I am fairly new to Ubuntu Server. I know it is possible to install a desktop environment. Once I have done so, how can I:

  1. Always boot into the command-line?
  2. Start the desktop environment from the command-line?
  3. Switch back to the command-line from the desktop environment?

My goal is to be able to VNC into the desktop environment.


Though it's not recommended, Install your desired desktop first.


  1. sudo systemctl set-default multi-user.target

  2. sudo systemctl isolate graphical.target

  3. sudo systemctl isolate multi-user.target

  1. I think even after installing desktop environment you will boot into the command line. In order to run DE at startup you will have to enable proper startup services using systemctl enable [put service name here].
  2. You have to look up the command for starting the desired desktop. For xfce, the command is startxfce4.
  3. Unfortunately, I don't know the answer for that. :(

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