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I've installed a minimal gnome desktop on my ubuntu 14.04 server. How do I switch to it? Right now i'm on the tty. I tried Alt+f7 but it just takes me to a screen with a red cursor flashing in the top left corner. Help?

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Depending on what you call "minimal", do:

cp /etc/skel/.xinitrc ~
echo 'exec gnome-session' >> ~/.xinitrc
startx ~/.xinitrc gnome-session

using .xinitrc to start X. Or:

service start gdm

(if you installed gdm, or other Display Managers, such as lightdm).

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All you need to do is type the command:

startx

from a command prompt (tty1-tty6).

Your Xsession should start on tty7, although, it may start on tty8 or another.

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  • @mdpc it doesn't just depend on system configuration and can also depend on other factors, such as, if tty7 or tty8 are already in use.
    – mchid
    Oct 12 '14 at 22:14

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