I recently installed Ubuntu Server LTS 16.04.3. I decided to add a minimal GUI using the command commonly recommended for doing so:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-desktop

What I got was a GUI that doesn't recognize any commands. I can't even get a terminal window to appear. Typing any text in the Search bar results in "Sorry, there is nothing that matches your search", regardless of what I enter. The installation is now essentially useless because I can't initiate any actions. What am I doing wrong?

  • 2
    You don't have any of the underlying software needed to run in a desktop environment due to --no-install-recommends – m_krsic Dec 8 '17 at 5:23
  • I don't know your reasoning for installing a desktop, but there are web based graphical front ends for server management that may better serve your needs. – Panther Dec 8 '17 at 16:11
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you must use a GUI on your server for testing and learning purposes, i.e. not in production where you shouldn't have X installed at all, try using something lighter like XFCE.

You don't have any of the underlying software needed to run in a desktop environment due to --no-install-recommends

You can either install the full desktop with recomended software for unity/ubuntu-desktop by repeating your step without --no-install-recommends

or

if you want to try XFCE you can

sudo apt-get autoremove ubuntu-desktop

then

sudo apt-get install xfce4 xfce4-goodies

  • OK, thanks. I'm not sure why so many people recommend using the "--no-install-recommends" option, then, resulting as it does in a dysfunctional interface. – Servant Dec 8 '17 at 17:33

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