WindowsPowerShellHere is how to add the GUI to Windows Server “8” to Server Core using PowerShell. I use the GUI to configure the Network because I find that easier than the command line. Then I use Server Manager to remove the GUI. I run the machine as a Server Core box and manage it from a GUI remotely.

At the command prompt window enter these commands….

Command Details
powershell Starts the PowerShell command prompt
import-module servermanager adds the module to PowerShell for server management
Get-WindowsFeature Enumerates the Features so it knows about them
Add-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell adds the GUI environment (can take a few minutes)

Shutdown /r /t 0

To reboot your server now

Please Note: this does not work on Servers prior to Windows Server “8”. So if you are running server core on your Windows Server 2008R2 box and want the GUI you need to run an install and do an upgrade. If you want to remove the GUI from an older server – to bad you can’t. Winking smile

To remove the GUI you can just remove the Feature “Server Graphical Shell” from the Server Manager GUI or you can go into PowerShell and remove it with the

Update:
There is more than one way to do this. You can also do this with the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. The DISM command is probably called by the Add-WindowsFeature command. Here is the systax for DISM:

  • Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:ServerCore-FullServer /featurename:Server-Gui-Shell /featurename:Server-Gui-Mgmt

For more details on this see: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831786.aspx

If you don’t have the Windows Server beta yet you can download it here: http://aka.ms/server8cp