I've installed Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit on my machine. But when I switch on the computer, I get command line:

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS COMP-1245 tty1

And it prompts for username and password. Once I provide my username and password, it authenticates login and then displays a link to documentation.

Now, how can I start GUI? I'm stuck at command line.


If you tried the command startx, but the error command not found was returned, then to install a graphical desktop, in case it is not installed, you would type this:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
  • 1
    Thanks that did it. But why was it not installed while installing the OS itself? – Sushan Ghimire Jul 27 '12 at 8:59
  • 2
    @MrGhimire It should've been. Are you sure you didn't install with the minimal or server CD? You did say you used the desktop CD, but I don't see how that could've installed Ubuntu without gnome. – geirha Jul 27 '12 at 10:42
  • @MrGhimire The minimal CD has a menu that asks if you'd like to install extra packages. Among these are ubuntu-desktop, as well a couple other desktops. Select it and make sure to press space on it, then enter to continue. If you just press enter, it'll skip it. – JVE999 May 8 '14 at 2:04
  • (On my VMware player) Is said ubuntu-desktop is already the newest version. after reboot it is again opening in command line. – student Jun 18 '15 at 8:49

Try to use startx in your tty , if it does not work on one terminal try Ctrl+Alt+F1 to F6 in order to switch a new tty

  • 1
    This brings up a background image, and if I right click I get a menu containing "New Folder" , "New Document" etc but nothing useful. I don't get any kind of usable desktop, no dock, not menu bar, nothing. – Michael Jun 18 '15 at 18:55

I have had the same problem. The solution is as the said try and install X.org and the Ubuntu Desktop. Also, don't forget the build essential packages:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

you might have to install X.org separate but also! Take advantage of this Command Line because (for my situation) Ubuntu kept trying to use my display port. I almost feel 12.04 has more bugs then the previous releases.

  • 4
    Why is build-essential needed? It is a tool helping the compilation of programs. While it is, for a developer, useful to have installed - I don't see any compiling in the solution. Unless you want to compile ubuntu-desktop? – UniversallyUniqueID Mar 20 '16 at 17:02
  • It's required for stuff like DKMS too – Suici Doga Dec 29 '17 at 14:53
  • @SuiciDoga: The DKMS package already depends on the necessary build tools. – David Foerster Jun 21 '18 at 13:48

protected by Community Jun 3 '13 at 16:46

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