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I have been tasked to create a new development server to be installed in a server and in a VM. I am not too well informed with how to do this. is it better to install a new sharepoint server or can i do a full farm backup of the uat from the CA?

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You can install SharePoint server on a VM, then do a full farm backup from UAT farm, and restore it in your development environment.

About setting up development environment, you can refer to the following article:
Set up a general development environment for SharePoint

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I would first create the dev farm following a guide like this one:

https://www.petri.com/setup-sharepoint-2013-development-environment-farm-configuration

And then using SQL Server Management Studio I would make backups of the UAT content databates and restore them to the dev SQL server. I would then drop any existing databases attached to the dev Web Applications ( by using Remove-SPContentDatabase); and then attach the restored databases (by using Mount-SPContentDatabase).

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First, you have to install SharePoint on the development server. below are quick steps:

  1. Install SQL on Dev machine if you want to set up single-server farm
  2. Before Installing SharePoint you have to install its prerequisites.
  3. Then Install SharePoint server, Admin account thru which you are configuring the SP should have the permission db_owner permission.
  4. Build a Web application then either you can mount DB from the source server to target server or restore the backup file to the target server.
  5. configure services if required.

Helpful references:

https://www.c-sharpcorner.com/article/sharepoint-server-2016-installation-and-setup/

https://www.petri.com/setup-sharepoint-2013-development-environment-farm-configuration

https://www.netiq.com/communities/cool-solutions/complete-premise-sharepoint-2016-setup-guide-simple-easy-steps-troubleshooting/

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