I am new to Virtualbox and Vagrant.

I followed Vagrant Get Started Guide, and have a VirtualBox running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 32-bit.


However, there's no graphical user interface (only a terminal).

Could anyone point me a box with a GUI?

  • I was asking myself the same thing. What really confused me is that the hashicorp/precise32 box does not explicitly say whether it's the desktop or server variant. It just says "A standard Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 32-bit box", but "standard" in my world would be "desktop", and there are LTS versions of both desktop and server.
    – sschuberth
    Jun 10, 2015 at 7:41

1 Answer 1


By default, no. Server distros don't have a GUI, but you can easily add one using apt-get.

People commonly use Gnome, XFCE etc. A quick search will get you what you need, depending on which Desktop Environment (DE) you're looking for.

XFCE is great and lightweight. If you're running a server system, you might want that to keep memory free for other applications.

Installing XFCE

sudo apt-get install xfce4

Installing Gnome

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

After installing the desktop, you'll also want to install GDM which will let you boot directly into a graphical environment. (or lightDM)

sudo apt-get install gdm

or: sudo apt-get install lightdm

Once done, you'll want to configure it.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
  • Thanks, BenK... running sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3 causes add-apt-repository: command not found. Any idea on solving the problem?
    – Mingyu
    May 27, 2013 at 23:21
  • 2
    Running sudo apt-get install python-software-properties solves that problem
    – Mingyu
    May 27, 2013 at 23:29
  • Note that apt-get install xubuntu-desktop will install Xubuntu themes, applications, etc. while apt-get install xfce4 just installs XFCE. The same goes for LXDE.
    – ignis
    Jun 5, 2013 at 9:49
  • If this doesn't work for you - it didn't for me - take gdm out of the equation. The only thing you need is 1. sudo apt-get install xfce4 and then 2. sudo startxfce4&. That's it.
    – Air
    Nov 16, 2013 at 22:24
  • Don't forget to configure the GUI in vagrant. Example for vagrant + virtualbox: config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |v| v.gui = true end
    – josketres
    Jun 17, 2014 at 21:20

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