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After installing Ubuntu server how do I install the desktop environment?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Depending on which desktop you wish to install, you install the the meta-package that installs all the necessary packages. You can use apt-get or aptitude to do this.

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

installs the Gnome desktop

sudo aptitude install kubuntu-desktop

would install the KDE desktop

further desktop meta-packages are xubuntu-desktop lubuntu-desktop, and edubuntu-desktop .

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For onlookers, here's additional info I found useful that's on the same wavelength as the answer - ubuntugeek.com/install-gui-in-ubuntu-server.html –  John K Aug 13 '10 at 3:30

If you wan to install a graphical desktop manager without some of the desktop addons like Evolution and OpenOffice, but continue to use the server flavor kernel use the following command

sudo aptitude install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-desktop

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+1 Very useful info. –  John K Oct 18 '10 at 3:37
dam... started the install from the answer and scrolled down to this. :( –  Meirion Hughes Jun 11 '14 at 8:29

If you just need to run virtual GUI (GUI exsists but you dont need to see it) on the computer for testing or other purposes.

sudo apt-get install xvnc4viewer

Is a setup I have.


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So, the server isn't running the desktop, but you can still VNC from a client machine and get a desktop? That would be perfect for my needs (dunno about the OP). –  Scaine Oct 16 '10 at 8:34
yeah you see a graphical shell. –  Matt H May 8 '14 at 3:42
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
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