I have installed CentOS 6 in Virtualbox. Although I have chosen to install General Purpose GNOME Desktop, the GNOME desktop does not start. All I get is a black and white text prompt. I would like to know how I can install GNOME Desktop from the CentOS DVD.

  1. How do I mount the DVD image?

  2. How do I install GNOME desktop from command line?

  3. If I already have the GNOME Desktop installed, why doesn't it start? How can I check from command line that I have GNOME installled?

This virtual machine does not have internet connection, that's why I want to install the GNOME Desktop from DVD.


1) if you have an iso file you can do something like this;

# mkdir /tmp/dvd1 /tmp/dvd2
# mount -ro loop CentOS-6.0-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso /tmp/dvd1
# mount -ro loop CentOS-6.0-x86_64-bin-DVD2.iso /tmp/dvd2

2) I think you would need the following under CentOS to get a desktop, which gives you a gnome 2 environment on centOs 6.x

 yum groupinstall "General Purpose Desktop"

3) I suspect if you are missing some packages from the install above, then a reboot will do the trick, however if not you can try /usr/bin/gnome-session (however I don't run gnome so, you might wish to update your question if you are happy the packages are installed, but gnome won't automatically start the session manager.


YUM should tell you if the GNOME group is installed:

yum grouplist

should report the General Purpose Desktop as an installed group if GNOME is installed.

If NOME is installed but you are just getting a text login prompt it may be that your default runlevel is not set to 5 (the necessary level for automatically starting an Xwindows style session).

Login and check your runlevel with:

who -r

If you are at run-level 3 you can just use the "startx" command to try and start the GNOME session. If this works then check you default run-level in /etc/inittab:

grep default /etc/inittab

It should read something like:


If it is set to "id:3:initdefault:" you can edit the level to 5 from 3 so that you get a Gnome session on next boot.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.