Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Minimal Server Interface on Windows Server 2012

The Minimal Server Interface is an configuration option that does not include significant aspects of the Server Graphical Shell. It enables most local GUI management tasks without requiring the Server Graphical Shell or Internet Explorer to be installed. This reduces the security and servicing footprint of the server thereby increasing safety and up time while expanding deployment scenarios. For the maximum reduction of security and servicing footprint, consider using Server Core mode instead.

Minimal Server Interface are installed the following management tools:
  • Server Manager
  • Microsoft Management Console
  • Some Control Panel applets
However, the following items are not installed:
  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Windows Explorer
  • Desktop
  • Start screen
Minimal Server Interface for Windows Server 2012

Windows Server Installation Options

Enabling Minimal Server Interface on Windows Server 2012 Server Core
1. On a Windows Server 2012, log in as Administrator.
2. Perform "powershell".

3. Perform "Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra"

By default, the roles or features of Windows Server 2012 are not installed in Windows Server 2012 Server Core. You may get the above error if the server cannot access Internet to get the component from Windows Update. To solve this problem, we can provide Internet access or the source files for the server. I will provide the source file for this server.

4. Insert Windows Server 2012 DVD.

Assuming D drive is the DVD drive of the Windows Server. Then I need to get and mount the "install.wim" to provide the source file.

5. Perform "Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath "D:\Sources\Install.wim".

I need to mount the "Windows Server 2012 SERVERDATACENTER", index 4.

6. Perform "New-Item C:\Sources -Type Directory" to create a new directory.

7. Perform "Mount-WindowsImage -ImagePath D:\Sources\Install.wim -path C:\Sources -index 4 -ReadOnly".

8. Perform "Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Source C:\Sources\Windows\WinSxs".

9. Restart the server.

As a result, the Minimal Server Interface has been installed on the server. I can launch Microsoft Management Console on Windows Server 2012.

Convert Windows Server 2012 full GUI to Minimal Server Interface
1. On a Windows Server 2012, log in as Administrator.
2. Launch "PowerShell".
3. Perform "Get-WindowsFeature -Name Server*".

To convert full GUI to Minimal Server Interface, I will uninstall the "Server Graphical Shell".

4. Perform "Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell -remove".

Remark: After performing "-Remove" to uninstall the Windows Feature, the binary files in the Windows Server 2012 will be removed. To reinstall the same Windows Feature, you have to provide the sources for installation.

5. Restart the server.

As a result, the server has been changed to Minimal Server Interface.

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights!