How can we improve the installation and patching of Windows Server?

Change the installation option for Windows Server with local admin tools to include standard GUI

The current install options of Server Core and Server Core w/ Server Manager are not enough. While this may be the vision of Mr. Snover, it does not account for the fact that many Windows servers do not just run a built-in Windows role, but many third party apps that use third party frameworks/ install mechanisms that do not function on Server Core or provide enough flexibility to troubleshoot / manage. The install option that include "local admin tools" should be reverted to the behavior that has existed previously to include the standard UI. Provide other mechanisms to strip out things like IE, etc. that increase the attack surface of a system.

80 votes
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Tom Ziegmann shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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  • Carl commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The full GUI option on the 2016 TP3 release does not need the Desktop Experience component on by default, the GUI is needed but not the Desktop Experience component. I am at a loss as to why Microsoft would do this?

  • Pete Campbell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agree with comments on here most 3rd party server applications are coded to use a GUI, Remove that option and business are not going to upgrade.

  • Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Their have been some real stupid decisions my MS recently, I think they've been smoking too much of the natural greenery up in the Pacific north West.

    Not everyone can code, use PS, use cmd line. The older generation grew up with code so they tent to use it more, the new generation who are taking over sys admin roles like GUI because it just works, its 100 times quicker than faffing about writing PS scripts and then theirs the whole desktop Start menu debacle.

  • Kamil commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    For SMB - there will surely be Essentials version with UI. As an MCT I'm tired of see all the "admins" doing their everyday tasks like "click, click, click - default clicking without even care is so cooool". Sigh... Admins should be smart enough to be able to deal with powershell and other handy tools and in case it's necessary to install GUI.

  • Kamil commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please don't! Don't add Full server GUI as an install option anymore! It's not necessary and it should remain the same as in TP2!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    With all respect: Are we all too lazy to use Server Manager or PowerShell to install the graphical Shell, if we Need it after Setup?

    Maybe I miss something here, but I think it´s still very easy to Switch between core, "with local admin Tools" and full GUI.

    All I would Change is the Name of the Installation Option from "with local admin Tools" to (the old) "Minimal Server Interface".

    I thought the whole day, if this is really an important issue.

  • Steven Hosking commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    While I agree that most applications today have been written to use a GUI, I think it is fantastic that Microsoft is actually attempting to push the community to be more embracive of security concerns, by reducing the foot print for the image. Sadly until more customers ask for the applications to run headless we will be stuck in a situation where developers will still develop for a GUI.
    what I think would be good to change in the GUI at os selection is a prompt for the base image which doesn't include the ability to add the GUI components later having a more dramatic prompt to remind the person that is installing it that they need to know basic powershell to get the server working

  • Billy York commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    there are so many vendor applications that require a GUI that GUI-less windows is a pipe dream for the majority of companies. Though, based on the evidence of how many people actually deploy Core, maybe its just a pipe dream from certain people being forced on others.

  • Aidan Finn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with the original comments. EVERY one knows that the minority of customers are deploying Core/MinShell on their servers. The data on that is easy to find. Adding Standard back as an installation option hurts no customer.

    Any argument about custom images comes from the ill-informed - if anyone should/can do custom images it's those folks who are deploying Core.

    Any argument that "you need to get with the times" is disconnected from the reality of IT. One can choose to dump customers - but one should probably brief Wall Street on that plan first.

    Any argument that remote administration is the way forward (and I'm all for that) doesn't understand that having a UI DOES NOT PREVENT REMOTE ADMINISTRATION OR POWERSHELL!

    In reality, the world is not ready for a GUI-less Windows Server in general. The awful state of drivers and firmware on the WIndows Server HCL is evidence of that. GO ask anyone who's used PSS to troubleshoot a server with no UI how that went!!!

  • Tom Ziegmann commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @David - Not everyone is in shops that deploy from images. The SMB market typically gets their servers from an OEM and buys the OS license from VL or in some cases OEM licenses but elect to not have the OEM perform the install. In these cases, the integrator performs the installs themselves. Yes, Powershell works, but the point is that Microsoft should clarify the installation options as presented in TP2 as it is clear as mud right now, and potentially provide a third option within interactive setup to allow for an install with the full GUI which is what the 50 votes to date are for. I would much rather be able to actually remove things like IE, MS Edge, and other pieces to reduce the attack surface, but minimize the churn from a UI perspective.

  • David Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I think this is actually a bad idea. Add-Windows Feature works and who installs every server from a CD or ISO any more?

    Setup your Image the way you like it and use that for every server there after.

  • Edd Douse commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yeah, the extras should be a feature like Desktop Experience.... So we can have shell without additional applications

  • Matt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Not having GUI is a non-starter for many LoB vendors that don't have a clue what they are doing in the first place. They will freak out if their is no GUI as they currently do if they hear the phrase "virtual server".

  • Richard Young commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    a 3rd install option is needed in many SMB situations. Please re-consider adding the full GUI installation option.

  • HandyAndy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    A gui as one of the default options is absolutely required for the SMB Space, maybe not so much for the E Space. Now that you own the market lets not chase away the bottom end please!

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