Windows Server 2012 Core – Graphical Shell.

In this post, let’s see one of the best enhancements we got with Windows Server 2012, flipping Graphical Shell as needed!

As you can see below, I’ve Installed the normal Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Eval Edition.(I did not selected CORE during the Installation).

Nothing strange right…!

Now, let’s see how we can uninstall the graphical shell from this Server.

Let me tell you this, all it takes is one Powershell command!

 Open powershell and type “Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell” and hit enter. Before that I recommend to try the same with -whatif Option. Basically, It tells you what happens and what are the consequences if you enter that command in powershell instead of executing it right away:) See below for what I’m saying…

Okay, now I opened PowerShell as Admin and ran the same command without whatif, I got something like this.

After few seconds, it returned Success and requesting for Restart to apply the changes as shown below.

Once I restarted my Machine, all I got is the screen as shown below.(You’ll see Server Manager as well, I closed it)

Huhu…no Fancyyy pancyyyy GUI any more. All you got is cmd/powershell visible to you. The awesome news is you can just flip the coin the other way around and you’ll get your GUI back in place. No need of Re-Installing the OS from scratch 🙂

Behind the scenes, all it’s doing is adding and removing one of the features available in Windows Server 2012.

Adding back your GUI is as simple as it. Open Powershell from the command window you get and type the below statement as shown in the below screenshot…

Note: For actual execution run the above command without -whatif Option.

Once I restarted my Server, I was welcomed with normal windows appearance similar to first screenshot in this post 🙂

Bottom Line : Core OS is the Baseline which is always available and everything is built on top of the Core OS. Graphical Shell/Infra can be enabled and disabled as needed based on your requirements.





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