How To Install GUI on Ubuntu Server Linux

How To Install GUI on Ubuntu Server Linux

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The How To Install GUI on Ubuntu Server Linux

People have different opinions on installing graphical user interface, GUI for short, on Ubuntu servers. Some may say that server operations should be performed through a command line interface, or CLI, exclusively. Indeed, the graphical interfaces use the hardware resources of the system, mainly the processor and the RAM.

GUIs use up these resources even when they’re idle, but that’s not a big deal if your system has a lot of RAM and a motherboard with two sockets. If you think the GUI can be useful and increase productivity, or if you are just curious, you can install it and give it a chance.

This guide will show you how to install several different GUIs on your Ubuntu server.

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Before installing

To be able to install any GUI you will need an Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) and Secure Shell (SSH) enabled server. This network protocol is cryptographic and its purpose is to ensure a secure connection to the server. What is also important is that you log in as a non-root user and you need sudo privileges.

Ubuntu

Before you begin, make sure your system has the latest upgrades and updates. Use this command:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Also run this to install the task manager:

$ sudo apt install tasks

Now you need to decide which GUI will be the best option for your server. You need to factor in the hardware resources and maybe go for a lightweight GUI instead of the more visually pleasing ones. Lubuntu desktop and Xfce4 GUI fall into the lightweight category, while GNOME desktop, which is the default option, consumes more resources.

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GUI Installation Guide for Ubuntu

For minimal resource consumption, consider installing only core desktop tasks. First you need to list the tasks:

$ tasksel –list-task

Use tasksel for installation after choosing a GUI task name:

$ sudo tasksel install GUI-TASK-NAME

You should now find the correct display manager, as task tasks all require a display manager. Some of the lighter ones are thin – lightdm and xdm.

Finally, you can install some of the following five GUIs on an Ubuntu server.

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1. Lubuntu Core server desktop

Let’s start with the least resource consuming GUI for an Ubuntu Bionic Beaver server. Of course, this is Lubuntu, which is inspired by the LXDE environment for the desktop. To start the installation you need to enter this command:

$ sudo tasksel install lubuntu-core

When the installation of Lubuntu is complete, you need to open the display manager with this command:

$ sudo service lightdm start

Otherwise, you can just restart the server.

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2. Desktop of Mate Core Server

Again, you will use the tasksel command to install this desktop environment:

$ sudo tasksel installs ubuntu-mate-core

After that you need to restart your system or start the display manager like this:

$ sudo service lightdm start

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3. XFCE Office

You have the possibility to install a graphical interface on an Ubuntu server directly. To do this, run the following command which will also install the thin display manager:

$ sudo apt install xfce4 slim

You guessed it, you can now start the thin display manager with this command or restart the server:

$ sudo service slim start

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4. Xubuntu Core server desktop

Xubuntu copied good stuff from the Xfce desktop. You can install it with this command:

$ sudo tasksel install xubuntu-core

As always, start your display manager or restart the server.

$ sudo service lightdm start

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5. GNOME

GNOME takes a little longer to install; it depends on the software and hardware requirements of your server. Install GNOME by running this command:

$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop

You can also use the default command:

$ sudo tasksel ubuntu-desktop

You must also restart the system or activate the display manager:

$ sudo service lightdm start

How to install the GUI on the Ubuntu server

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What is the problem with this GUI?

All of the GUI options mentioned work fine, but you should keep in mind the system requirements and the resources they consume. Remember, GNOME is the most demanding on the list. Which one did you choose? Are you satisfied? Let us know in the comments.

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FAQ: How To Install GUI on Ubuntu Server Linux

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