Windows Server 2008 Core installation (MSMQ batteries not included)

Windows Server 2008 comes with an option to install just the bare components necessary, something customers have been asking for for many years.

I quote from MSDN:

"Server Core is a minimal server installation option for computers running on the Windows Server 2008 operating system. Server Core provides a low-maintenance server environment with limited functionality."

"Server Core is an installation option that is capable of five well-known server roles: File Server, DHCP Server, DNS Server, Media Services, and Active Directory. Server Core is not a development platform for new server applications. Although Server Core is not an application platform, it does support the development of management tools, utilities, and agents."

What is important from the MSMQ perspective is that:

  • MSMQ files are not present on the machine with the Server Core option

  • MSMQ cannot be added to a machine installed with the Server Core option

  • MSMQ would not be supported if you found a way to somehow setup MSMQ on a Server Core installation

Also, MSMQ is a feature of the operating system and "message server" is not a server role. Definitely a major oversight. Function envy, I expect.

[[December 1st 2008]]

This also applies to the forthcoming Windows 7 operating system

Comments (8)

  1. I'm a PC says:

    is there anyway to install this manually?

  2. MSDN Archive says:

    Not as far as Microsoft is concerned.

  3. I'm a PC says:

    hmmm…. is there a way i can modify the Windows 2008 Server list of roles and optional features?

    I’m talking about the oclist command when it gives you the optional features… It must go somewhere to retrieve the information…

  4. MSDN Archive says:


    That’s not really my field of expertise.

    I’m pretty sure, though, that the only way to add more roles is to install the full Windows product instead of using Core.

    I would recommend talking to my colleagues over at if you want a more official answer.


    John Breakwell (MSFT)

  5. I'm a PC says:

    Hi John,

    I have placed a post on that site you recommend. Thanks for entertaining this idea… sorry but I hope you understand that I would like a reduced version of Windows 2008 Server… but with MSMQ.

    Does anyone have the source code for OCList.exe…? So I might give this a try… LoL.


    I’m a PC

  6. MSDN Archive says:


    Note that they will only be able to talk to you about Server Core as it stands now and what functionality is available and supported.

    They won’t be able to change the fact that MSMQ is not part of Windows 2008 Server Core (or Windows 2008 R2 Server Core for that matter).


    John Breakwell

  7. I'm A PC says:


    Has anyone tried extracting the setup from the a standard installation an then install MSMQ on a core machine?


  8. MSDN Archive says:

    I’m afraid you’re on your own with this one. I know it would be nice to have MSMQ running on Core but it’s not a supported configuration.


    John Breakwell (MSFT)

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