W2K22 Server - latest version used as a desktop workstation

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  1. Posts : 11,247
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #1

    W2K22 Server - latest version used as a desktop workstation


    Hi folks

    Latest version of using Evaluation W2K22 server as a Desktop workstation :

    Note one defect - you can't currently install openssh-server from the install optional features.
    I needed to set SMB1 otherwise some machines on my LAN couldn't see it (and the reverse this machine couldn't see the others).

    Macrium knows its a server so if you want to use Macrium Free - use the bootable stand alone version - just at VM boot (power on time) set the VM to boot from the Iso image,

    My version of Office 2019 is VL so I had no probs installing on a server -- others might have if using retail versions of Office

    Other programs e.g ZOOM, VLC, Photoshop etc no problems -- Sound OK -- install the "Desktop experience" at the OS install time.

    Got local themes to install too so you don't need that bland standard Windows background or the boring start up picture.

    I've got a whole slew of things to get this to operate as a Desktop -- all the nag stuff and extra security gone and administrator changed to a proper user Id with standard passwords allowed. W7 Games also work on it.

    W2K22  Server - latest version used as a desktop workstation-screenshot_20210219_174220.png

    If people are interested I'll detail steps to convert to a Workstation -- Also works for W2K19 server.

    These servers are a lot more efficient than the standard retail Windows W10 package --less bloat in them.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 2,666
    Windows 11 21H2 (22000.593)
       #2

    Nice job. You've gotten pretty good at this, eh?

    Couple of questions: What about 3rd party security software (specifically MalwareBytes, but any other products that you might also have tried) - any issues?

    A conversion to workstation guide would be awesome, too - got my vote!
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 11,247
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
    Thread Starter
       #3

    johngalt said:
    Nice job. You've gotten pretty good at this, eh?

    Couple of questions: What about 3rd party security software (specifically MalwareBytes, but any other products that you might also have tried) - any issues?

    A conversion to workstation guide would be awesome, too - got my vote!
    Hi there

    @johngalt

    I'll try and do one this weekend and post it on this section (or perhaps in the tutorial) - I won't do a Youtube since this sort of stuff needs a bit of looking at manuals / printed instructions where you can keep referring to them - it's not like taking apart or re-assembling hardware (usually the tricky bit is opening a laptop case !!! where an actual video is useful)

    As far as Malwarebytes is concerned - I don't think that's needed any more -- even on standard W10 systems as WD itself has improved beyond all recognition -- in any case Ms downloads special server security stuff which is far more robust than consumer OS versions.

    For other 3rd party programs - it's probably OK except for those programs that deliberatly sell Server version -- for instance Macrium but I think 99% of programs will install and run just perfectly.

    You can even install W7 verion of Ms's Solitaire type card games -- nothing like Spider Solitaire when sitting at a boring-ish remote zoom meeting these days !!!.

    Here's the W7 games working on W2K19 desktop !! running as a VM on Arch Linux kernel 5.11.1 using QEMU. However I'm sure as a VM this server will work on Windows Hosts just as well - HYPER-V, VBOX, or VMWare - although it's far better to use a Hypervisor like KVM/QEMU or HYPER-V. Same on W2K22 server although I'm upgrading that one currently.

    W2K22  Server - latest version used as a desktop workstation-screenshot_20210224_084443.png

    VPN's also work without issue -- well at least the one I use -- NordVPN-- as it allows Split tunelling so you can still use local LAN services and whatever while connected to the VPN - I run this server as a VM and when its on the VPN I still want to be able to access the VM from a remote (well on the same LAN) laptop via RDP.

    Other VPNs may work similarly - not saying NordVPN is better or worse than the rest -- it works fine for me and got an incredible discount for a 2 year deal (65 EUR !! one payment) and performance has done everything it says on the tin. Check though if you use a VPN it offers Split tunelling -- lack of that facility causes a lot of aggro in some cases when trying to run various programs while still connected to the VPN.

    I don't think lack of installable 3rd party stuff will be a particular problem.

    If Photoshop installed OK then I doubt whether other software will present a significant problem.

