So Windows Server Insiders is only the Core Version. How About Next Month the Full Server Is Avail..

Copper Contributor

We all understand that Microsoft wants everybody to use Server Core and we understand that in production when at all possible we will use Server Core if it is possible, i.e. (all the programs that we need are able to run in Core), however, when we are testing software (NOT in production) it makes sense that the full version is available so that our in house software could be tested with the new product.  Most of our enterprise software does not run on a core box, therefore, it is impossible to test it with the new version of Windows Server Insiders..... Please ask the Server team, I was under the impression that Edge would be added to Windows Server 2016 R2, now it looks like we won't have a browser at all.  Which makes sense if this was for production, once again, this is to test, so it is not being used in production and Server Core (is fun for us I.T. administrators), but it's not fun for anyone else especially developers who have not built their software to run in server core yet.  Thanks....


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I would like to believe that future releases will also include full GUI. We have to just remember, this is something new for Microsoft.

I wouldn't get your hopes up for the semi-annual releases to get a GUI version....


Future LTSB builds will have a GUI (the normal 2-3 year releases), but probably not this new CBB branch


They're really targetting specific workloads for these regular releases (if you see in their blog) and these roles (Hyper-V/Clustering/S2D/SDN/etc) don't require GUI and have good remote tooling already.


Everyone understands that a lot of general enterprise apps require GUI still, but at the same time, those apps don't really handle OS upgrades, so having to upgrade every 6 months isn't a good fit for them.


Cant please everyone, and I think it's good MS is taking a more focused approach on this, rather than spreading it's resources thin trying to support everything on a new OS each 6 months (can you imagine the pain trying to validate all of the MS products (Exchange/sharepoint/SCCM/etc/etc/etc) every 6 months?)

You can try this  for now. If you manage to install it, please let us know how it works. If Windows Audio is available, even if disabled by default, I am ok, probably, with only ServerCore build from now on, since I can add a third party gui and management tools, to manage things locally. Only missing Windows Audio would be a real turn off for me.

GUI for Hyper-V 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016 Freeware. If the desktop fails to load after install, run c:\winshell\desktop.exe on startup. To download the installer go to This is a compilation of freeware applications ...

 I believe the full version will be coming soon, as it's likely they are trying to solve major bugs before trying release it to public. Some serious issues came a month ago when they accidently released a broken build. I don't think they want to repeat that issue.


Also Microsoft I don't believe is encouraging Core over full editions. But rather if you can run Core you should. This reduces resource usage, reduces attack surfaces, reduces serving requirements, etc. 

best response confirmed by Elden Christensen (Microsoft)

The Semi-annual Channel will release with Server Core and Nano for container runtime.  See this doc which discusses:


A Full desktop experience version is not planned.  If this is important for your adoption, this is a great forum to leave that feedback.


Thanks Elden, I don't personally have an issue with using server core, however in the past there were always small things that would pop up that I couldn't do on the core box.  I am pretty sure most of these things can now be done with powershell or cmd now.  If not I'll run into them pretty soon and I will post here, however, I was thinking about my friends and coworkers who are not as nice with powershell as I am.  Also I know lots of guys myself included that like to run Server with a gui on one or two of our laptops and desktops, now we will have to use Hyper-V Core and run Windows 10 for audio, video, and other necessary functions on a laptop running server.  Sometimes it's nice to be able to get all the functions and features of windows 10 on a server version, since it eliminates a lot of the unnecessary cruft like MAPS, and all the UWP services shoved into Windows 10.  Even the Server with a desktop version of 2016 had the Maps and Xbox services, but at least they weren't really doing anything.  It would be nice to see a server 2016 version of all the new security updates and features that windows 10 now has.  I hope you can understand why people would still want the GUI.

Radu, this is a nice idea, I had actually forgotten how many GUI apps can run on server core, it's a nice bunch of apps that add functionality to the Server, it's not going to add the things that are not included in the base Server Core image like audio, video, etc, but it does help, and its easy to add your own apps to the folder.  It looks to be a bunch of freeware apps whose Gui's work with servercore, zipped up in a folder.  It was a good idea, anyone can add anything else that they use as well.  Gonna spend a few hours checking out what works and what's missing. I already add the program Windows System Control center by and this is another good addition to creating an administrator server box.

