GUI in Server Core?

It is time for another installment of the Server Core blog. Based on today’s topic you may be able to guess that I’m scrounging for topics to cover. If anyone has suggestions, please send me email or post a comment and I’ll try to cover the topic in a future posting.


Some of you may have noticed that there is some GUI support in Server Core. That is why I always try to be careful and refer to Server Core as being GUI shell-less, since it is not entirely gui-less. There are several low level gui dlls that are included because of current dependencies, such as gdi32.dll and shlwapi.dll. Hopefully in a future release we will be able to remove the dependencies and also remove these files. However, including these does provide some advantages for making Server Core easier to manage using the current tools, it allows us to include Notepad, timedate.cpl, and intl.cpl in Beta 2.


In Beta 1 we didn’t include any text editor and although you can remotely connect to a Server Core box to view logs, edit scripts, etc. we heard lots of feedback that there should be on the box text editor. Therefore we added Notepad for Beta 2. However, because of the reduced environment Server Core provides, not all of Notepad is functional, for example help doesn’t work. Help isn’t a big deal, but the key thing to watch out for are the items on the File menu, only New, Save, and Exit work. If you want to do a Save As, you need to either make a copy of the file before you open it and edit the copy or switch to the command prompt and make a copy before saving. All of the rest of the menu options work, including search and replace, find, and goto which are all the key commands when working with logs and scripts.


For the control panels, you can access these using the following commands:

Control datetime.cpl

Control intl.cpl

Datetime.cpl will let you set the time zone for your server.

Intl.cpl will let you change your keyboard for different layouts.


None of the above required any additions to Server Core, other then notepad.exe, control.exe, datetime.cpl, and intl.cpl. All of their required dependencies were already included.


Till next time,



Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Windows Server 2008 Server Core installs with a couple of default settings. In this post I’ll look into

  2. Anonymous says:


    It should be Control timedate.cpl

  3. Anonymous says:

    I know your covering many topics but I was wondering can I install Exchange 2003 ro 2007 into server core and just how would this be done?

    Thanks in advance!

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