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I want to know if it's possible to install ubuntu server (if there is an other Linux distribution that solves this I'm open to suggestion) with both GUI and CLI so that i can choose to boot it with either GUI or CLI.

Background

I'm new to Linux servers (have been using desktop linux for a few years however). I like to set up a Linux for mail, I started to install ubuntu server. What i notice quickly was that the CLI is not that good for configuring all those files for a email server. Both the lack of having multipliable configure files open at the same time and the lack of copy paste. So what i would like to do is to boot the server in a GUI environment to configure everything then when I'm done i boot the server in to CLI so i wont have a GUI that eats up ram.

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There are many non-X text editor available which offer multi-file, copy/paste, and much, much more. –  jscott Dec 22 '12 at 21:02
    
Debian if you want something familiar. If not there are so many nice distros like Fedora, Gentoo, Archlinux , OpenSuSE, Mageia, Slackware .... Youre choice –  rhasti Dec 22 '12 at 21:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

BTW, even if you setup the console to boot into the GUI mode, there is always a method to boot into a text mode window if you wish.....all you have to do is basically press CTL-ALT-1 to get to a standard text login.

So therefore, even if you have the GUI mode activated, you can always login in text mode.

So the basic answer is that you don't have to do anything.

Also, within the GUI mode, you can always being up an xterm and get to the standard text mode.

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You can install, configure and work on a most of the linux distribution (including Ubutnu), in both CLI and GUI.

Though I always prefer a CLI to do things, but what you are looking for is also possible.

Just fyi, you can open multiple configuration files in different terminal, and also you can copy paste too in the CLI mode itself, in case you have to stick with CLI only.

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