Install WSEE first or create domain first then WSEE?



If my plan is to create a new domain with my 2019 Server, would I want to do this whole process/roles first BEFORE installing the WSEE?  Or do I need to install/configure WSEE first on a stand alone server and then go through the AD promotion process to create the domain?  I didn’t see a definitive answer in any of the instructions.

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Best Answer

Windows Server Essentials must either be or see a domain controller.

If you want your Windows Server 2019 with WSEE installed server to be your primary domain controller, then just let WSEE create the domain for you automatically when installing it. Otherwise, if you want your Windows Server 2019 with WSEE installed server to be a member server (i.e. if you want it joined to a completely different server that’s acting as the primary domain controller), then you’ll need to join it to that domain controller (using the native tools in Windows) BEFORE you install WSEE on it.

All that being said… If your end goal is to simply have your Windows Server 2019 with WSEE installed server be your domain controller, then it really doesn’t matter if you manually configure Windows Server 2019 as your domain controller (i.e. before installing WSEE), or if you let WSEE do it for you (i.e. during the install of WSEE). However, the easiest way is of course to just let WSEE handle all of the domain stuff for you when you configure it.

  • jhoneck
    I plan to do the same but am wondering if the Domain controller can connect to the VM with WSEE and not have an issue with CAL’s or licensing?
  • Mike
    I’m not quite sure that I’m following you here… Running a VM (vs bare metal) would have no influence on any of this whatsoever. That being said, if you’re just asking if you’ll need CALs in order to run Essentials as a member server (i.e. when it is domain-joined to a separate server that’s acting as your primary domain controller), then you can read my thoughts on that over here (spoiler – CALs are silly, and you don’t need them unless you’re okay with wasting your hard earned money just to appease the CAL police):
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