Start PowerShell as Default in Windows Server Core

Since release of Windows Server 2012 the Windows Server Core version is now the default installation option but I would also say preferred option, here are some reasons why:

  • Reduced attack surface (Fewer system services running, Internet Explorer removed)
  • Reduced memory and disk requirements (Allot smaller footprint)
  • Reduced maintenance (Less Hot fixes that need to be applied)
  • Greater stability (Server Core installation has fewer running processes and services than a Full installation)

Here are some of the Server roles that are supported in Windows Server 2012 R2 Core edition:

  • Active Directory (AD)
  • Active Directory Certificate Services
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
  • Active Directory Rights Management Server
  • DHCP Server
  • DNS Server
  • File Services
  • BITS Server
  • BranchCache
  • HyperV
  • Web Server IIS (including a subset of ASP.NET)
  • Windows Server Update Server
  • Print and Document Services
  • Streaming Media Services
  • Routing and Remote Access Server
  • iSCSI
  • Load Balancing
  • MPIO
  • Telnet
  • SQL Server 2012 Database Engine, Analysis Services and Integration Services

So what pisses me of is why “Command Prompt” (cmd.exe) defaults when you are logging on to the Server when most of the administration is done by PowerShell commands.

So how do we change this?

1. Logon to the server

2. On the command prompt type Powershell.exe

3. Type Set-ItemProperty -Path ‘HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon’ -Name Shell -Value PowerShell.exe

4. Logg off and next time you logon again PowerShell will now be started by default

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