Apache HTTP server on Windows Server 2008 Server Core

Microsoft’s James O’Neill wrote about how:

“Some bright spark tried running Apache on [Windows Server 2008 Server] Core and having no special Windows dependencies it works.”

I couldn’t find any references to this elsewhere on the ‘net so I had to give it a go – it’s actually really easy:

  1. Install Windows Server 2008 Server Core
  2. Map a network drive, insert a CD or some other media and copy over the Apache HTTP server installer MSI.
  3. Issue the command, msiexec /i apache_2.2.4-win32-x86-no_ssl.msi.

    Not surprisingly, the installer is unable to create application shortcuts:

    Apache HTTP Server 2.2 Installer Information

    Warning 1909. Could not create shortcut Apache Online Documentation.lnk. Verify that the destination folder exists and that you can access it.

    Apache HTTP Server 2.2 Installer Information

    Warning 1909. Could not create shortcut Help, I’m stuck!.lnk. Verify that the destination folder exists and that you can access it.

    Presumably, that’s what causes an error dialog with no message and an OK button at the end of the install.

  4. Open up the firewall with netsh firewall set portopening TCP 80 "Apache Web Server".
  5. Point a browser at the server’s IP address and the words “It works!” should be displayed.

OK, so Apache running on Windows is no big deal but if this one cross-platform application runs on Server Core with no modifications, think what else this stripped out version of Windows can be used for.

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