Install Microsoft Edge Chromium on Windows Server Core

Until now, no web browser was available on the lean installation version of Windows Server. This changes with the Chromium-based Edge. Its primary use is to run web-based management tools, most notably Windows Admin Center.

Internet Explorer is still part of Windows Server with Desktop Experience. However, it is technically out of date, which means it cannot run modern web applications like Windows Admin Center.

Edge Chromium as a separate download ^

Since the first generation of Edge did not exist on the server, the Chromium version now fills this gap. To date, however, it has not been included with the installation media of Windows 10 or the server, so you have to download and install the browser yourself.

On a server with a desktop, the procedure is the same as on a client OS. Under Server Core, which is also one of the supported platforms, some additional steps are required.

It starts with the fact that there is no browser available to download the installation files for Edge. A download via Invoke-WebRequest is difficult because there is no permalink for specific versions.

Select the Edge version on Microsoft's download page

Select the Edge version on Microsoft's download page

Instead, you have to choose the desired Edge release, selecting various criteria using a form on the download page. You can do this on a workstation, then copy the MSI file to the server and execute it there. I recommend downloading the complete offline installer right away.

Incompatibility problems ^

If you decide, as usual, to get the version of Edge that Microsoft designates as current, you will receive the following message when installing it under Windows Server 2019 Core:

Microsoft Edge works best with the latest Windows Updates. Once you download updates and restart your device, rerun the installer.

As it turns out, you can install as many Windows updates as you want. The Edge setup will always show this dialog and then cancel the installation.

The Edge setup gives the impression that Windows updates are missing. However, the problem is an incompatible browser version.

The Edge setup gives the impression that Windows updates are missing. However, the problem is an incompatible browser version.

Also, switching to the online installer does not help; it will end the same way. It does offer a Get Updates button, which promises to remedy the situation. But if you click on it, nothing happens.

The online installer promises a solution by downloading updates, but it doesn't work

The online installer promises a solution by downloading updates, but it doesn't work

As is so often the case with Microsoft, this is a misleading error message. The problem is that only version 79 of Edge can be installed on Server 2019. If you do so, then your setup will run smoothly.

Installing Edge Chromium on Windows Server 2019 Core

Installing Edge Chromium on Windows Server 2019 Core

Launching the web browser ^

If you then want to start the browser, you can, of course, only do this from the command line. Using PowerShell, enter the following:

Running Edge Chromium 79 on Windows Server 2019 Core

Running Edge Chromium 79 on Windows Server 2019 Core

Unlike Internet Explorer, there is no Enhanced Security Configuration for Edge that prevents the user from opening pages from the internet zone (Edge does not even know this zone concept at all). However, a responsible administrator will limit the use of the browser on the server to the necessary tasks anyway.

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4 Comments
  1. Chavdar 3 weeks ago

    Unfortunately version 79 no longer can be downloaded from Microsoft 🙁
    Oldest version is 80.x

    Can you share a link to 79? Thanks

    0

  2. Chavdar 3 weeks ago

    I was able to install AND start AND verify it works - version 83 using this tool

    https://github.com/UndertakerBen/PorEdgeUpd - it has a "ignore version check" option ...

    Basicly it downloads an Edge build and makes it portable. Once downloaded I move dit to a 2019 core "testbed" it started without hickup - even loaded all pages I tried - and fast.

    rarely one will need browser on core... but what pain it is if needed :/

    0

  3. Wolfgang Sommergut 3 weeks ago

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