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How to get a GUI environment with Ubuntu Server?

I'd like to do some work with Ubuntu Server software. I'm familiar with Ubuntu Linux and have a fair bit of experience with networking and server technology, but I'm not strong on the Linux command-line. I tried to install the latest version of Ubuntu server, but it was just a command line. Is there a GUI version of Ubuntu server OR and easy way to install one from the command line?


marked as duplicate by Jjed, RobotHumans, Eliah Kagan, Jorge Castro, Mitch Sep 4 '12 at 6:59

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  • sudo apt-get install lxde xorg or sudo apt-get install xfce4 xorg is a couple of possibilities – CrandellWS May 23 '14 at 18:06

You can install a light environment, LXDE. To install it, just run the command below.

sudo apt-get install lxde

As roadmr said, you'd better get comfortable, with the server command line.

Thats how you get the better control over your server. For more information see the

Ubuntu Server Guide

For more information on how to install GUI on Ubuntu server see

Ubuntu 12.04 Server – How to Install a GUI

  • 1
    Unless I'm confused Ctrl+Alt+T is obviously unnecessary here, given that there is no desktop environment installed yet? – Brian Z Apr 22 '18 at 1:52

You can install the desktop environment used in the desktop edition on top of your server install by doing:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

on your Ubuntu server installation.

Be warned, however, that unlike Windows, there's not much of a way to configure services and system settings via the GUI. If you plan to seriously use Ubuntu server, I strongly suggest you become comfortable and familiar with the shell.


For installing Unity desktop you can use following command:

sudo aptitude install --without-install-recommends ubuntu-desktop

or for smaller package to download use:

sudo aptitude install --without-recommends ubuntu-desktop
  • Aptitude does not recognize --without-install-recommends. I think you are confusing this flag with a similar one that exists for apt-get (--no-install-recommends). – Martin Andersson Nov 19 '16 at 18:08

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