I use to set up my Ubuntu desktop from scratch, (Ubuntu server + Xorg + Openbox etc...). But I found out that in the 20.04 lts version, Xorg comes with Gnome out of the box. I tried sudo apt install xorg-server but I get an error: E: Unable to locate package xorg-server

Is it still possible to install Xorg without installing Gnome ?


The problem here is the dependencies, package suggestions and recommendations.

At first - there is no binary xorg-server package in the repositories, this is the name of source code package, so there are binary packages which were built from it.

So you have to install one of them with

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-core --no-install-recommends --no-install-suggests

To install Openbox with minimal dependencies use:

sudo apt-get install openbox --no-install-recommends --no-install-suggests

For correct Xorg initialisation you have to install xinit package by:

sudo apt-get install xinit

Finally you need to install the login manager like Slim with:

sudo apt-get install slim

And then reboot or launch slim manually by sudo service slim start.


  1. The resulting system installed from mini.iso will contain about 500 packages.
  2. If you want to have easy way and do not really care about 50 extra packages - use simple one command to install all the stuff - sudo apt-get install xinit openbox slim .
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  • Thanks it works. Actually the arguments --no-install-recommends and --no-install-suggests are not necessary. But the ordering of the installs is important. sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-core sudo apt-get install openbox sudo apt-get install xinit If I install xinit before openbox the Gnome package will be installed as well. – Duddy67 Jul 4 at 17:21
  • I saw the same, this is why answer was edited 5 times :) So you can accept my answer. – N0rbert Jul 4 at 17:33

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