So i moved to a new server and i want to install gnome desktop environment to access my server via vnc viewer.

But, i don't remember how i managed to install last time, so i tried

yum groupinstall "GNOME Desktop Environment" command and server said

Warning: Group GNOME Desktop Environment does not exist. No packages in any requested group available to install or update

It's a brand new server so i didn't add any repos or else yet

It's a centos 5.5 server ...


The list of available groups can be shown with yum grouplist. If it doesn't show up then someone (is this a VPS?) may have disabled or crippled the default yum repos.

If you can't get the group installed regardless then you can still get VNC access by installing vnc-server and configuring that.

The next option down would be installing an X server on your local system and doing X forwarding via SSH.

The next option would be to install freenx and use NX to access the system.

The final option, and the most popular by far, is to just learn how to administer the system via command line.

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  • its a dedicated but minimal install (its a web server), i checked yum grouplist and output is : Installed Groups: Yum Utilities Available Groups: Beagle FreeNX and NX Horde Mono Tomboy XFCE-4.4 So i just need to know how can i add more grouplist to yum, should i add a repo or what ? – Barbaros Jun 11 '10 at 1:09

Please try this one, in my case it worked OK:

yum groupinstall "Desktop" "Desktop Platform" "General Purpose Desktop"

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Hello Ignacio, you can launch command:

yum groupinstall "Desktop"
yum install xorg-x11-fonts-Type1

It should work. The second command is to install a font package that seems to be missing into the group configuration. Without this package your Gnome will be full of squares :)


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The following works atleast on CentOS 7, which while not the version in question, should help anyone who finds this question through google looking for a similar thing.

The command yum grouplist shows packages in two groups, Available Environment Groups and Available Groups.

In order to reference the Environment Groups you can use yum install @^GroupName while yum install @GroupName works for standard groups.


# yum grouplist
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
There is no installed groups file.
Maybe run: yum groups mark convert (see man yum)
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
Available Environment Groups:
   Minimal Install
   Compute Node
   Infrastructure Server
   File and Print Server
   MATE Desktop
   Basic Web Server
   Virtualization Host
   Server with GUI
   GNOME Desktop
   KDE Plasma Workspaces
   Development and Creative Workstation
Available Groups:
   CIFS file server
   Compatibility Libraries

# yum install "@GNOME Desktop"
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
Warning: Package group GNOME Desktop does not exist.
Nothing to do

# yum install "@^GNOME Desktop"
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
Warning: Group core does not have any packages to install.
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package ModemManager.x86_64 0:1.1.0-8.git20130913.el7 will be installed
--> Processing Dependency: ModemManager-glib(x86-64) = 1.1.0-8.git20130913.el7 for package: ModemManager-1.1.0-8.git20130913.el7.x86_64
--> Processing Dependency: libqmi-glib.so.1()(64bit) for package: ModemManager-1.1.0-8.git20130913.el7.x86_64
--> Processing Dependency: libmm-glib.so.0()(64bit) for package: ModemManager-1.1.0-8.git20130913.el7.x86_64
--> Processing Dependency: libmbim-glib.so.0()(64bit) for package: ModemManager-1.1.0-8.git20130913.el7.x86_64


NOTE You can identify an environmental group with use of the @^ prefix and a package group can be marked with @. When using yum group list, info, install, or remove, pass @group_name to specify a package group, @^group_name to specify an environmental group, or group_name to include both.

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Looking on one of my machines, you have the right group name. Somehow the minimal install must leave you with an incomplete repository. Try to enable the repository for the CD/DVD and install from that.

If that doesn't help, worst case you can pull the list of packages from comps.xml on the DVD and install them yourself.

@Ignacio - Even if there is no X :0 console, vnc-server still needs gnome binaries installed, or at least some GUI like xterm + twm.

Oh - and I've heard there can be missing/broken dependency rules when upgrading from a minimal system to a fuller one, so keep that in mind if you see package conflicts, etc.

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I had the same error. try with

yum install xorg-x11-fonts-Type1
yum groupinstall "X Window System" "Desktop"
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The following worked for me

yum groupinstall 'GNOME Desktop Environment'
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  • 1
    This doesn't really answer the question. This is exactly what the user said didn't work. – Scott Pack Oct 14 '12 at 0:50
  • 1
    Yep. On my case i got Warning: Group GNOME Desktop Environment does not exist. and cannot install it. – m3nda Sep 24 '14 at 2:39

I first ran a yum grouplist and found a group to use called "Basic Desktop"

the command worked on fedora 25 for me

yum -y groupinstall "Basic Desktop"

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