Windows Server Core installations provide low maintenance, more secure and smaller footprint deployments.  Consequently, there is no default graphical user interface (GUI) installed.

The Minimal Server interface gives a GUI without a start menu, desktop, or Windows Explorer (explorer.exe).  However, they give you the essential Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

Install Server Graphical Management Tools & Infrastructure on Server Core:

  1. Open PowerShell, then run the following command: Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra
  2. Restart the server when prompted (or run Restart-Computer in PowerShell)

Remove Server Graphical Shell on Server with a GUI

  1. Open PowerShell, then run the following command: Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell -WhatIf
  2. You should see Collecting data
  3. Restart the server when prompted (or run Restart-Computer in PowerShell)

From here you can launch any of the number of Windows MMC Snap-ins (.MSC) including:

  • dsa.msc
  • cluadmin.exe
  • compmgmt.msc
  • devmgmt.msc
  • dhcpmgmt.msc
  • dfrg.msc
  • dnsmgmt.msc
  • eventvwr.msc
  • gpedit.msc
  • ipaddrmgmt.msc
  • nlbmgr.msc
  • perfmon.msc
  • tsmmc.msc
  • virtmgmt.msc
  • wmimgmt.msc