    Have fun !!! BTW missing W2K22 drivers usually work with W2K19 ones or even in some cases the W10 ones - but use W10 Enterprise LTSC version.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 2,666
    Windows 11 21H2 (22000.593)
       #4

    Excellent, thanks for the answers. I ran for almost 3 months after my clean install of Win10 20H2 in December without MB, and nary a problem, so I can attest that WD has definitely come a long way. Plus, MB now asks if you're installing for home use or business use when installing, so that is something that I'd have to take a closer look at and see if it auto-detects the server OS and attempts a business install (I doubt it does - but worth looking into).

    I think the real challenge would be to see it can game natively lol. That's probably the biggest thing holding back people from using it - second being the 180 day reinstall / re-arm (do the ßeta versions of Server still allow for a direct re-arm without actually needing to cleanly reinstall? Just asking - I tend to do clean installs every 6 months or so anyway, on regular Win10, so not really an issue for me). But as I have a Server 2k16 install set up for the CompTIA cert courses I teach, I'm still going to be using the manual re-arm on that versus having to cleanly reinstall that VM every time....

    As for the video versus instructions - yeah, lots of things just don't make themselves available for video instruction - or, at the very least, become entirely too complicated when you try to incorporate video of you opening and reading files to follow instructions lol.

    I was talking with a few friends when building this machine last year, and one of the things suggested was that I plop down a bare-metal hypervisor on the HDs and install *everything* into VMs, including a standard Win10 install, but that would limit the ability to game on it effectively. I found references to making one instance of an OS installed to bare-metal along side the hypervisor, which the hypervisor would also be able to load as a VM (from what I understand) - but that would negate the need for a hypervisor if it was not running all the time to begin with, and seems kind of pointless. This may be a viable alternative, as I could still have VMs in the server OS installed on bare-metal for use in my classes *and* possibly be able to game on, without having to run a bare-metal hypervisor. With the specs I have, I should have no issues running VMs in the background while gaming, as needed, since the underlying hypervisor is a Windows OS, not a 3rd party bare metal hypervisor. So you can understand my interest in this ;P

    Going to go do some searching and reading - I can't be the first person to consider all of these needs in a single machine and OS, so let's see what others say.

    Thanks again for the idea and for following up - I'm excited to see where this goes.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 11,247
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
    Thread Starter
       #5

    johngalt said:
    Excellent, thanks for the answers. I ran for almost 3 months after my clean install of Win10 20H2 in December without MB, and nary a problem, so I can attest that WD has definitely come a long way. Plus, MB now asks if you're installing for home use or business use when installing, so that is something that I'd have to take a closer look at and see if it auto-detects the server OS and attempts a business install (I doubt it does - but worth looking into).

    I think the real challenge would be to see it can game natively lol. That's probably the biggest thing holding back people from using it - second being the 180 day reinstall / re-arm (do the ßeta versions of Server still allow for a direct re-arm without actually needing to cleanly reinstall? Just asking - I tend to do clean installs every 6 months or so anyway, on regular Win10, so not really an issue for me). But as I have a Server 2k16 install set up for the CompTIA cert courses I teach, I'm still going to be using the manual re-arm on that versus having to cleanly reinstall that VM every time....

    As for the video versus instructions - yeah, lots of things just don't make themselves available for video instruction - or, at the very least, become entirely too complicated when you try to incorporate video of you opening and reading files to follow instructions lol.

    I was talking with a few friends when building this machine last year, and one of the things suggested was that I plop down a bare-metal hypervisor on the HDs and install *everything* into VMs, including a standard Win10 install, but that would limit the ability to game on it effectively. I found references to making one instance of an OS installed to bare-metal along side the hypervisor, which the hypervisor would also be able to load as a VM (from what I understand) - but that would negate the need for a hypervisor if it was not running all the time to begin with, and seems kind of pointless. This may be a viable alternative, as I could still have VMs in the server OS installed on bare-metal for use in my classes *and* possibly be able to game on, without having to run a bare-metal hypervisor. With the specs I have, I should have no issues running VMs in the background while gaming, as needed, since the underlying hypervisor is a Windows OS, not a 3rd party bare metal hypervisor. So you can understand my interest in this ;P

    Going to go do some searching and reading - I can't be the first person to consider all of these needs in a single machine and OS, so let's see what others say.

    Thanks again for the idea and for following up - I'm excited to see where this goes.
    Hi there

    @johngalt

    Will do this as I said over weekend.

