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.

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