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?

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    Yesterday I have downloaded Windows server 2016 Tech preview 4. Its a core OS, Only core OS is available. I have searched in MSDN also, So you might have also installed core OS i think so check it once. – vembutech Mar 10 '16 at 10:10
  • @vembutech hmmm, I have all the files I would expect, documents, pictures etc. and I have an windows installation in the files? – George Edwards Mar 10 '16 at 10:12
  • @vembutech that's not correct. Both core and non core versions are available. I am using them right now. – Sam Cogan Mar 10 '16 at 10:28

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.

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The desktop experience has been removed from most images that have become part of the Semi-Annual Channel.

http://www.techkb.onl/where-has-desktop-experience-mode-gone-on-server-1709/ https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/semi-annual-channel-overview/

But it is still available in images with Windows Server 2016 - DataCenter edition, which belong to the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)

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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...

type .\test.htm
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