Microsoft has unveiled a fresh build of the Windows Server Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) Preview. This latest build, numbered 25931, is now accessible for download in ISO format from the Windows Server Insider website and also as a VHDX. The release encompasses both the Desktop Experience and a Server Core installation option tailored for Datacenter and the Standard edition. An Azure Edition is also part of the release, but it's exclusively available for virtual machines.
Key New Features
Azure Arc Integration: The latest Windows Server Insider Desktop build now offers an onboarding experience for Azure Arc-enabled Servers. Users can spot the new Azure Arc icon situated in the system tray. By utilizing the Azure Arc Setup wizard, which can be initiated from the system tray icon, users can install and configure the Azure Connected Machine Agent at no cost. After activating Azure Arc on the server, its status details can be viewed via the system tray icon.
Terminal Command Line Utility: Server Datacenter Insiders can now experiment with the Terminal command line utility on Windows Server. By searching for “Terminal” on the latest Server Datacenter Insider build, users can initiate the application.
Enhanced Storage Replica Log: The new Windows Server Insider build introduces the Storage Replica Enhanced Log. This feature enhances block replication performance by eliminating file system abstractions, thereby reducing associated performance overheads.
Users should be cautious of a few known issues with this build:
- Upgrades from Windows Server 2019 or 2022 might encounter intermittent failures.
- An issue has been identified where using the “wevetutil al” command to archive eventlogs can cause the Windows Event Log service to crash. To rectify this, the service needs to be restarted using the “Start-Service EventLog” command from an administrative command line prompt.
- It's advised not to install this build if the Secure Launch/DRTM code path is activated.
Download Details and Expiry
Certain downloads might be restricted to specific countries. The Windows Server LTSC Preview is available in ISO format in 18 languages and in VHDX format solely in English. The Azure Edition of the Windows Server Datacenter does not require a key for activation. This preview build is set to expire on September 15, 2023.
Feedback and Diagnostics
Microsoft emphasizes the importance of user feedback during the release cycle. Feedback can be provided using the Feedback Hub application on registered Windows 10 or Windows 11 Insider devices. The company also collects diagnostic and usage data to enhance security, troubleshoot issues, and refine the product.