Q. How do I add and remove roles and features in Windows Server 2008 R2 from the command line?

A. The Servermanagercmd that was used for this task Server 2008 is still available and you can use it, but the command has been deprecated and may not be in future versions. Instead, you should use the provided servermanager module cmdlets for role and feature management.

Depending on your PowerShell instance, you may need to import the servermanager module using the command

Import-Module servermanager

To list the roles and features that are available and installed, use the Get-WindowsFeatures cmdlet with no parameters. This cmdlet will match the output from the command "servermanagercmd -query". You can also pass a specific role or feature to see if it's installed. For example, to check if Hyper-V is installed, you would use

PS C:\> Get-WindowsFeature Hyper-V

Display Name Name
------------ ----
\[X\] Hyper-V Hyper-V

There's an X in the box, so you know its installed.

To install or remove roles or features, use the Add-WindowsFeature and Remove-WindowsFeature cmdlets. Don't let the names fool you; Even though it says feature, you can still add and remove roles. Note that your PowerShell instance must be running with administrator credentials for role and feature modification.

Related Reading:

Check out hundreds more useful Q&As like this in John Savill's FAQ for Windows. Also, watch instructional videos made by John at ITTV.net.
TAGS: Windows 8
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