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Is there a GUI for Ubuntu server at install time?

i installed Ubuntu Server 9.04, and logged in at the text based login prompt. i was hoping the GUI would then launch so i can configure the server.

Related Questions

GUI on Ubuntu server?

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What desktop do you want to install K, Gnome, XFCE, *box... Also, in my opinion there's no need to have a GUI on a server. I can waste resources and open security holes. – devin Aug 19 '09 at 21:35
up vote 6 down vote accepted

i installed Ubuntu Server 9.04, and logged in at the text based login prompt. i was hoping the GUI would then launch so i can configure the server.

I stand by my answer on the question you linked to.

I don't know how much value enabling a GUI will actually give you. Most of the things that you need to do to manage a server you are going to have to do in a terminal anyway. A GUI on a server doesn't really do much for you. There isn't many server services that are configurable from any of the GUIs.

As for how to do install a GUI install on the server. As part of the base install you could choose to install in expert mode. One of the steps will give you the option to choose which tasks, and you can choose to install additional things like the a GUI. It would probably be easier to simply add a GUI after the base-install is complete though. The command you would need to use is sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop.

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+1 Pretty much the prefect answer – David Pashley Aug 19 '09 at 19:51
"A GUI on a server doesn't really do much for you." i was hoping Ubuntu solved the usability problems of other linux servers. – Ian Boyd Aug 19 '09 at 22:44
@Ian: It does. It's called apt-get. – Luke Aug 20 '09 at 11:13
@Luke: Next time i install Ubuntu i'll look for something to click called "apt-get". – Ian Boyd Apr 4 '10 at 0:06
You can. System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager – Luke Apr 10 '10 at 14:09
sudo apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment

Via ServerGUI @ Ubuntu Server Wiki.

Also; from the entry:

Most Ubuntu Server developers do not recommend installing X on a server. There are multiple reasons for not installing a GUI.

Some reasons to not install a GUI include:

* You'll have more code subject to security vulnerabilities, more
  packages that need updating, and more server downtime.
* X11 and desktop packages are not supported for the full 5 year
  lifecycle of the LTS server release.
* Performance may suffer because resources (memory, hard disk space,
 CPU, etc.) will be consumed by the GUI.
* It is best practice to only install needed software on a production server.
* The GUI may include other network services that are inappropriate for a server.

One of the goals of Ubuntu Desktop Edition is to make it easier for users to use Linux. When installing some desktop environments, services that you may not specifically want will be installed. For example avahi-daemon, which is used to help configure networking, adds another open port and may introduce unwanted DNS conflicts with a .local domain.

So for the most secure server it is best to not install a GUI.

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sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

if you understand the risks mentioned above. By the way, gnome-desktop-environment package is not installed by default in Ubuntu

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