Is there a doc released by Microsoft (or another reputable source) that details the difference in resource foot print of a server core install vs the minimal GUI install (Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra)?

In the docs I have found Microsoft merely alludes to Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra using more resources than core, but less than a full GUI. I know this can obviously vary based on the roles being installed, but has anyone explored this more thoroughly?

I ask because, while all servers are managed remotely, in the (rare) event I have to be in front of a server, or need to console directly into a VM, the GUI would be pretty handy- as much as I like the new cmdlets. If the difference in resource overhead of a minimal GUI install is close enough to core I'd rather install that.


The difference IS minimal even on a 512mb vm and that is simply something only running DNS or similar.

Do not forget that not used parts can be moved out to a swap file by the OS.... and it does so with the GUI when not in use.

I Would use server core more on stauff I dont need to maintain, like for example Hyper-V hosts in a failover cluster. One acts up - nice, remove, replace, reimage, the VM's are moved off automatically.

We moved - now with installing 2012 r2 - to full UI's on all vm's.

The price - if anything - is more reboots on vm's due to more patches needed, than more ressources.

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    "The price - if anything - is more reboots..."- this would probably be an acceptable disadvantage for our environment. I also remember reading Microsoft says that if no one is logged on interactively a GUI install should not be using more RAM\CPU resources than core. But is there a whitepaper on this or something "official" I can refer management to? – red888 Oct 28 '13 at 20:21
  • No, not really. I ahve made the same decision - go all in on the UI side. Unless you run relatively high reundancy the risk of having progblems fixing somehthing is not worth it. – TomTom Oct 28 '13 at 21:04

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