install gui on ubuntu server

How to install GUI on Ubuntu Server ?

This tutorial guides you on how to install GUI or graphical desktop environment on Ubuntu Server. By default ubuntu server does not have a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Without a reason if you want a GUI then you need to give up some system resources like memory and processor for graphical desktop environment.

Install GUI or graphical desktop environment on Ubuntu Server

install gui on ubuntu server

The following are the prerequisites to install GUI on Ubuntu Server.

  1. Ubuntu Linux Server
  2. User account to access Ubuntu Server with sudo and root privileges.
  3. And the apt-get package manager to install software packages.

Update repositories and system packages

You need to run the following commands to update repositories and system packages.

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Therefore, you will get all the latest packages installed on your server.

Install Display Manager to enable Login screen

You need to install display manager in your Linux server. Therefore, you will be able to see Ubuntu Server GUI login screen. There are some display managers available for you to install like SLiM, SDDM and LightDM.

For example, to install display manager you need to run the following commands.

To install SLiM,

$ sudo apt-get install slim

To install SDDM,

$ sudo apt-get install sddm

Install LightDM using the following command.

$ sudo apt-get install lightdm

Install GUI for your Ubuntu Server

There are many popular desktop environments (GUIs) available like GNOME, Xfce, KDE Plasma, Ubuntu Mate Core, Lubuntu Core Desktop Server etc.,

First, install tasksel manager which is the utility to install one of the many desktop environments available. This utility also provides graphical interface for you to choose the GUI that you wanted as shown below.

Install GUI or graphical desktop environment on Ubuntu Server

To install tasksel,

$ sudo apt-get install tasksel

If you don’t want to use the graphical interface or wizard, you can also use apt-get, tasksel install commands as shown below.

For example, to install GNOME,

$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop

To install Xfce desktop,

$ sudo apt-get install xfce4 slim

Launch Xfce using the command below. Note slim is the display manager. Hence replace that with your chosen display manager (SLiM/ SDDM/ LightDM)

$ sudo service slim start

To install KDE plasma,

$ sudo apt-get install KDE-plasma-desktop

And to launch KDE plasma use the command below.

$ sudo service slim start

Similarly you can install other desktop environments like ubuntu mate core and lubuntu core with following commands.

$sudo tasksel install ubuntu-mate-core
$sudo service slim start


$sudo tasksel install lubuntu core
$sudo service slim start

That’s it. You had learnt how to install GUI or graphical desktop environments on Ubuntu Server.

Hope this article is helpful 🙂

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