Note: I installed Ubuntu Minimal because of a bug in (apparently) all *buntu 15.04, 14.04 and 14.10 versions which cause the installer to hang when installing on my system before the partitioning stage... See these questions...

Example: Installation hangs up on 14.04

But I am not running on a laptop and that question did not help fix that problem, so I resorted to the minimal (text based) install.


I have installed Ubuntu using the Ubuntu Minimal Install image (~40MB) on a USB disk.

When I boot my computer I get the message on tty7 (CTRL+ALT+F7)

starting version 219

That's it, there's nothing else there. (What does this message mean?)

I figured there was no desktop environment, since one wasn't specified during the install process. (I'm sure the installed used to ask for a desktop environment option? Has this been removed from the install process?)

So I ran

sudo apt-get install mate-core
sudo reboot

Still nothing, same message appears. I can log into any of the other tty's, but if I run startx, I get the error:

The program `startx` is not currently installed. ... install package xinit

Do I want to install xinit? Or do I need to install mdm service or something?

Graphics card is a GTX 260 although I don't think this is of any relevance.

The question tagged as a duplicate is of no relevance to me. I acquired this problem through a completely different set of steps. (This is a new install, not a replacement of 1 desktop environment with another.) In addition, the fault is not "that I see this message" the fault is that I don't have a desktop environment. My question about starting version 219 is merely something I happen to be interested in.


I believe I have no desktop manager installed? The file /etc/X11/default-desktop-manager does not exist. How can I fix this?

Update 2

Okay so I might be breaking my system now... but I tried:

sudo apt-get install mdm

Because I figured I need a display manager of some sort. (Not sure what it is or does, but it's probably important.)

This didn't seem to help, so I then tried:

sudo apt-get install xinit

Which installed a vast number of packages.

I now have a desktop environment, but it's broken. When I run startx I get a desktop environment... but it looks like the 1990's linux desktop environments. (That sort of blocky grey everything.) I think this might be a fallback desktop environment for when you screw up your mate/gnome/unity/kde one?

What should I do now?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – fossfreedom
    Oct 5, 2015 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


Indeed there is no desktop environment on a minimal install. You can install it just typing

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

The dependencies should be resolved automatically, so it will be a long list of packages.

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