Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've installed Ubuntu 12.04, but when I login it says bryan@ubuntu:~$ and waits for me to type something. Is it supposed to be the password or is there a command I'm supposed to enter?

Thank you!

share|improve this question
Is it Ubuntu Desktop or Server? – kelvinafox Feb 1 '13 at 18:40
It sounds like you're at a virtual terminal instead of a GUI. Try pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7. This should take you to your standard GUI login screen. – iBelieve Feb 1 '13 at 18:40
@iBelieve Typically the only reasons someone isn't on tty7 after boot is if X11 isn't running at all. Running startx from the $ prompt can sometimes help though. – Eliah Kagan Feb 1 '13 at 18:57
@kelvinafox its ubuntu server. should i have used desktop? im installing it as the only os on the laptop.. – user127859 Feb 1 '13 at 19:09
Because it is Ubuntu Server, it doesn't have a GUI at all. This might help explain the differences between Ubuntu Desktop or Server. – iBelieve Feb 1 '13 at 19:14

Since you see bryan@ubuntu:~$, you are already logged in. bryan is logged on at (@) the machine which you named ubuntu. The ~ shows where you are in the file system (~ means home folder) and the $ means it is waiting for your commands.

Ubuntu Server is meant to be used from the command line (mainly for server administration). If you want to have a graphical environment (windows, icons, buttons, mouse pointer and such), you should install Ubuntu Desktop instead of Ubuntu Server.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.