IS* ??

    the command shell and the command line tools are *NOT* part of the Linux/Unix OS.

    the "Core" is the Kernel -- the binary that boots and runs init()
    and gets it into a run mode that then runs init-scripts that load deamons to start more processes.

    is the Windows Core going to rule/kill etc... who knows?  but It looks like a good move to make the OS more modular.

    and if you read the comments Iain mentions putting "Monad" on Core which is much like adding one of the good Linux/Unix shells.


  • I'm really amazed how no one on the forum asked why not use Monad as the default shell for the Core Server. On the other hand that would require the .net runtime. Also there was a mention of MMC snap-ins. I believe one of Monad's goals was to provide an easy way to expose a service through the MMC. The attack surface might get a bit bigger but I believe it might be well worth it (or you could make it optional).
    I'm just static about monad but aside it as the engine what it needs is some sort of auto completion (have you seen stuff bash autocompletion does? it's not anymore about simple path completion and admin's digg that very very well).
    If MS plans to ship IIS 7.0 on Core (please do) I think this would become a no-brainer.
  • BoomportBoomport SG1: Deep Space Radar Telemetry is the job to have.
    A core server is a great idea, but without IIS, SQL and .net its only hits a little nitch of what it could hit.  Almost all of our 100's of servers could be run on core except that we run custom .net services to collect events, monitor and sync files.  And a few run asp.net and SQL server.  I think it should be a priority as an optional install in a service pack or the next release.  I think the earlier poster had it right - Just enough .net to do IO, Network, ASP.net an the like.
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    iain wrote:
    

    ...
    staceyw - wow that idea of having a system on a key never occured to us. actually, it did, i'm just torquing you...



    I figured you did, I was probing for more info.  Will we be able to boot from a key at some point (or does this happen today and I am behind the times?)  Also, at some point, it would be cool to have a Key be the whole VM including RAM.  So the bits and the RAM are in the key.  Any faster key/port tech on the horizon that would enable that senerio?  Cheers.
  • To reply to some of the earlier questions and posts....

    True, you can run Server 2003 headless and never use IE and Media Player, however, the binaries are installed and need to be patched when a patch comes out. With Server Core, the binaries don't exist on the box so no need to patch.

    As Iain mentioned in an earlier post, we don't have hard numbers yet. There will be more resources available, since less is installed and running on the system. However, the big benefits are the reduced maintenance and management, the ~70% fewer patches.

    We are looking into a including a subset of the .Net Framework for many of the reasons suggested in a future release.

    We are also investigating including IIS7 for beta 3. Because there is no .Net Framework, it won't support ASP.NET, but it will support html, isapi, native asp, etc.

    Andrew

  • If you decide to include IIS7, you should definitely also include the .NET Framework, it will be fairly useless without it.
  • rjdohnertrjdohnert You will never know success until you know failure
    When i install a core UNIX or Linux system for a file server, I dont include the GUI, I dont include Apache,  I dont include command line or otherwise developemnt tools.  I load networking, the directory service, and tools that are necessary for administration.  What they have done with Server core is something that would appeal to me for the limited roles that they are talking about.  Having a subset of the .NET framework does appeal so I can run a headless web server with IIS, I imagine Apache would work well on the Server Core and I do intend to adapt my command line tools and shells for use on Server Core for anyone thats interested.

    I did experiment with a minimal Windows 2000 Server install using nlite and it does work but as Iain said, this is better because it is supported.  Im excited about Server core but i think it should also be a different SKU as I cant imagine paying for Windows Server 2007 Enterprise Edition and not using the rest of the components or offer a special licensing option for Server core.  I asked Iain about this but never got a response if you guys have tested Open Source compnents such as Apache or OpenLDAP for Windows.  If you guys dont want to test the compnents send me an invite for Server core beta and i will test it for you.

    ChrisA wrote:
    I personally dont see the advantage to this system. The Linux "core" system is much more functional, has more tools and we still dont know the cli commands or what tools are available for the core server. if it matches the norm cmd.exe shell then this is destined to be a weak system. To label this a unix or linux killer is premature.
  • Actually, i got a bounce from your email server...

    (this: The message cannot be delivered due to a configuration error on the server. Please contact your Administrator. <mail1.microsoft.com #5.3.0 smtp;553 5.3.0 <robertodohnert@mail15.com>... user unknown>

    We didn't do testing of the things you named - but we have heard of someone running apache.

