How to install the GUI on Windows Server 2016

As you may noticed new server is coming out from Microsoft workshop – Windows Server 2016  – currently technical preview product. This server upon installation is little a bit different as it does not come with standard desktop or GUI and first thing what you will see is command prompt window. This server expect that you Admin will have a good hang of PowerShell and be able to manage all from command line.

Click inside the command prompt window and type in powershell – it will start PowerShell and now you can start play around.


You should now notice the difference – PS in front of the prompt so you are now in PowerShell mode.
Lets list all gui available for the server:

PS C:\Users\Administrator>Get-WindowsFeature *gui*

You should see listed 3 items:

  • Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure
  • Server Graphical Shell
  • GUI for Windows Server Antimalware

Here is the one liner that will install for you the typical desktop environment on your Windows Server 2016:

PS C:\Users\Administrator>Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-shell -Restart

This command will install for you the Desktop experience on server and reboot server to make the changes. Once server is back you have same environment as you used to have in previous server versions.