Updates from QA Training

Windows Server 2012 Feature #3 Switching the GUI

Windows Server Core, introduced in Windows Server 2008, had a number of barriers that have hindered its adoption. With Windows Server 2012 Microsoft are trying to remove a lot of those barriers. The first of these dramatically improves the administration experience.


Paul Gregory | 18 July 2012

Windows Server Core, introduced in Windows Server 2008, had a number of barriers that have hindered its adoption. With Windows Server 2012 Microsoft are trying to remove a lot of those barriers. The first of these dramatically improves the administration experience.

Windows Server 2012 allows the graphical user interface to be enabled and disabled.  When Windows Server 2012 is installed the default option in the installer is Windows Server Core not Windows Server Full as it was in previous releases.  However if the full GUI version is installed the GUI can be removed after deployment.  Windows Server now has four interface experiences:

Server 2012 Core GUI

The Server Minimal interface is new and provides Server Core with graphical administration tools only, this includes Server Manager.  However there is no Metro, Internet Explorer or Other common Windows GUI user tools.

Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 have allowed the installation and removal of the desktop experience for use in Remote Desktop Services environments, but the full GUI can be installed and removed at will (requiring a system reboot).

When installing the GUI components access to either the installation media for the full GUI version is required or if not available the system will contact the Windows Update site to download the components.  When removing GUI components the source files can either be left in place or removed. To install the full experience from the Windows Update site execute the following PowerShell command:

Install-windowsfeature server-gui-mgmt-infra, server-gui-shell

If a local source was to be specified a -Source parameter could be add to the end.  To remove the command would be:

uninstall-windowsfeature server-gui-mgmt-infra, server-gui-shell

If the server-gui-shell option is not used this would install the interface to the minimal server level.

If you would like to see this in action please see my YouTube channel here, for more updates follow me on Twitter.


QA Training | Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory

Head of Microsoft Infrastructure

A Microsoft Certified Trainer since 1995, Paul has worked both for and with some of the world's leading IT Services organisations – including Unisys, Dell and Microsoft during the Microsoft Windows (TAP) Technology Adoption Programme. Paul specializes in delivering training around the Windows Operating system as well infrastructure and management solutions around System Center going right back to SMS 1.0. Paul is a frequent visitor to Microsoft's Global Headquarters in Seattle to attend early product workshops and for many years has delivered training courses around the world on behalf of Microsoft. In addition to being actively involved in Microsoft's Windows TAP programme, Paul has recently delivered both Microsoft's Private Cloud 2012 readiness training to partners in the UK and was a member of the Microsoft global training team delivering Windows Server 2012 early adopter training. During recent years Microsoft has requested Paul to deliver System Center training at both Redmond and The South American head office to Microsoft Partners.
Talk to our learning experts

Talk to our team of learning experts

Every business has different learning needs. QA has over 30 years of experience in combining the highest quality training with the most comprehensive range of learning services, ensuring the very best fit for your organisation.

Get in touch with our learning experts to talk about how we can help.