Windows Server Technical Preview 2 – Full GUI option gone from the Setup

I’ve been playing, speaking and demoing about the Windows Server Technical Preview since the day one. Especially about Clustering and Storage enhancements so I couldn’t wait to install the TP2. In the later posts I will be discussing certain features and scenarios, but now I would like you to focus on the setup itself.

As you can see from the title the Full GUI option is gone from the setup. There are only options to install the Core version or the MinShell version. Obviously, Microsoft is trying to encourage the customers to install the operating system without GUI and with minimal footprint. As we all know this should reduce the attack surface and maintenance – hence less updates – and consume less hardware resources, although with today server power i believe this is insignificant. On the other hand not all workloads will be suitable for the Core or MinShell, so I prefer to leave it to the customers how they want to manage their servers. Will this be the final way of installing new Windows Server it is yet to see.

This option will install the Core version:

P2542-01 This option will install the MinShell version:


I believe you are all familiar with the Core version. The MinShell is something between the Server Core and the Full GUI server. We have the GUI management tools – Server Manager actually – but no GUI for the rest and a server is locally fully manageable. Also, like with Windows Server 2012 and R2 it is possible to switch installations from one version to another. Just keep in mind that if you upgrade Full GUI version extensively sometimes it is not possible to switch to Core or MinShell. For all of you who would still prefer Full GUI version to play with – below are few examples how to switch between versions.

NOTE: After restart if you get stuck with following screen just hit CTRL+ALT+DEL few times (thnx Elden).



Core > Full GUI (Core initially installed)
From the PowerShell run following commands:

get-windowsimage -imagepath <installationDriveLetter>:\sources\install.wim
install-windowsfeature server-gui-mgmt-infra,server-gui-shell -source:wim:<installationDriveLetter>:\sources\install.wim:2




After the restart we have a Full GUI server version:



MinShell > Full GUI (MinShell initially installed)

You can either use PowerShell or Server Manager to add Server Graphical Shell. In PowerShell just run:

Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell -Restart

or from Server Manager check Server Graphical Shell:



MinShell > Core (MinShell initially installed)

You can either use PowerShell or Server Manager to remove Graphical Management Tools. In PowerShell just run:

Uninstall-Windowsfeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Restart

or from Server Manager uncheck Graphical Management Tools:



For the end something little bit off-topic. Finally when we open the PowerShell or Command Line the default font is True Type instead Raster – thank you Microsoft.


Happy previewing!