Ubuntu – How do you run Ubuntu Server with a GUI


Trying to run a Ubuntu server for the first time… But everything is in a terminal. Is there a way to switch to a GUI?

Best Answer

  • There's no specific distribution called “Ubuntu server”, it's all Ubuntu. There are different installation media for Ubuntu desktop and server, but the difference is only in the initial installation program and the set of packages included. The server installation media doesn't install a GUI by default, but it's just a package installation away. The desktop installation media does install a GUI by default.

    To add a desktop UI environment to an Ubuntu installed as the "server" variety, you'll need to install some packages from the internet.

    Run these commands to install a desktop environment:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

    You should get a graphical login prompt at that point (I'm not completely sure; if you don't get one, reboot).

    Once you have a GUI, you should go and enable a few more software sources, at the very least security updates and the universe repository. Click on the Ubuntu button, and search for "Software Sources”, and check the “restricted”, “universe” and “multiverse” boxes (in addition to “main”) in the first tab, and check at least “-security” and “-updates” (and you might as well check the others) in the “Updates” tab.

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