In my last video I showed you how to use Server Manager to manage lots of servers, and given that you want to do that, there is less of a need to have all the management tools on every server.  So in this screencast I wanted to show you how to rip parts of the interface out of Windows Server to create a minimal UI (known unofficially as MinShell).

 

Notes:

Server Core is stall an install option in Windows Server 2012 but you can now add in the full or partial UI post install. However to do that you’ll need access to install media for windows services (specifically the sources\sxs folder) as the binaries for the UI won’t have been copied as part of the core install process.

Because MinShell is simply a feature removal rather than an installation option. You can enable/disable the full use interface whenever you want to.

Patching and the reduced attack surface of MinShell are the key benefits for doing this, while another benefit for servers that aren’t in data centres is that casual users won’t be able to go surfing on them as internet explorer won’t be there, as will other tools like explorer.

If you want to try this you just need to download an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2012