Deploy an Active Directory Forest and Domain Using PowerShell

In this blog post, I will show you how to deploy a new Active Directory forest on Windows Server Core 2019 using a PowerShell script.

Windows Server Core 2019

The core version of Windows Server comes without the desktop experience (GUI) and offer a light and more secure operating system that requires less patching and management.

The latest release of Windows Server core 2019 and comes with a new feature called Server Core App Compatibility Feature on Demand (FOD) that allows us to install more features of Windows Server desktop experience.


The following PowerShell script will install a new Active Directory forest and domain.

When you run the script, you will be asked to provide a safe mode which is also the password for the domain administrator account.

Fill in the details for your domain name and NetBIOS name.

Save the script and run it.

$pass = Read-Host -Prompt "Set Safe Mode Administrator Password" -AsSecureString
Install-windowsfeature AD-domain-services
ADD-WindowsFeature RSAT-Role-Tools
Add-WindowsFeature gpmc
Import-Module ADDSDeployment
Install-ADDSForest `
-DomainName "corp.yourdomainname.local" `
-DomainNetbiosName "corp" `
-SafeModeAdministratorPassword $pass`
-InstallDns:$true `
-NoRebootOnCompletion:$false `
-SysvolPath "C:\Windows\SYSVOL" `

Run Script

After saving the script, run it from the server core console by typing PowerShell first and the name of the script.

Note: You can start notepad by typing notepad and copy-paste the script and save it on the desktop.

The installation will take a few minutes to complete, and when completed, the server will restart.

After reboot, login with the using the domain administrator account and the password you set.

Success! You're on the list.