Remove all components not required for a minimal GUI
Server Core is great, and I intend to use it more and more, but I'd like for the GUI version to be as stripped down as possible.
Yes, Jeffrey, I know we should never use the GUI version except for RDS but reality is reality. People use it and it would benefit everyone if the GUI went on a diet.
I don't have any specifics in mind as to what should be removed. I'll leave that up to you all to figure out.
Sandro Aquini commented
Unfortunately the development seems to move in the opposite direction. In TP5 there are Full GUI with Desktop Experience, Core and Nano and still no option to switch between the first two. As it has been said before by many, it's not the real world to expect or suppose everyone can or wants to use Core.
No longer having Minimal Server Interface, I still see a ton of possibilities to strip down the GUI:
- Desktop Experience is pretty useless, unless the server is used for RDS
- You get Edge and IE without option to uninstall
- Quite a few Windows Accessoires (e.g. Windows Media Player) are pointless on a server
- Get-WindowsFeature still lists the source files for almost every component available on the system for installation. This is the case in Core too. You could have a smaller footprint by removing the payload of rarely used components. Actually having a way to configure the install source via GPOs or other means would be quite welcome.
- Looking at the 1 GB of the SysWOW64 folder, starting to phase-out more 32-bit applications makes sense, having the server OS been designed for 64-bit only since 2008 R2
Sebastian N. commented
There are 3 implementation methods for Windows Server:
- Server Core
- Server Core with Minimal Server Interface
- Server with GUI
I don't see the point of stripping the minimal server gui since that basically leaves you with server core. Server with GUI shouldn't be touched at all since its full GUI experience is required for Terminal Server farms.
We use servers mostly with the GUI because we have to install 3rd party applications that rely on the user interface. In my opinion, the GUI is stripped down to a good point. You have to install every role and feature to extend the GUI. You even need desktop experience to see thumbnails and stuff. You can still use the "Minimal Server Interface" on 2012 Servers...