Install Updates on Nano Server

How to install Updates on Nano Server

Microsoft just released Windows Server 2016, which comes with a new deployment option called Nano Server. Nano Server is a very small version of Windows Server which addresses a lot of different issues. Now after the release of Windows Server 2016 Microsoft is releasing the first updates for Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server.

Microsoft released the first Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 was released on September 26, 2016 (KB3192366) and the prerequisite for this and future Cumulative Update is the Servicing Stack Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 (KB3176939).


You can download the .msu updates from the Windows Server Catalog:

Folder Structure

Just to make it easier for you, here is the folder structure I use:

  • C:\NanoServer – The Folder where I put all my files and folders to create and manage NanoServer. I copied the NanoServerImageGenerator PowerShell module to this folder
    Nano Server Folder
  • C:\NanoServer\Files – Copied all the files from the Windows Server 2016 ISO file
    Nano Server ISO Folder
  • C:\NanoServer\Updates – Downloaded .msu files and extracted .cab files
    Nano Server Update Folder
  • C:\NanoServer\Images – Created Nano Server Images

Extract the .cab files from the .msu file

For the most update scenarios you will need the .cab update package , which is included in the .msu file. To extract the .cab file from the .msu file you can use the expand command line utility.

In my case renamed the .msu files to for easier identification and copied both files to C:\NanoServer\Updates.

nano Server Epxand MSU Update Files

Integrate Updates into a new Nano Server Image

If you create a new Nano Server Image you can simply include the latest updates and cumulative updates while building the image. With that you have a new fresh NanoServer Image which will be fully patched after the first boot.

New Nano Server Image with Updates

Integrate Updates into an existing Nano Server Image

If you already have an existing Nano Server Image you can also updates this one.

Add Updates to Nano Server Image

Integrate Updates into an VHD or VHDX (offline)

If you have VHD or VHDX templates and you want to integrate new updates you can do this as well using the DISM PowerShell module. You can also update existing Virtual Machines with this if you shutdown the VM (Offline Patching).

Install Updates on a running Nano Server (online)

If you have a running Nano Server in a virtual machine or on a physical host you can also use the downloaded .cap files and the DISM PowerShell module to install the patches on a Nano Server. For that you will need to use PowerShell remoting to connect to the Nano Server.

Install Updates on Nano Server

If the Nano Server is running inside a VM, you can also use PowerShell Direct to connect directly to the Virtual Machine from the Hyper-V host.

Download and Install Updates on a running Nano Server from Windows Update (online from Windows Update)

If you have a running Nano Server VM or physical host, you can use the Windows Update WMI provider to download and install the update from Microsoft Update.

Download and Install Updates on a running Nano Server from Windows Update using the Azure Remote Server Management Tools

You can also use a graphical UI to update Nano Server directly from the Remote Server Management Tools.

Install Updates on Nano Server from Server Management Tools SMT

You can get more information about Updating Nano Server on this Microsoft blog post.