About Server Core for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012

Server Core for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 is a minimal server configuration option that provides a low-maintenance environment. Server Core is designed to provide an environment that reduces:

  • Servicing requirements
  • Management requirements
  • Attack surface
  • Disk space usage
  • Memory (RAM) usage

To accomplish its roles, Server Core only installs the binaries required by the configured roles. The minimal nature of Server Core creates these limitations:

  • There is no Windows shell and very limited GUI functionality. The Server Core interface is a command prompt with PowerShell support. The limited GUI is provided by the Minimal Server Interface configuration option.
  • There is limited MSI support (unattended mode only).

You can manage server core in the following ways:

  • Locally and remotely using PowerShell
  • A terminal server connection from a command line
  • Remotely using Microsoft Management Console (MMC)
  • Remotely with other command line tools that support remote management

In this section

Minimal Server Interface for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012