What should I name my server and internal domain?

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008


You cannot change the server name or the domain name after the installation finishes.

Server name

The name of your new server must be unique on your local area network, and the server name cannot be the same as the domain name.

Internal domain name

The domain name must be a unique name on the local area network. The Active Directory Domain Service (AD DS) name extension (.local) is automatically appended to the internal domain name to form a full DNS name (for example, contoso.local).

The domain name that you use is displayed on the desktop page where users type their alias and password to log on. You may want to use a domain name that is easy to type and not too long.

If you have a Macintosh computer with OS X 10.3 and higher on your network, you must specify an AD DS name extension for the internal domain other than .local. The Rendezvous Service on Macintosh computers with OS X 10.3 and higher use .local to discover other computers on the network. If you continue the installation without specifying a different AD DS name extension, you must perform the workaround that is discussed in “Connecting Macintosh OS X 10.3 and Higher Clients to a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network” at the Microsoft Web site (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=39689).


If you want to use an AD DS name extension other than .local, you must specify the full DNS name. To specify a full DNS name, you must install Windows SBS 2008 by using the Answer File Tool. For information about creating and using an answer file, see "Tell me more about using Answerfiles" at the Microsoft Web site (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=103721).

Full DNS name

The field for a full DNS name appears only if you are running the advanced installation mode by using the Windows SBS 2008 Answer File Tool. The DNS name of the internal (local) domain consists of the internal domain name and the AD DS name extension. The default is <DomainName>.local—for example, contoso.local.

Before you continue, consider the following:

  • Check for typing and spelling errors.

  • Verify that this is the correct name for the server and domain.

  • Analyze if the names are too long to remember or too difficult to type. (Some scenarios in the Windows SBS 2008 network require that you type the server name and internal domain information.)