Microsoft today released Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview build 17677. The news comes alongside of a new Windows 10 SDK Preview of the same build numberm and it brings the number to parity with the latest Windows 10 client Insider Preview in the Fast ring.
There's not a lot new in this build. The key focus areas are in-place upgrades from Server 2012 R2 and Server 2016, and application compatibility. Here's the full changelog:
Performance history for Storage Spaces Direct
In this build, the performance history feature of Storage Spaces Direct gets even better:
- The Get-ClusterPerf cmdlet now includes self-diagnosis logic: if the cmdlet finds nothing to report, it now looks for common issues that would prevent performance history from working properly (for example, if its storage is missing) so that the cmdlet can provide clear error text.
- New cmdlets, Start-ClusterPerformanceHistory and Stop-ClusterPerformanceHistory, that are provided in this build make it easy to remediate such issues by cleaning up and/or re-provisioning performance history.
- New series, provided in this build, record how much Storage Spaces Direct data needs to repair/resync per server.
In our continued effort to improve Windows Server Core and reduce its image size, we made the following changes: – we converted non-critical font components into optional components (OC) in Windows Server Core editions, and then removed these OCs from Windows Server Core container images. This change won’t affect the user experience of Windows Server Core, except that users now have the ability to enable or disable non-critical font components, like they can do for any other OC. For Server Core containers, only the default font, Arial, is supported; no other fonts are supported, and no others can be installed.
There are also a bunch of known issues to be aware of:
- In-place OS upgrade: Domain Controllers. Active Directory (AD) Domain Controllers (DC) might not be upgraded correctly by an in-place upgrade unless the NT Directory Service (NTDS) is stopped before initiating the upgrade. To ensure recoverability in the case of failure, back up any AD DC before performing an in-place OS upgrade.
- On recent preview releases of the operating system, the Failover Clustering feature might not install correctly, leaving the feature in “InstallPending” state.
- Drivers that are supplied with the operating system for network adapters from a specific manufacturer may fail to work on recent preview releases of the operating system.
- Creating or modifying environment variables by using setx on a system running Nano Server fails. On an affected system, setx requires a specific path in the registry, HKCU\Environment\, to exist by default.
- The Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (lsass.exe) may fail, causing the Active Directory server service to fail. When removal of a domain is attempted on an affected system, it reports an error: “The operation cannot continue because LDAP connect/bind operation failed.”
- The Virtual Machine Management Service (VMMS) may experience an error, APPLICATION_FAULT_INVALID_POINTER_READ, in Cluster Manager.
- When a system is running a recent preview release of the operating system, Windows Server Containers may experience an idle time of 240 milliseconds before Docker is started.
- A virtual machine that uses a Microsoft Virtual BIOS may fail to start and report an error: “Failed to restore with Error ‘Indicates two revision levels are incompatible.’ (0x8007051A)”
- Creation of a basic Linux system image in a Hyper-V container fails. On an affected system, Docker reports an error: “The command ‘/bin/sh -c /bin/echo echo test > test.txt’ returned a non-zero code.”
- Some third-party apps do not start when run in a Hyper-V container, possibly due to an incorrect character set. For affected apps, a workaround is to manually set the character set to UTF-8 in your JVM for the Container by running set JAVA_OPTS=-Dsun.jnu.encoding=UTF-8.
- Editing or creating policies for AppLocker can cause the MMC snap-in to crash when generated rules for a packaged app.
- After upgrading the operating system, the AppX database may have corrupted entries, which causes problems for components that use those entries. An administrator might notice this issue when generating packaged app rules or when managing an installed package, resulting in error messages such as “This wizard has encountered a fatal error and cannot continue” and “MMC has detected an error in a snap-in and will unload it.”
The build has the newer expiration date that was introduced a few weeks ago, so you'll be able to use this until December 14 of this year. That doesn't mean that you'll have to wait until then for the final version of the product, as we're still expecting it to arrive this fall, likely around the time of Microsoft's Ignite 2018 conference in September.
If you install the Semi-Annual Channel build, you won't need a product key, but you will if you install the LTSC Windows Server 2019 build.
To download the new build, you can find it here.