Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview build 17738 is out - here's what's new

Today, Microsoft released yet another Insider Preview build of Windows Server 2019, bringing the build number to 17738. While the new version of Server will likely be finalized next month, it does contain a couple of new features.

Here's what's new in build 17738:

To see the full list of new functionality introduced in earlier builds of Windows Server, plus updated installation instructions for the Server Core App Compatibility FoD Preview that includes support for Internet Explorer 11, see aka.ms/ServerInsider-WhatsNew.

Host Device Access for Containers

We’re adding the capability to assign simple buses to process-isolated Windows Server containers. Applications running in containers that need to talk over SPI, I2C, GPIO, and UART/COM will now be able to do so. To learn more, and to see how to leverage the feature, see Bringing Device Support to Windows Server Containers in the Virtualization Blog.

SDN High Performance Gateways

Organizations today deploy their applications across multiple clouds including on-premises private clouds, service provider clouds, and public clouds such as Azure. In such scenarios, enabling secure, high-performance connectivity across workloads in different clouds is essential. Windows Server 2019 brings huge SDN gateway performance improvements for these hybrid connectivity scenarios, with network throughput multiplying by up to 6x!!!

There are also a bunch of known issues to be aware of:

  • [NEW] Notepad may crash or display an empty pane when a user selects File > Open.

  • [NEW] Authentication that uses Public Key Cryptography User-to-User (PKU2U) to access an SMB volume can result in an error, STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE, due to an invalid private key in the certificate for a cluster-created user account (CSUSR) on each cluster node. This issue can cause cross-cluster migration in cluster sets to fail, as well as possibly cause global namespace mappings to fail, leading to virtual machines being unable to access storage.

  • [NEW] The Base Filtering Engine service may consume an inordinate amount of memory after starting and stopping thousands of containers.

  • [NEW] The operating system has an unnecessary utility account for Windows Defender Application Guard.

  • The Virtual Hard Disk Miniport Driver (Vhdmp.sys) may experience a bug check, SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (7e).

  • When a Windows Defender Application Guard container crashes, the resulting type of dump may be unexpected.

  • On a preview build of the operating system, Narrator is not available by default after installation. On an affected system, the audio service is disabled by default.

  • On recent preview builds, database applications might not be able to initialize a database and fail with a stack overflow or insufficient privileges when the database is located on an SMB volume.

  • Shielded VMs running Linux do not boot. The loader (LSVMLoad) waits for a passphrase for the boot partition.

  • Creating or modifying environment variables by using setx fails on a system running in a Nano Container (that is, Nano Server as a container image). On an affected system, setx requires a specific path in the registry, HKCU\Environment\, to exist by default. You can work around this issue by changing where the variable is stored in the registry, or you can add the expected registry path before executing setx commands. To specify that the variable be set for system-wide use in HKLM rather than in HKCU, the default, add the /M switch to a setx command. To instead add the expected registry path, run reg add HKCU\Environment before executing setx commands.

As usual, Microsoft wants Insiders to file feedback, and to test features like in-place OS upgrade from Server 2012 or 2016, and application compatibility. You can also check out some new services like Windows Admin Center.

If history is any indication, Microsoft will launch Windows Server 2019 at its Ignite 2018 conference next month, along with the next update for the Windows Server semi-annual release. Even if it doesn't, the company will surely have more to say about it then.

To download Windows Server build 17738, you can find it here.

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