    As far as "bare Metal" Hypervisor is concerned that where the Linux KVM Model makes itself really useful -- KVM loads the Hypervisor and then with IOMMU and VFIO you can essentially run the VM as if it's native / bare metal -- if you do that though you will need a seperate graphics card ( If you do "gaming" you probably have one anyway -- in any case you can run the VM headless and logon remotely so the Host can just use VGA "Console text mode").

    VIO for Network is fine - if you don't have a separate network nic and using host passthru for the CPU works properly too even if you only have a "Single" processor socket on your mobo.

    Using passthru graphics GPU will allow you do do gaming just as well on a VM as a "Native" machine - but you will need a separate GPU.

    Anyway have fun -- will work on this stuff this weekend.

    Early bed for me tonight -- after lockdown with bars re-opening -- well you don't need much imagination !!!! we at least here seem to be finally looking at the end of this hideous COVID-19 Stuff - but visitors will still need proof of a negative test or vaccination ! so stay safe ! --At least some countries are beginning to get to the end of this hideous thing -- finally so there's hope later this year for others. Can't say though I'd rush full time back to "The Workplace" 5 days a week now-- I think some Home working will stay now for good -- should have been the norm "yonks" ago.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 2,666
    Windows 11 21H2 (22000.593)
       #6

    Cheers, man - no rush, I'm eager to get this working the way that I want. I'm actually tempted to install it as a base to test the different factors that I need to install. I think my biggest concern is probably going to be drivers, more than anything - my MSI mobo's support page only lists drivers for Win10 x64, so that may take some playing with. As for gaming with pass-through - I only have the one dedicated discrete graphics card, nothing onboard the mobo / with the CPU.

    But I've been reading the better part of the last few hours on it and it seems that Windows servers, and particularly recent ones, and even more so, stripped versions, seem to be very, very popular in all sorts of niches.

    I'm gonna go ahead and install it in a VM to start with to play with it a bit.

    Good night!
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 2,666
    Windows 11 21H2 (22000.593)
       #7

    One thing to note:

    I just installed 2022 Server in a VM and I tried to pick 7 different things to add to the install from Optional features, including OpenSSH server - none of them installed. I suspect there are things missing / not yet put in to make it all work correctly lol.


    • Print Mgmt
    • OpenSSH Server
    • Enterprise Cloud Print
    • RIP Listener
    • MSIX Packaging Tool
    • Graphics Tool
    • Windows Storage Management


    I even tried again after a reboot - no go.

    I wonder if that is why the install is only taking 10 GB of space? ;P
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 11,247
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
    Thread Starter
       #8

    johngalt said:
    One thing to note:

    I just installed 2022 Server in a VM and I tried to pick 7 different things to add to the install from Optional features, including OpenSSH server - none of them installed. I suspect there are things missing / not yet put in to make it all work correctly lol.


    • Print Mgmt
    • OpenSSH Server
    • Enterprise Cloud Print
    • RIP Listener
    • MSIX Packaging Tool
    • Graphics Tool
    • Windows Storage Management


    I even tried again after a reboot - no go.

    I wonder if that is why the install is only taking 10 GB of space? ;P
    Hi there

    OPENSSH server failing to install is my biggest problem with W2K22 server --- it works properly on W2K19 server as do all the other objects you mentioned in the list.

    For graphics you can either - depending on the graphics configuration of your hardware - use the 2k19 versions or the ones from the fedora virtio iso (download from fedora site) and install the virtio driver from 2k19 option. The Virtio video driver is passable in this case.

    For VM's and bare metal that's why I like QEMU/KVM since you can start the VM in the kernel and provided you've got two or more GPU's or two possibilities say a built in VGA adapter and a separate GPU then you pass thru the hardware GPU to the VM -- and it helps to have multiple CPU's rather than a single one even if has 8 cores. You can also pass thru "raw" disks and use the virtio network adapters since they are fast enough and can be easily shared 0 saving you to have multiple subnets all over the place.

    If you have enough hardware you are effectively with decent hardware running essentially two / three "physical machines" for example with performance that is barely distinguishable from running native - especially when using Windows OS'es as the consumer grades of Windows don't handle hyperthreading and some other "advanced" features of modern CPU's whereas the HOST does.

