Setting Up a Virtual Network Lab with VMware Workstation and pfSense – Part 4 DNS and Active Directory

Now that we have a clean server install we can start adding roles for DNS and the Domain Controller. The first thing we must do is give the server a staticĀ IP address and a preferred DNS server. For the static IP I’ll use and I’ll use a local DNS address of since this server will act as the DNS server. Then reboot the server.


Once we have our IP set up we can start by adding the DNS role to the server. From the Server Manager dashboard choose “Add roles and Features” to start the Add Roles and Features Wizard.


Click next and under select installation type choose “Role based or feature based installation and click next.


in the Select destination server screen you should see the static IP that you set earlier. Highlight the server and click next.


You can now select the DNS server role.


and then add the default features that are needed for the DNS server role.


for the Features screen accept the defaults and click next.


then on the DNS Server window you can review the info and click next.


in the confirmation window click the install button.


You can see the installation of the role.


Once the installation is complete you can close the window and your DNS server role is installed. You can now go to server manager Tools and open the DNS Manager to prove the role has been installed successfully.


Now that we have the DNS role installed we can install our Active Directory Domain Services role. the steps are very similar to the once for installing the DNS role. From the Server Manager dashboard choose “Add roles and Features” to start the Add Roles and Features Wizard and click next.


accept the role based or feature based installation and click next.


Select your server from the list and click next.


select the Active Directory Domain Services from the server roles.


and under the add features that are requited for Active Directory Domain Services accept the defaults and click Add Features.


in the Features window accept the defaults and click next.


review the Confirmation window and click install.


When the installation is complete click close and notice that on the Server Manager dashboard you will see a yellow exclamation up in the right hand corner by the task flack. click that and you should see the task details where you can click the “Promote this server to a domain controller.


This will start the “Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard”. in the Deployment Configuration windows choose “Add a new forest” and give it a Root domain name, I choose, and click next.


On the Domain Controller Options I accepted the defaults and entered a password for the DSRM and click next.


On the following screen you will get a warning which you can ignore for now and click next.


Under additional options enter a NetBIOS name and click next


in the paths screen choose the paths you want, I accepted the defaults and click next


review the options and click next.


Windows will run a prerequisites Check, let it finish and it should be successful with a few warnings. go ahead and click install.


Once installed the server will reboot automatically. on the log in screen notice that you are now logging in to the domain that you have created.


once logged in you can go to the Server Manager tools and you will see the active directory tools that are now available to you.


We now have our server set up as a DNS Server and a Domain controller but we also need a DHCP server on our virtual private network and we will install that role in part 5 of this tutorial so stay tuned!

Setting Up a Virtual Network Lab with VMware Workstation and pfSense – Part 3 the server

In part 3 of this tutorial I’ll set up a virtual Windows 2012 R2 server that will act as our DNS server, Domain Controller and a DHCP Server for our virtual private network. The server install is pretty straight forward and I won’t go into much detail. So here we go. First we’ll create another typical virtual machine.


Once again choose to install the operating system later.


Select Microsoft Windows version Windows Server 2012 for the operating system.


Name the virtual machine and choose a location for it.


Then choose the disk capacity, I kept the defaults.


no we need to customize the hardware and change the network adapter to use our custom virtual network we created in part 1 of this tutorial.



now drop the windows server install media into the dvd drive by browsing to the iso image.


We can now start the virtual machine and install the software. The following screens will show the install progress.

Language and keyboard selection
Install now
Choose the version of the server (choose one with a GUI)
Accept the license terms
Choose custom install
Select the partition to install to.
Let the install happen
Once installed choose an admin password and reboot.
Once rebooted, send a Ctrl+Alt+Delete to the machine to get to the login screen.
Log in with the admin password that you created
Choose yes to automatically connect to devices on your network.
Change name of sever to something meaningful (I chose Server01) and set the time and time zone.

We now have a brand new server. As you can see it cant find a DNS server and isn’t getting a proper IP address. I part 4 we will take care of this so stay tuned!