When I had installed a GUI in Ubuntu Server (In virtualbox) with
sudo apt-get install xorg gnome-core gnome-system-tools gnome-app-install
I had a problem: the screen gets in black, and only appear the cursor.
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I think you should install the corresponding metapackage
gnome (should be the same as
gnome-desktop-environment) instead of single other packages. Probably you're missing a dependency.
I recommend the following command:
sudo apt-get install gnome
Alternatively, if you don't want the full environment with all additional programs you might not necessarily need, you can also just install the core desktop:
sudo apt-get install gnome-core