Creating a Hyper-V host with Nano Server – Part 2

In Part 1 I went over how to create the Nano Server image and configure the physical computer to boot to the VHD.  In this part I’ll explain how to access the computer and get it configured, to include domain join.

Remoting to Nano Server

Unlike previous Server Core installations, Nano Server is truly headless in that it has no local UI for administration.  Having said that there is an emergency recovery console you can log in to if you want to configure network, firewall, etc.  Unless you have included network configuration information when you created your image (get-help new-NanoServerImage) Nano Server will attempt to use DHCP.  At this point you may want to use the console to set a static IP, or scan for the address dynamically assigned to the Nano Server.  If you create a static IP, make sure you add DNS information with the Set-DNSClientServerAddress cmdlet.

Once you know or have set the IP address to your Nano Server, you can remote to it.  However, for security reasons, PowerShell will not accept an IP address for the ComputerName parameter in Enter-PSSession unless it’s placed in Trusted Hosts.  That command is:

Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts ""

At this point you may remote to your Nano Server with a standard Enter-PSSession command, as follows:

Enter-PSSession -computerName -cred "Ragestroke\administrator"

Domain Joining the Nano Server

While you can configure and administer Nano Server with PowerShell, some features you may be used to (e.g. get-windowsFeature, add-computer, etc.) are not available.  To domain join the computer, you must use the DJoin.exe utility to create an offline domain file.  On a domain joined computer, execute the following command from an elevated command prompt.

djoin /provision /domain /machine RageNanoHV01 /savefile domainJoin.djoin

*Note:  If reusing the machine name, specify the /reuse switch.

Next, use a standard net use command to connect to your Nano Server and copy the djoin file.

net use z: \\\c$
copy .\domainjoin.djoin z:

Finally, via your remote PowerShell session on your Nano Server, use the djoin tool to request an offline domain join:
djoin /requestodj /loadfile .\domainJoin.djoin /windowspath c:\windows /localos

At this point the computer is domain joined and ready for work.  I’ll conclude this series in Part 3.

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