ASP.NET supported on Server Core - Windows Server 2008 R2

In case you haven’t already heard the news, ASP.NET will now be enabled on Windows Server Core starting with Windows Server 2008 R2. 

If you're not familiar with Server Core, it is a low footprint Server installation option that lays down just the minimal footprint to boot up the server, it doesn't even install the  Shell!  This has several key benefits.  First, it means server core uses less disk and memory footprint.  In our testing, we see a little over 1GB disk footprint and the server runs well starting with just 512MB ram!  Of course, fewer features also means a lower attack surface and less frequent patching, as well as fewer things to manage. 

When I announced IIS7 on Server Core supported last year, it came with a big caveat: no ASP.NET support, since the .NET framework itself was not available on Server Core.  Fortunately the .NET framework and Windows teams have done the work needed to make that possible.  Look for a beta coming soon…


  • This is REALLY excellent news. Great job teams!

  • Bill that is great news. Will Windows 7 also have the .NET Framework built in? How will updates to the framework be maintained since it is headless?

    Greg Finzer
    Kellerman Software

    Cutting Edge Email Validation

  • Greg,

    Yep, the .NET framework will be built-in to Windows 7 (the server released of Win7 is called Windows Server 2008 R2, and will also have .NET fx built-in). Windows Update works on Windows Server Core just the same as with standard server, so updates are applied in the same way. See this blog for more info:

  • Will MSSQL be supportet as well in core mode now that we have a subset of .net ?

  • RE: SQL Server... we're working on it...nothing to announce yet

  • Thank you for listening, as I said before, what we need is a complete blackbox server administred completely from an external computer via an external server manager. The Gui has no business on a server what so ever.

  • Bill,

    Somethings that confuses me is the word sub-set of .Net framework. Will we be able to use all the features with in ASP.Net after deployment ??

    Also, now that we can run Windows PowerShell within Server Core, how do we go about using the IIS 7 PowerShell Provider... is it the same way as in standard windows server 2008

    MA Khan

  • このサイトは``ああ

  • Japan is not small people

  • ma_khan

    Yes, ASP.NET and powershell should work just the same as on standard server. By 'subset', Microsoft means that the UI-aspects of the framework, such as Winforms or WPF, are not supported on server core, just as the Shell and other UI administration tools are not supported on the local server (though remote administration from them works fine). Hope this helps clarify -


  • while create a website on local host then it is displaying following messge
    unable to create web site 'http://localhost/website'. Cannot access the web site's disk path 'Website'.

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