    Using HYPERVISORS and decent hardware should enable you to use VM's as a decent gaming platform. The main problem with mega fast games is how you would logon to the VM -- RDP isn't best known for its "speedy Gonzales" type of throughput. If you you can logon to the VM directly via the HOST you'll have a much better experience especially if you use tools such as krfb and krdc (desktop sharing) assuming Linux host with KDE plasma GUI desktop although SSH with the 'X' server is good via command line. (Ensure SSH is running on the Windows VM too). If you can also enable vnc on Windows it's better than RDC --RDC IMO isn't fit for purpose if running over a LAN ands you don't have mega fast Internet -- here they are installing 10Gb/s lines so not so much a problem but other places with slow internet - forget it - and also RDC isn't encrypted over a LAN.

    Going for a nice incredibly unhealthy Breakfast at the moment !!!! greasy thick Bacon, tomatoes, scrambled egg, hash browns etc etc. !!!

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 2,666
    Windows 11 21H2 (22000.593)
       #9

    Yup. Having only the one GPU (well, I have older ones that I could dig out, if need be, but I'd have to revert to older drivers in Windows and current nVidia drivers no longer support my 560), I'm rather limited.

    But for giggles, I made a full Macrium backup of the main NVMe drive that has Win10 installed on it (system and programs), and then I made a second CloneZilla backup of it - just in case.

    I then booted from the USB I made of the Win Server 2022 and wiped the same NVMe drive and installed it.

    I watched several videos of how people were able to get Windows Store apps installed, but nothing I did allowed for the Nahimic from A-volute *app* to be installed. Everything else related to sound installed perfectly fine, and I was able to install the RealTek Audio Console by just downloading it from PAL1000's GitHub. But every trick I found for manually installing any Nahimic packages (via PowerShell) failed every single time.

    Furthermore, Win2k22 did not like the drivers for my Killer 1650AX WiFi card - at all. It took the drivers for my Killer E2600 Gigabit Ethernet, the drivers for the Killer E3000 2.5 Gb Ethernet, and the Marvell AQtion 10 Gb Ethernet card no problems. I tried adjusting the compatibility for the installers, manually extracted the installers, then extracted the MSI, then the data1.cab files - and even installed the .INF files manually to add the drivers to the catalog - but in DM the device said something along the lines of "the setup information in the catalog is incorrect". Now, the WiFi connection is not necessary, but helpful to have as I can troubleshoot my mesh without needing another device handy - I do use the wired connections predominantly.

    In addition to the WiFi, there were a few things that refused to get installed, a couple of them being AMD PCI/Ven tagged. When I ran the Ryzen Master software for the 3950X it installed but refused to load, even with playing around with compatibility for it. When loading the Ryzen Chipset Software It only installed 2 items (AMD Ryzen Power Plan and AMD SMBus Driver) and left two out that normally install in Win10 (AMD GPIO Driver and PCI Device Driver).

    After fussing with just those for the entire day, in the evening I started installing software.

    Holy frack, that thing moved files and installed software almost twice as fast as a basic Windows 10 with all working drivers does. It's is noticeable, and not just subjectively, it really is that much faster. But - with all the driver issues alone (and I realize that is simply because I'm trying to run server-class OS on non-server-class parts), I didn't make much headway, and scrapped the install this morning. Installing nVidia drivers were not a problem at all, even when using NvidiaCleanstall from TPU. Installing Steam went OK, it refused to connect to the servers the first couple of times. My XBox Elite Series 2 Wireless controller connected via BT (which drivers installed almost flawlessly), as did my web cam, so there were only a couple of things that did not work - but it was still extremely speedy, both in GUI response as well as actual tasks.

    This was a fun run into trying this out, but with it being an Insider Preview build, I suspect it needs more work, optional program installation fails notwithstanding. And *I* need more background on how to get these smaller issues ironed out if I want to try this again in the future. Or else learn how to streamline a Win10 install so it runs as close to a WinServer2k22 install as possible.

    In the meantime, though, I need my hardware ready for work tomorrow - so it's back to the old. Lol.

    Cheers, M8 - enjoy that breakfast, it sounds divine. I have one of those at least once a month - I find my mental health of being satisfied with real breakfast provides me with more health benefits than avoiding these breakfasts does.
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 2,666
    Windows 11 21H2 (22000.593)
       #10

    Hey, Jimbo, did you manage to get this all written up yet?
      My Computers


 

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