**DISCLOSURE: While I am contracted to Microsoft Corporation, I am not an employee. The articles that I write are not meant to represent the company, nor are they meant to represent me as an employee or spokesman for the company. As has always been the case, all articles on this website represent me and nobody else.
**NOTE: All of the command line entries in this article are performed in PowerShell. To differentiate between the PowerShell cmdlets and Command Line Interpreter commands, the PowerShell cmdlets are in blue, and the Commands are in black.
I have long been a proponent of Server Core. Why? It takes fewer resources to run, has a smaller attack surface and needs fewer patches. No, I am not suggesting you manage your servers from the command line; The Remote Server Administration Toolkit (RSAT) provides the GUI tools, mostly MMC consoles but other things as well, that allow us to administer our servers (Core or otherwise) from either a server with the Desktop Experience, or a Windows 10 machine.
The first time I wrote about the RSAT, it was included in the Server desktop experience but you had to download it for the Windows client. From the 1809 release of Windows 10, it has been included as an option feature (or rather, the individual tools are available as optional features). They need to be installed, but unless your Windows Deployment team removed them, they are available to install.
From the GUI
Yes, I will go through the PowerShell installation later in the article, but let’s first see how easy it is to install with your mouse.
In the Windows Search bar, type Settings, then click the Settings app that appears.
Click the Apps option.
In the Apps & features window, click the Optional features option. It should appear in the middle of the top of the window, above the installed applications list.
In the Optional features window, click the +sign beside Add a feature.
In the search bar of the Add an optional feature window type RSAT.
All of the Remote Server Administration Tools will be listed. You can select the checkbox next to each one, and then click Install (n).
That’s it… as easy as that! The installation will take a couple of minutes, and then the tools will appear in your Start Menu under Windows Administrative Tools.
I am a big fan of PowerShell, even though I am a lousy scripter. With that said, the installation of RSAT tools from PowerShell is pretty easy… and it is different in Windows 10 than in Windows Server.
Run PowerShell as an admin. If you are not sure how to do that, find PowerShell in your Start Menu and right-click, then click Run as Administrator.
Unless you have completely disabled UAC, you will be prompted either to confirm you want to run as an administrator or, if your account does not have permissions, you will be prompted for credentials.
Run the following cmdlet to get the entire list of RSAT tools available:
Get-WindowsCapability -online -name *RSAT* |Select-Object -Property DisplayName, State
That will return a simplified list of all of the Optional Features that have the term RSAT in it, and whether it is installed or not. Like so:
With that list, you will see all of the tools with the friendly names… but you cannot use that name to install, so we need to know what the actual name would be. So once you know what tools you want to install, we will grab the list that reconciles DisplayName to the actual Name. To do that, use the following cmdlet:
Get-WindowsCapability -online -name *RSAT* |Select-Object -Property Name, DisplayName
Now we are going to install the actual tools. Simple enough:
Add-WindowsCapability -Name “Rsat.ServerManager.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0” -online
It will take a few seconds, but you should get a return that looks like this:
Take note that they need to be installed individually, and the names do need to be enclosed in quotes.
After doing this a few times, you might end up with a return like this:
The different tools that I installed have their new state.
By the way, it is important to remember that before you try to manage a server, you need to enable remote management on that server. To do this, from the server you are trying to manage, type the following command:
Of course, if you are running the RSAT tools on a machine from a workstation outside your domain, you might end up with a bunch of errors like this:
What you want to see is this:
While the desktop experience on servers is no means gone, the days of having a GUI on every server are certainly waning. Knowing how to administer Server Core remotely will go a long way to making your life as an IT administrator much easier.