Installing Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center (previously project Honolulu) allows you to manage your server estate from the comfort of a browser. This blog will talk through a high level setup to get you going.

1. Start by downloading Windows Admin Center
2. Next choose any 2008 R2 – 2019 Server with Desktop Experience (core is also supported) or even a Windows 10 machine to install admin centre on.
(Note: For 2008 R2 and 2012/R2 additional components may be required – refer to this preparation guide from Microsoft)
3. Next generate a certificate by submitting a request to your PKI (https://localhost/certsrv – New request – Web Server Template.
4. The name you give the certificate will be the URL to access the admin center so choose a suitable name – for example
(Note if you don’t have a PKI you can also generate a self signed certificate via Powershell)
5. Export your certificate with Private Key and import to the designated Admin Center machine computer private store. Take a copy of the certificate thumbprint.
6. Next install Admin Center via the Wizard, add the thumbprint copied in the previous step when prompted. Choose a port and decide to force HTTPS or not.
7. After the wizard completes you may need to wait a couple of minutes for the components to finish setting up. On the machine you can browse to https://localhost however if using IE you may get a prompt to say the browser is not supported.
8. Finally add an Internal DNS record to point the URL you chose earlier to the admin center machine.

More complicated scenarios can be configured but this setup seems to fit small environments.

A lacking feature which could significantly improve admin center is the ability to manage the roles installed on the server, for example to manage an RDS server and publish apps you still need to access via Server Manager. Hopefully this will be addressed in future releases of Admin Center.

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