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I am using Ubuntu Server 12.04 and I intend to use some graphical tools to administrate the server. That's why I installed ubuntu-desktop:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

And I enabled it with:


However, as soon as I finish with the administration I would like to disable it without leaving background processes consuming the CPU.

How can I achieve this?

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You should be able to simply remove lightdm and use startx to manually start your X sessions.

sudo apt-get remove lightdm

This will remove the ubuntu-desktop meta package.

You can also edit /etc/default/grub

and change




then run

sudo update-grub

share|improve this answer
just to make it clear, choose one option or the other. There is no need to choose both options. I prefer to remove lightdm (or other managers) but changing the grub config seems to be the more "supported" method. – coteyr Apr 1 '13 at 22:55
What about the GRUB_TERMINAL command? – CMCDragonkai Mar 17 '14 at 7:00
What command do you write to disable the GUI? – Karl Morrison Mar 21 '14 at 3:59

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