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Installed Ubuntu 13.04 on a Dell laptop I had laying around. Install goes well but when I'm done, I only get a command line, no GUI at all. Tried several versions, tried 32 vs 64 bit all give me the same result. Any ideas on what to do/try?

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What ISO have you downloaded? – Mitch Jun 27 '13 at 14:23
A command line qualifies as a UI, you mean a GUI. Edited your question. – Alvar Jun 27 '13 at 14:28
Could it be you installed the server version? – Bart.a Jun 27 '13 at 14:28
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop – Rrjrjtlokrthjji Jun 27 '13 at 16:39

Few things I would make sure of.

  1. Check the name of that ISO file you downloaded and make sure it has "Desktop" in there somewhere.
  2. How old is the laptop? If it's too old, Unity won't run on it.
  3. If you want to try and install Unity anyway, sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
  4. If you can't use Unity with Ubuntu, either try a different distribution or install a different desktop environment. See here for a list/comparison of desktop environments for Linux.

Good luck!

EDIT: If you want to remove Unity, see this answer.

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Wow, thanks for all the comments. Bear with me, while I have over 20 years of dev experience, I'm a Linux noob and I'm helping my son set up Ubuntu at my suggestion. Clarification, yes the GUI is missing technically command line is a ui. I ran sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop (first had to sudo apt-get update). Took it about 20 minutes but didn't see any errors in the install. How do I run the GUI now? I have run Ubuntu before, even installed it before, but I've never seen this. – Bill Kunneke Jun 27 '13 at 20:55


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop 
sudo shutdown -r now

Worked! Not sure what he did wrong, would you suspect he downloaded the server even though I warned him? Again, great community here and thank you for your help.

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glad you solved the problem! you should mark your answer as the accepted answer (check the checkmark below the up/down votes) so other visitors to the site know that this worked. – amc Jun 28 '13 at 1:22
Next time you run across something like this.. Just download the desktop version and re-install.. That will be much faster then updating and installing all desktop packages. And there are a couple of differences between server and desktop, pre-installed package wise that is.. – Bart.a Jun 28 '13 at 5:46

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