Windows Server Core: join a domain

To save resources, avoid access RDP or administer cloud servers, Microsoft has created a version minimum of its OS server. This Windows Server Core is much less used than the version with graphical interface but this edition is not without interest. Lovers of solutions UNIX / Linux will immediately be comfortable with a black screen and keyboard commands rather than having to use a mouse to make many clicks in the configuration wizards.

A core server workstation can also play PowerShell scripts to be configured in a few moments, where a master’s degree or spend a few hours to configure a Windows Server classic (graph).

This tutorial explains how to add a server non-graphical Windows Server Core in an Active Directory domain . This is done using a PowerShell commandlet applet. This is an opportunity to remind that all administration tasks of a Server Core are done by PowerShell commands.

Joining an Active Directory domain with Windows Server Core

Prerequisite: the DNS of the server must be configured with the DNS of the domain to be joined. To obtain, for example, a FQDN type servercore.local.domain.domain.type

1. Repeat the following command, to be adapted according to the name of the domain to be joined and the user account authorized to do so:

  Add-Computer -DomainName domain.local -Credential administrateur@domaine.local -Restart -Force  

2. The computer will restart after the short operation.

The “-Restart -Force” command is recommended because the server must be restarted for the machine to be attached to the domain. If this information is not indicated in the initial order, a warning message will appear:””¬†AVERTISSEMENT Changes will be taken into account after the computer restarts SERVERCORE ¬†” (one could not be more explicit.


  • Add-Computer: applet to add a machine to an Active Directory domain
  • DomainName: argument that specifies the name DNS of the domain to be joined
  • Credential: administrator or user account authorized to add workstations in the domain AD