Windows 2012 permits us to switch between GUI and CORE version of the operating system.
Core is good due to lower resource usage, GUI is good because you don't need to remember a lot of powershell commands to administer the server.
There is also another configuration in the middle, the minimal graphical interface, I mean , server manager for example, but without "explorer" and Internet Explorer...
So in this post we will se how to start from a W2012 CORE installation and add the minimal GUI.
1. insert the W2012 installation CD, let's say in the D: drive
2. check wich index to use from the install.wim file from the cdrom:
dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:d:\sources\install.wim
this will return a list of w2012 images version available in the wim file, ordered by "index".
We need to find the gui versions (the one without the core label) :
In this case for example I can use the index=2, server standard
3. we need to mount the image from index 2 just found to local disk, let's say to a new folder called c:\mount
dism /mount-wim /wimfile:d:\source\install.wim /index:2 /mountdir:c:\mount /readonly
4. now we have in c:\mount the windows 2012 installation files available, we can go on adding the gui
Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra –Source c:\mountdir\windows\winsxs
in the end you'll be required to reboot the machine (you could add -restart to the command above if you are ok with an automatic restart )
After the reboot and the login what you'll find will be a command prompt and server manager automatically opened and ready to be used: