Windows Server 2012, switching between full, min shell and server core

You can download the entire article as a PDF document. Windows Server 2012, switching between full, min shell and server core
For those of you don’t know Windows Server 2012 can be run in 4 different modes. The standard one is the full UI version (Full and Full with Desktop experience), which we all used to. There are couple of other modes called MinShell and Server core. Server core is pretty much equivalent (conceptually at least) to UNIX, you only get command prompt and there is no UI elements. MinShell is slightly higher level, you’ll get some management GUI’s. The main reasoning behind running in stripped down version is there is no UI overheads and your attack area is less. There are lot of blog post out there explaining how you can do the switch, but most of them have lot of explanation and it’s hard to just look at the PowerShell commands required to do the switch. I recently had to switch the server between these various modes for testing BizTalk360 compatibility. Here is the list of commands I just kept in notepad to make my life easy.

Full to MinShell

Import-Module ServerManager Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell -Restart

MinShell to Server Core

Import-Module ServerManager Uninstall-Windowsfeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Restart

Server Core to MinShell

start powershell Import-Module ServerManager Install-Windowsfeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Restart

MinShell to Full

Import-Module ServerManager install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell -Restart

Full to Server Core

Import-Module ServerManager Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell Uninstall-Windowsfeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Restart

Server Core to Full

start powershell Import-Module ServerManager install-Windowsfeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell -Restart
You can download the entire article as a PDF document. Windows Server 2012, switching between full, min shell and server core