I have just provisioned a new VM on Azure with Windows Server 2016 to run an experiment. When I connect in via remote desktop, I can just see an administrator cmd prompt and no desktop. Is this normal? How do I access the internet to download software to start my experiment?
You need to check which image you used, as it sounds like you used a Windows Server Core image, which has no GUI. It is perfectly possible to have a 2016 Azure VM with a desktop from a gallery image, I have many of them, you just need to select the right image. Right now on the gallery there are three 2016 images:
- Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4
- Windows Server Nano 2016 Technical Preview 4
- Windows Server Core 2016 Technical Preview 4
You need to choose the first one, I suspect you used the last one.
You can either recreate the VM with the right image, or you can add the GUI to your existing machine by typing "sconfig" in the command line window (if the server configuration screen is not already open) then selecting the "Restore Graphical Interface" option, I think its number 12.
The desktop experience has been removed from most images that have become part of the Semi-Annual Channel.
But it is still available in images with Windows Server 2016 - DataCenter edition, which belong to the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)
Windows server 2016 supports the powershell
invoke-webrequest applet, which will allow you to access and download info from a URL from the command line, similar to
wget in Linux (in fact, wget is an alias to invoke-webrequest in powershell).
So, for example, to grab a copy of my webpage I can do
wget www.itsalwaysmyproblem.com -outfile test.htm
To prove it's there...