Windows Server Core Installation

Tom’s Hardware has a nice review of the Core Installation of Windows Server 2008,  which makes it possible to install Windows Server 2008 with a limited GUI.  It’s exciting to see Windows get more mature and flexible:  the core install takes up about half the disk space of a conventional install.  However,  the fit and finish of the Core Installer is poor — for instance,  an administrator needs to type more than 900 characters on the command line to install Microsoft IIS.  We’ll give Microsoft another chance,  but,  for now,  the Core Installation is less mature than text-mode linux distributions were a decade ago.

Fit and finish are important factors in choosing a server operating system — I’ve been trying to repurpose an old laptop as a media server,  and finding it a challenge to find a modern Linux installation that installs without trouble on a machine with no DVD drive and limited RAM.