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I'm currently playing with virtualbox and just installed ubuntu-minimal.

I then proceeded to install gnome-core. After reinstalling, I rebooted but I'm taken back to the CLI. How do I load gnome when in command line? And how do I make it run gnome by default after booting?

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When i run 'gnome-session', I'm given the warning "Cannot open display" – oadams Nov 17 '10 at 6:35
up vote 2 down vote accepted

install gdm. you can later set gdm to auto login to the user account with gnome (it will handle starting X for you as well)

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If you want GNOME to start automatically, try installing gdm. GDM is the default X display manager (which provides the login screen, and launches GNOME on login), and it should automatically start on boot.

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Also, gdm Recommends the X server and its drivers, so it should pull in enough to get a basic GNOME session going, I believe. If not, install xserver-xorg. – wgrant Nov 17 '10 at 7:02
Yeah, it does: no need to install xserver-xorg – oadams Nov 17 '10 at 7:13

In order to run gnome you must also install all the xorg/xserver stack as well as a lot of gnome pieces to get a functional desktop.

Normally you would just install ubuntu-desktop, which would install everything for you. But something in your question suggests what you want to do is install each package and see how it fits together to make a small install base. Run this:

apt-cache show ubuntu-desktop | grep Recommends:

And look through the results to find packages which you may need to install to get a gnome desktop working. Once you've got gdm and xorg installed it should just be a matter of:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start

And you can also make gdm start by default by adding it to the rc.d if it's not loading by default when you install it.

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