DFS replication installation

Note: This article applies to Windows Server® versions 2008 and later.

What is DFSR?

You can use Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) to replicate data from DFS namespaces across a group of
servers called a replication group. This enables data to stay synchronized on multiple servers.

DFSR uses remote differential compression (RDC), which uses an algorithm to detect data changes in a file to
compress and replicate the changes, allowing for smaller and quicker transfers.

Note: The staging area quota must be as large as the 32
largest files in the replicated folder.


  • Use Active Directory.

  • Determine the primary server that holds the up-to-date files for initial replication.

  • Ensure that all servers must live in the same forest.

  • Install DFS replication on all replication group server members.

  • Verify that the anti-virus software allows replication and configure exceptions as needed.

  • Determine the files and folders that you want to replicate.

Installing DFS

This article describes two ways to install DFS: The Graphic User Interface (GUI) method
within the Server Manager and the PowerShell® method.

GUI method

  1. Launch Server Manager.

  2. Go to Manage > Add Roles and Features.

  3. On Installation Type, select the default, Role-based or feature-based installation.

  4. For Server Selection, select the server name.

  5. Go to Server Roles > File and Storage Services > File and iSCSI Services and select DFS Replication.

  6. Click Add Features in the pop-up window.

  7. Click Next for the remaining windows.

  8. Click Install on the Confirmation page.

PowerShell method

  1. Open a PowerShell session with elevated permissions and run one of the
    following to suit your requirements:
  • Install the DFS role:

      Install-WindowsFeature "FS-DFS-Replication"
  • Install the DFS Management console:

      Install-WindowsFeature "RSAT-DFS-Mgmt-Con"
  • Install the DFS role and the DFS Management console at the same time:

      Install-WindowsFeature "FS-DFS-Replication","RSAT-DFS-Mgmt-Con"