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Using ServerManagerCmd.exe command line utility

12.Sep.2009 | by Gusac | Filed in: Articles, Tutorials

Most of us are already familiar with the Roles and Features in Windows Server 2008 and have been adding/removing them through Server manager console. Windows server 2008 also offers a command line tool to enable administrators to install roles and features through command line. The tool, ServerManagerCmd.exe lets you query, install or remove the roles/features on Windows server 2008.

Servermanagercmd.exe also lets administrators automate the installation and removal of roles and features. It uses the XML answer file to automate the process.
We’ll cover the available switches with servermanagercmd.exe tool here but before we so that, there are few things to keep in mind: 

  • Running ServerManagerCmd.exe tool requires elevated privileges. 
  • You need to be a member of administrators group
  • ServerManagerCmd.exe command does NOT work on Windows Server Core because .NET Framework, required for ServerManagerCmd.exe, is not available in Windows Server Core. 

ServerManagerCmd.exe has the following switches:

  • -query
  • -install
  • -remove
  • -inputPath
  • -version
  • -help

 

Query or List the Roles and Features:

To display a list of all roles, role services, or features installed and available for installation on the server.

Syntax: servermanagercmd -query Note: You can alos use the short form of the -query parameter, -q
  • To save the query results in XML format: -query Query.xml Syntax: servermanagercmd -query query.xml

     

  • To save the logs: -query -logpath [log.txt] Syntax: servermanagercmd -query -logpath [log.txt] Note: log.txt file name is optional. If you do not a name and a location for the log file, the default will be created as %WINDIR%\temp\servermanager.log.

     

 

Install the Roles and Features:

To install the role, role service, or feature specified. We need to the identifier for the roles, roles services or features to be installed. Note that every role, role service or feature has an associated identifier or ID which is needed while installing/removing it.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –install ID

To restart the system automatically after completing installatiion
Note that, the install switch does not restart the system after completing the installation. However, Some of the roles, role services or features require reboot. To restart the system automatically after finishing installation use the -restart switch.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –install ID -restart

To install all the child role, role services or features
Use the the switch -allSubFeatures to install a role or feature with all the child role services or features. This would avoid running multiple instances of servermanagercmd.exe command for each sub feature.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –install ID -allSubFeatures

To save the result of the installation results to a xml file
Saves installation results to an XML file represented by result.xml. You can also use the short form of this parameter, -r

Syntax: servermanagercmd –install ID -resultpath -result.xml
OR
servermanagercmd –install ID -r -result.xml

To enable logging
Specified the name and path for the log file. If you do not provide the log file name, it will save the logs to the default location: %WINDIR%\Temp\Servermanager.log.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –install ID -logpath -log.txt

 

Remove the Roles and Features:

To remove the role, role service, or feature specified. We need to the identifier for the roles, roles services or features to be removed. Note that every role, role service or feature has an associated identifier or ID which is needed while installing/removing it.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –remove ID

To restart the system automatically after completing the uninstallatiion
Note that, the remove switch does not restart the system after completing the uninstallation. However, Some of the roles, role services or features require reboot. To restart the system automatically after finishing uninstallation use the -restart switch.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –remove ID -restart

To uninstall all the child role, role services or features
Use the the switch -allSubFeatures to removee a role or feature with all the child role services or features. This would avoid running multiple instances of servermanagercmd.exe command for each sub feature.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –remove ID -allSubFeatures

To save the result of the uninstallation results to a xml file
Saves uninstallation results to an XML file represented by result.xml. You can also use the short form of this parameter, -r

Syntax: servermanagercmd –remove ID -resultpath -result.xml
OR
servermanagercmd –remove ID -r -result.xml

To enable logging
Specified the name and path for the log file. If you do not provide the log file name, it will save the logs to the default location: %WINDIR%\Temp\Servermanager.log.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –remove ID -logpath -log.txt

 

 

Using an Answer file to install or remove Roles and Features:

As an administrator you would like to automate the isntallation process for better manageability and ease of use. Servermanagercmd lets you do that with a switch, that is, -inputPath You can also use the switch -p instead of -inputPath. This switch requires the location of the answer file which specifies all the roles, role services or features to be installed or removed. You can check Microsoft Technet article on how to create answer files, Click here.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –inputPath -answer.xml ID
OR

To restart the system automatically after installing or removing Roles and Features
Syntax: servermanagercmd -install –inputpath answer.xml -restart

To save the result to a xml file
Saves the results to an XML file represented by result.xml. You can also use the short form of this parameter, -r

Syntax: servermanagercmd –install -inputpath answer.xml -resultpath -result.xml
OR
servermanagercmd –install -inputpathanswer.xml -r -result.xml

To enable logging
Specified the name and path for the log file. If you do not provide the log file name, it will save the logs to the default location: %WINDIR%\Temp\Servermanager.log.

Syntax: servermanagercmd –install -inputpath answer.xml -logpath -log.txt