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I note that there are similar questions on how to remove the GUI from an Ubuntu install, so I know the technique, I'm just wondering is it worth doing?

To explain, I have a Ubuntu server hosting OpenVPN which is up and running smoothly. I don't need the GUI and know that a server which doesn't have the GUI has a smaller attack surface and a reduced need for updating, as there are less components running, so is it a wise move to uninstall the GUI?

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If it's a server you should also install the server versions of the kernel. And no it's not worth converting a desktop to a server installation. The upside of doing it all again is that you will learn much more about working with Ubuntu server! :) – Alvar Apr 11 '13 at 16:24
Servers do not come with a GUI for a reason. Generally not needed and yes every program / application increases the attack surface. Best to keep it to a minimum. If you need a graphical interface, use a web based option such as webmin. – bodhi.zazen Apr 11 '13 at 16:29
@Alvar, there is no difference between the kernels any more (since 12.04, or so) – guntbert Apr 11 '13 at 18:11
the gui is already there bodhi, I'm looking at removing it now. There isn't much more configuration that needs to be done to the server, and anything that does need doing I can do from the command line. The GUI is only there because it was installed by default. – kafka Apr 11 '13 at 21:26
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you don't need it, uninstall it. As you predicted, that'll reduce the time it takes to upgrade, and reduce the attack surface.

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Ok cool just wanted to be sure I wasn't about to do anything bone-headed (I'm a Windows Server Admin by trade). – kafka Apr 11 '13 at 21:26

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