Licensing Server 2019?


Limpness Supreme
Feb 8, 2005
Playing around with Server 2019's evaluation version and I'm impressed. So, I want to buy a legit copy. Unfortunately, MS's licensing schema is ridiculous. I can't figure out how much of what to buy and from where. What I want is to be able to use Server 2019 Standard (With Desktop Experience) on a single-processor, 4-core machine. I'd like to be able to RDP into it. I will be the only user of this system. I'd like physical install media. I don't need software assurance or any kind of "semi-annual channel support"... I think. I want to pay once and be able to use the software forever without ever paying another dime.

I cannot, for the life of me, find the kind of license I want. The standard server license is like a grand, and then you have to buy a CAL for it, and then you have to buy 7 of the 2-core licenses so that you meet the 16-core minimum even though you don't have 8 cores (much less 16), and you need a Remote Server license, oh, but you got the Open License, so you need to do all of that four more times... Maybe you wanted Microsoft Select for your corporate version. No? Select Level A? Select Plus? Next thing you know, you've got a $20K shopping cart to install an OS on a single PC. Whatever happened to "buy this box. Then you can install Windows Server on your PC."

Can anyone help me out?
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Dec 2, 2009
I've thought about this myself. I figured I might buy a legit copy just to learn on, on my own time (not related to work - just for fun) but MS doesn't make it easy to figure out.


[H]F Junkie
Apr 20, 2013
Sri Lankan kid's been selling grey MSDN keys in F/S forum for years, you can prob grab cheap Server 2019 for home use there.