I have a Windows XP laptop, in which I run VirtualBox with the latest Ubuntu, my hardware is little old, so running the latest version of Ubuntu inside Virtual box is kind of a hassle, very slow performances, even if all i'm doing is running the terminal and practicing Linux commands !

I tried DSL (Damn Small Linux) with my VirtualBox, very small distro (50 MB), I am satisfied with how faster is my system now, but I miss Ubuntu, moreover, DSL is missing too many commands, such as sed an many others that I can't remember.

Is it possible to run Ubuntu just in console mode, no GUI or minimum GUI...no nice effects no fancy graphics? A link / tutorial would be much appreciated.

  • If sed etc. is the only issue, it seems like you can use APT on DSL: damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/enabling_apt.html After that, you just need to apt-get install sed – Benjamin Maurer Mar 20 '13 at 15:23
  • Xubuntu and Lubuntu are lightweight GUI desktops. If you want a GUI free version you could consider the Server version but that includes other things you may not want or take a look at Ubuntu Minimal download is here and there is an how to here just install the bits you want. – Warren Hill Mar 20 '13 at 15:36

The easiest way is to install Ubuntu Server inside VirtualBox, it cames with no GUI by default, just command line.

If you change your mind and need a GUI, try Lubuntu,it uses LXDE a quite light GUI.

  • you mean install ? i do not want to install anything now, just because my system is old, and i still need my XP for school homework...i'm planning an upgrade thou :) hardware first, then UBUNTU next – joe Mar 20 '13 at 15:09
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    I think he means installing Ubuntu Server into the VM... – Benjamin Maurer Mar 20 '13 at 15:17
  • ok, you guys are awesome, too many answers unfortunately i cannot up vote everybody :) Thanks a lot – joe Mar 20 '13 at 16:03
  • Ubuntu Server == 800 MB. LOL small distro)) – Green Jun 12 '17 at 19:38

If you have installed ubuntu on vbox than run ubuntu and press right-ctrl + F2

By doing this you will enter terminal mode and to come back anytime to GUI PRESS right-ctrl + F7

By doing this i think you dont even need to install new ubuntu you can run your current ubuntu without graphics and can practice

Hope this will help you


You can try installing Xubuntu.

  • how is it different ? i'm total beginner, bear with me :) – joe Mar 20 '13 at 15:10
  • It just ships with a different Desktop (GUI). Xubuntu comes with XFCE, which is more "light weight" than unity. But I'm not sure if its going to be that much faster. – Benjamin Maurer Mar 20 '13 at 15:18
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    @user68186 Xubuntu potentially meets the description "...or minimum GUI...no nice effects no fancy graphics." It's possible to get a lot more minimal than Xubuntu, and in fact there's no need to have a GUI running at all, so this is probably not a very good answer (and might even be considered wrong), but it is still an answer. This answer should be longer and contain more explanation, but it's still better as an answer than a comment. – Eliah Kagan Mar 20 '13 at 16:45
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    i will go for XUBUNTU tonight after work...hopefully everything will be ok, thanks – joe Mar 20 '13 at 18:50
  • @joe Please remember that you can run Ubuntu with no GUI at all, and that if you want a full-featured GUI, Lubuntu is lighter-weight than Xubuntu. – Eliah Kagan Mar 21 '13 at 1:37

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