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Installing Exchange Server 2016 Pre-Requisites on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016

Exchange Server 2016 can be installed on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Exchange 2016 CU3 or later can also be installed on Windows Server 2016. For either version of Windows Server the Standard or Datacenter edition can be used to run Exchange Server 2016. Exchange itself does not rely on any specific features of either the Standard or Datacenter editions.

Note that a full server installation with GUI (referred to as Desktop Experience in Windows Server 2016) is required for Exchange Server 2016, it can’t be installed on a Core mode installation of Windows Server.

There are three possible installations of Exchange Server 2016 that you can perform:

  • Mailbox server role (this is the only mandatory server role)
  • Edge Transport server role (this is optional, and can’t co-exist with the Mailbox server role on the same Windows Server)
  • Management Tools (for admin workstations or servers)

The requirements for each installation type are different, so let’s look at each of them in turn.

Installing Pre-Requisites for an Exchange Server 2016 Mailbox Server

For an Exchange Server 2016 Mailbox server installation open an elevated (run as administrator) PowerShell console and run the following command to install the operating system roles and features.

exchange-2016-pre-requisites-01

A restart is required after the roles and features have finished installing. If you’d prefer that the server restarts itself automatically simply append -Restart to the command.

After the restart download and install (in order):

The server is now ready to install the Exchange Server 2016 Mailbox server role.

Installing Pre-Requisites for an Exchange Server 2016 Edge Transport Server

For an Exchange Server 2016 Edge Transport server the pre-requisites installation is a little simpler than for a Mailbox server. Open an elevated PowerShell console and run the following command.

When that has completed download and install (in order):

The server is now ready to install the Exchange Server 2016 Edge Transport role.

Installing Pre-Requisites for the Exchange Server 2016 Management Tools

Exchange Server 2016 uses a web-based administrative interface called the Exchange Admin Center, similar to Exchange Server 2013. There is nothing required to be installed on a workstation or server other than a web browser to access the Exchange Admin Center.

However if you want the Exchange Management Shell to be installed on a management workstation or server (Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1) then the only pre-requisite is to install .NET Framework 4.5.2. After the .NET Framework is installed you can install the Exchange Server 2016 management tools.

Next Steps

After installing the pre-requisites you can proceed with installing Exchange Server 2016.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.
Category: Exchange Server

33 comments

  1. John says:

    Hi Paul,

    When trying to run the Install-WindowsFeature cmd I am getting an error.

    OS: Win Server 2012R2 (AWS EC2 VM)

    PS C:UsersAdministrator> Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC
    -over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-M
    gmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-D
    yn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter,
    Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server
    , Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation
    Install-WindowsFeature : The request to add or remove features on the specified server failed.
    Installation of one or more roles, role services, or features failed.
    The system cannot find the file specified. Error: 0x80070002
    At line:1 char:1
    + Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45- …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (@{Vhd=; Credent…Name=localhost}:PSObject) [Install-WindowsFeature],
    Exception
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : DISMAPI_Error__Failed_To_Enable_Updates,Microsoft.Windows.ServerManager.Commands.AddWind
    owsFeatureCommand

    Success Restart Needed Exit Code Feature Result
    ——- ————– ——— ————–
    False No Failed {}

    Any idea?

  2. Nick says:

    Hi

    We are installing Exchange 2016 on a primary domain controller is this a problem? Its running windows server 2012 std edition.

  3. Peter says:

    Hi

    Hopefully OK to ask a question here.

    Been trying best I could and searching hi and low but still no cigar.

    So…
    How do I change the response of the Edge Transport servers (2016) response to a connection.
    Currently responds with localmachineName.domain.tld. Would like to be able to get it to match the reverse dns name.
    Is there really no control over the fqdn for that connector?

    Kind regards
    Peter

  4. Peter says:

    Hm…. Was that really it…..? 🙂

    Was trying to run “Get-ReceiveConnector | Set-ReceiveConnector -fqdn hostname.domain.tld” But as an article I found suggested on the mailbox server.

    Seems running above string on the edge transport server instead worked fine…..

    <>>

  5. John Weber says:

    Paul,
    In the Edge server only section, I think you need to mention the media foundation being needed before doing the ucma install

    install-windowsfeature server-media-foundation

  6. Mark says:

    The big kicker though atm, will exchange server 2016 integrate properly with Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 Dashboard allowing dashboard control of email accounts from the domain controller etc. Anyone tried?

    • If you’ve installed Exchange, use the Exchange management tools for Exchange administration. That has been the case since Exchange 2007.

      Small Business Server was the only exception to this, because Exchange was part of SBS. Exchange is not part of Essentials.

  7. David says:

    Paul,

    Any suggestions if MS Download mirrors simply aren’t serving up the Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit download? Is there an alternative download mirror you are aware of? I’ve been timing out all morning and it isn’t even offering to start the DL.

    – Thanks

    • There’s been problems for the last week or so. I’m told they’re working on it. If you need the file urgently, open a support ticket and see if they can provide an alternative download for you.

  8. robk says:

    Hi Paul

    Installing Exchange 2016 on windows 2012R2 went fine. However when running any exchange powershell commands like get-mailbox -verbose, the verbose switch does nothing. This has been the case ever since windows 2012 and windows 2012r2 came out. Any Exchange version installed on windows2012r2 breaks exchange ‘verbosity’. do you know if Microsoft is ever going to fix this?

    thank you

  9. Tim says:

    Do we have to install Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit?

    If so why, we don’t use Lync?

    • Michael Weyant says:

      I was successful installing Exchange Server 2016 CU3 on Windows Server 2016 without Unified Communications Manged API 4.0. I installed Unified Communications Manged API 5.0, then Microsoft Exchange and the installation was successful. I also don’t use Lync now skype, but Exchange does require this package, even if those features go unused.

  10. Raed M says:

    Hi Paul,

    I am migrating from Exchange 2013 servers to Exchange 2016 by installing 2 mailbox servers [DAG configuration] and moving the mailboxes from Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2016.

    My understanding Exchange 2016 RU1 or RU2 would be the full version that I can install instead of installing Exchange 2016 followed by installing RU1 or RU2. What is your recommendations?

  11. Amjad Mohammed says:

    Hi,

    I have faced the same problem and problem solved by this command not the above command.
    because above command has some errors

    Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation, RSAT-ADDS

    Thanks,

  12. SCG says:

    For anyone who is wondering why this doesn’t work on server 2016 post release…try this it worked for me:

    Install-WindowsFeature NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation, RSAT-ADDS

  13. Stan Wilson says:

    Thanks, SCG! We have lost a lot of sleep and developed several headaches over Exchange 2016 clean install on a new server. Cutting and pasting your version of the Install code in PowerShell saved us a lot of extra work!

    God bless.

  14. Shafiqul Islam says:

    hello everyone, plz solve the error:

    Languages
    Mailbox role: Front End Transport service
    Mailbox role: Client Access Front End service
    Front End Transport service cannot be installed without Mailbox service.
    Client Access Front End service cannot be installed without Mailbox service.

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