Enable Remote Desktop for Server Core

by Chris Sanders [Published on 30 April 2008 / Last Updated on 30 April 2008]

One of the first tasks you may want to do on Windows Server 2008 Server core is to enable remote desktop. Here is how to do it.

One of the main ideas behind Windows Server 2008 Server Core is enhanced security by stripping down a lot of the extras in Server 2008 by create an entirely command-line driven server operating system. As with any server, remote management of it is pretty big, so one of the first things you will want to do is to enable remote desktop.

Enabling remote desktop from Server Core is done by using the scregedit.wsf script. The command to do this is:

Cscript C:\windows\system32\scregedit.wsf

This should do the trick. Don’t be misled however, just because you are enabling remote desktop doesn’t mean that you will get a full Windows desktop when logging in remotely. Logging in to Server Core will show the same command prompt you will see when logging in to the console.


Chris Sanders is a network consultant for KeeFORCE, one of the most popular network consulting firms in western Kentucky. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at www.chrissanders.org contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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