Microsoft worked hard on the management of the new Windows Server 2012. In Windows Server 2008 R2 you had to choose during the Installation if the Server is a Windows Server Full Installation (with GUI) or a Windows Server Core Installation (without GUI). In Windows Server 2012 you can add and remove the GUI from the server.
Add GUI on a Core Server
On a Core Server you can add the with the following PowerShell command
After the Installation you have to restart the server
Remove GUI on a Server
There are two ways you could do that, first via Server Manager remote the GUI feature:
Or via Windows PowerShell
It is also important that you understand that Windows Server 2012 has three different GUI options.
- GUI with Management Tools
So if you activate the GUI you do not get all of the Management tools automatically. You have also to activate the “Management tools GUI”.