Server Core is a bare-bones installation option for computers running the Windows Server 2008 operating system. The installation results in a server environment that is easy to manage and maintain but offers less functionality than more complex options.
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Server Core can be configured for five well-known server roles: file server, DHCP Server, DNS server, Media Services, and Active Directory.
Server Core lacks a Windows shell. There is a command prompt interface and very limited graphical user interface (GUI) functionality.
According to Microsoft, the target user groups for Server Core include network and file service infrastructure developers, server management tool and utility developers and IT planners.