Windows Server 2019 Installation


Before you begin the Setup program to install a Windows Server operating system, you need to make several preliminary decisions, as the following sections describe.

Before you install a Windows Server operating system, you should make sure that the computer meets the minimum requirements. The table lists the requirements for Windows Server 2019. (The minimums for Windows Server 2012 are the same.) Table 1 also lists what I consider to be more realistic minimums if you expect satisfactory performance from the server as a moderately used file server.

CPU1.4 GHz3 GHz
Free disk space32GB100GB
Table 1: System Requirements

*Technically, the minimum RAM size is 512MB. But 2GB is required if you want to install the Desktop Experience option, which lets you interact with Windows Server using the same GUI interface as Windows 10.

Reading Release Notes

Like all versions of Windows Server, Windows Server 2019 provides a set of release notes that you should read before you start Setup, just to check whether any of the specific procedures or warnings it contains applies to your situation.

You can get the release notes at server/get-started-19/rel-notes-19.

Licensing Options

Two types of licenses are required to run a Windows Server operating system: a server license, which grants you permission to run a single instance of the server, and Client Access Licenses (CALs), which grant users or devices permission to connect to the server. When you purchase Windows Server, you ordinarily purchase a server license plus some number of CALs.

To complicate matters, there are two distinct types of CALs: per-user and per- device. Per-user CALs limit the number of users who can access a server simultaneously, regardless of the number of devices (such as client computers) in your organization. By contrast, per-device CALs limit the number of unique devices that can access the server, regardless of the number of users in your organization.

Note that you can download a six-month evaluation version of Windows Server 2019 from Microsoft’s website at evaluate-windows-server-2019.

Setting up the Network Configuration

Before you install the operating system, you should have a plan for implementing TCP/IP on the network. Here are some of the things you need to decide or find out:

IP subnet address and mask for your network.

  Configuration    Sample Value
Domain name for the network
Host name for the server  CSSServer
Static IP for the server. (All servers should have static IPs.)
Whether the server will be a DHCP server.   
The Default Gateway for the server (that is, the IP address of the network’s Internet router).
Whether the server will be a DNS server.   
Table 2: Network Configuration

Choosing workgroups or domains

A domain is a method of placing user accounts and various network resources under the control of a single directory database. Domains ensure that security policies are applied consistently throughout a network and greatly simplify the task of managing user accounts on large networks.

A workgroup is a simple association of computers on a network that makes it easy to locate shared files and printers. Workgroups don’t have sophisticated directory databases, so they can’t enforce strict security.

Workgroups should be used only for tiny networks with just a few users. To be honest, any network that is large enough to have a dedicated server running Windows Server 2019 is too large to use workgroups. So, if you’re installing a Windows server, you should always opt for domains.


Now that you’ve planned your installation and prepared the computer, you’re ready to run the Setup program. The following procedure describes the steps that you must follow to install Windows Server 2019.