    There is stuff in the sdk on server core. http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnanchor/html/anch_serventdev.asp we won't do a separate sdk - that would fork the codebase to hard. We want the flavors to stay the same.

    Core is not a sku - its an installation choice - so standard, enterprise & data center editions can be installed as both full server & core.

    /i

  • Core sounds great. I'd just like to add my request that .NET, SQL Server and MSH be runnable on it.

    in general, though, i think the granilarity of dependancies used in the installation of additional components should be much finer. for example, i should be able to install core, with no additional components, then install the SQL Server management console which might require mshtml.dll, but not the full IE browser or the shell.

    core shouldn't be an option, it should be the default. one should be able to to install the minimal set of components required to support the various installed applications/services. and by minimal, i mean down to the individual dlls/registry keys...
  • figuerresfiguerres ???
    FWIW:

    for Core I would just say Get a .Net and IIS7 on it.

    so It could be the new "Web Edition" server.


    SQL:  I would rather put that on a std box in a more protected zone.


    so I think:

    DHCP Server
    DNS Server
    Print Server
    AD Server
    IIS 7 Server
    File Server

    and .Net are plenty for a "Core" selection set.

    and I would love to see a Core "Core" that say is w/o AD / FIle / Print DHCP and DNS.

    just an IIS 7 + .Net web server.  at a low price per install.

    to help with building web farms like in a blade rack.
  • What percentage of the Windows Server userbase uses IIS w/out asp.net? Personally on the installations that I've worked on (as a contractor) all html/image servers were using non-MSFT technologies instead of a stripped down MSFT server.

    Keep up the good work guys!
  • to me, most people who are not doing super big sites want the framework stuff.  however, there are some cases we know of where people have written an app either directly to http.sys or to use a light version of iis - usually thats bigger sites  - my space, live.com, blah blah.  these are apps we're super interested to see on core.
     
    but the greatest percentage of people doing stuff want .net. on server core an we do too...

    /i
  • Is WMI still exposed on core for managability?
  • Yes, WMI and the WMIC command line tool are included in Server Core.

    Andrew
  • warren wrote:
    
    ChrisA wrote: Is Microsoft going to supply BASH, TCSH or any type of unix type shells? Where is a list of command line commands for core server? cmd.exe is a weak shell and unless enough cli tools are provided to make this thing really useful


    Windows isn't as shell-centric as Unix is.

    Philosophically, you don't generally pass around bits of data between multiple programs in Windows.  Instead, you write script in VBScript, JScript, etc. and have cscript (or wscript) execute it.  You get contructs and tools (string manipulation, file I/O, logging, etc.) which are more or less equivalent to what you'll get from the GNU set of tools, as well as access to a lot of neat information and functionality that the OS provides, through WMI and COM.

    Microsoft has already been providing piles of Unix command-line tools for years, including tcsh and ksh.  More info here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/interopmigration/unix/sfu/migun2wi.mspx

    Whether or not this stuff will be installable as part of Server Core is something MS will need to clarify someday.

    That is a pretty funny comment, Warren, especially considering the fact that Core ONLY has a CLI. I call that very shell centric - no, shell dependent!

    I think you should change your comment to "Windows WASN'T as shell-centric as Unix is", because that lame excuse for a CLI, CMD.exe, has been replaced by PowerShell (well, it is out there and rapidly gaining mindshare and raising HUGE expectations for the future of the windows CLI and windows automation).

    God help the server team if they don't implement PowerShell, in all it's glory, on the future windows server platform (as I understand it, Core IS Longhorn Server, the next replacement for Windows Server 2003 R2).

    If there is one server that needs a great CLI, it's Core.

    EDIT:  Of course, I assumed (somewhat incorrectly, from what I can gather) that Core is the only way that all Longhorn servers start their life. Perhaps Microsoft can be a little more informative of the targeted nature of the Core's role, which now seems to be highly security focused, and contrast that to the rest of the Longhorn family, which WILL most likely run the CLR "by default".

    That said, it would make sense to include the CLR and PowerShell as options for Core, for those that would run Core in their normal environments because they don't need a UI.
  • Your edit above is correct, Server Core is just one of the options for how you can install Longhorn Server. It is an option that can be used when you want to run a minimal AD, DNS, DHCP, or File server box and not have to manage and maintain all the rest of Windows on those boxes.

    You can still install Server, which includes all the roles, the GUI, CLR, etc.

    We are investigating what we can do with PowerShell and Server Core in the Longhorn timeframe, as well as how to keep improving it in future releases.

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