Unfortunatly, it seems that Windows Server will be only Server Core and Nano Server, if we look at the official Microsoft documentation. Several server roles will disappear, like most of the Remote Desktop Services, that require a GUI. Only Windows Server 2016 that was allready launched will continue to have a GUI, until this LTSB edition ends, then all Windows Server will be Server Core and Nano Server. Perhaps thrid party tools will become available.

If anybody finds a way to use thrid party tools to replace things like RDS and audio, please let us know.

I got the Remote Access tools from Microsoft this afternoon. I can't remember exactly where as i was scrambling around to try and find a way to load up a standard GUI on Server Core but the file you are looking for is WindowsTH-RSAT_WS2016-x64.msu. hope that helps.

Where can I find the file? Does it enable audio?

This file is the RSAT Tools for Windows 10, I don't think you can install them on Server Core, also no they will not enable audio. There is no audio in server core, this is just one of the reasons I posted this question, perhaps we can get enough people to comment and ask Microsoft to make the GUI version available for insiders, as it is so important for RDS, Server on laptops, etc.  If you use server core as a Hyper-V server, do the virtual machines have audio however, I don't know about this because I am currently using Full Server to run as a hyper-V server in my environment.  I will attach the rsat 2016 link but that as far as I know is only for windows 10 workstations.

Just read this, I do think it may be important later down the road but not critical.

I do however find this could be considered critical for certain products that may rely on the Desktop component. Unless Microsoft plans to restructure the dependency issues that can come from not having the package included.

To avoid confusion, do you mean that the desktop component is being stripped from Server 2016 in the near future? Or just for this insiders test?
I have a standalone (home) server/workstation that I manage directly on the hardware with a GUI, but it's also not really a 'production' server so I was really looking forward to trying out insider builds.

I'm perfectly okay with Server Core being the default install, but the GUI isn't even included in the sources\install.wim, and can't be installed afterward, so that's a dealbreaker for me.

Hi Elden,


RDS is the strongest use case for us - the use of Server 2016 to produce a Win10-like experience becomes less valid as the gap between the current release of each widens.


At release Server 2016 dropped support for a number of components that were included by default in Windows 10 (Edge, Store, Cortana) and Windows 10 has continued to see both feature developments (nice to have) and feature improvements/fixes (essential) - changes to Start Menu behaviour is one example.


This recent servicing change is exactly the right thing to do, but it needs to cover the Desktop Experience as well - the "How it works" diagram on the blog explaining this change indicates that the vNext LTSC release is TBD, but drawn in somewhere beyond the start of 2019.


IMHO, there's a very large group of user base with a shallow-to-deep dependence on a GUI (within which RDS alone has to be a substantial number). 


Excluding the Server with Desktop Experience means that RDS user groups will be on a platform which was missing components at the start, has faults which are already fixed in Win10 and won't see changes until 3 years later (that's conceivably 6 releases behind the Win10 codebase). 


The RDS user base has always been serviced on the same timeframe or a little behind the traditional client user base. This model seems a *very* long way from that experience. At a point where remote working ought to be going up, the RDS platform will seem to have been sidelined.


I don't see many talking about that right now (I think because a greater bulk of those groups are just jumping to Server 2016 around now), but I don't think it will be long before they notice the shortcomings in the current release and start asking.




To layer intrigue on RDS intrigue - Windows Server 2019 TP doesn't actually include the RDS session host role.

No RDS in the future then?

Something is coming. We have to be patient!

It is out, the first preview of Windows Server 2019, LTSB, with Desktop Experience. Installed it already, exploring it now. RDS seem changed indeed, RDSH seems to be gone or to have been renamed.

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best response confirmed by Elden Christensen (Microsoft)

The Semi-annual Channel will release with Server Core and Nano for container runtime.  See this doc which discusses:


A Full desktop experience version is not planned.  If this is important for your adoption, this is a great forum to leave that feedback.


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