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Sometimes a good GUI can make a server even easier. Jack Wallen shows you how to install the GNOME Desktop Environment on Ubuntu Server, and why this might be a good idea. In this video i am going to show you how-to install a full desktop (GUI) on Ubuntu server. Looking for a good sci-fi book My main gami.

If you've read my ramblings long enough, you know that Elementary isn't just my favorite take on the Sherlock Holmes story. For many reasons, Elementary OS is, hands down, my choice of Linux desktop distribution. One of the 'whys' is the Pantheon desktop. This particular desktop was created specifically for Elementary OS and offers a somewhat macOS UI feel. It's clean, incredibly user-friendly, performs splendidly, and looks great.

If you happen to make use of Ubuntu, or one of its derivatives, you're in luck as Pantheon is easily installable. Why not just install Elementary OS? Simple. You might have already been running Ubuntu, or another flavor, and want to give the Pantheon desktop a try without having to install an entire OS. This way you can switch back and forth between your desktop default and Pantheon.

With that said, I'm going to walk you through the installation of Pantheon on Ubuntu 17.10. Let's get to work.

How To Install Ubuntu Desktop

Installing the repositories

There are a few repositories that must be set up. Fortunately, these can all be done through commands, so you don't have to manually create apt list files. Open up a terminal window and issue the following commands:

Before you attempt the installation, you must update apt with the command sudo apt update. Once that completes, you're ready to install.

Installing Pantheon

The installation of Pantheon is handled via a single command. Go back to your terminal window and issue:

During the running of that command, you will be asked to set up a default display manager. Depending upon the flavor of Ubuntu you are using, you'll have a couple of choices. For example, if you're running Ubuntu 17.10, not a derivative such as Xubuntu, you'll have two choices (

Figure A

Figure A

Once you've made that selection, the installation will complete.

Reboot and login

You'll want to reboot the desktop, so the display manager can restart and the new Pantheon desktop will become an available choice. When the display manager starts up, click on your username, click the gear icon, and then select Pantheon (Figure B).

Figure B

Should you want to go back to your original desktop, all you have to do is log out and select it from the drop-down.

Your new installation of Pantheon is ready (Figure C). Enjoy this amazingly user-friendly desktop experience.

Figure C

A gateway to Elementary OS

Once you start using Patheon, you'll probably come to understand why Elementary OS is my desktop distribution of choice. If you enjoy Patheon, I highly recommend you give its associated distribution a go, so you get this outstanding desktop without having to go through the hoops of installation.

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If you make use of Ubuntu Server in your data center, chances are you're working with a terminal-only interface. That's great for those who know the command line well. However, what if you want to work with Ubuntu Server, but prefer a GUI interface? Fortunately, installing the GNOME Desktop Environment on Ubuntu server is not difficult. The only caveat to this installation is that you're not (out of the box) really gaining anything in the way of administration tool GUIs. However, you will have a browser at your fingertips and the ability to install available GUI tools from within GNOME Software. For some administrators, especially those new to Linux, this could certainly be a boon to learning the platform. It would also enable you to use graphical tools for tasks like backups and even make the job of sharing out folders (through Samba) much easier.

With that said, let's get the GNOME Desktop installed. The installation does take some time—depending on your hardware between 5 to 10 minutes—as there is a lot of software to install.

Installing GNOME

Open up a terminal window and issue the command:

Type your sudo password. The above command will pick up a ton of dependencies and ask you to okay the installation. When prompted, type 'y' and the installation will proceed. When the installation completes, you should reboot the server. When the machine boots, it will land you on the graphical login screen, where you can login and enjoy the GNOME Desktop (Figure A).

Figure A

Purists will like the results of this installation, as it will give them a default GNOME Desktop and not the 'Unity-ified' GNOME found on Ubuntu 17.10.


Once up and running, you can then open the file manager and do things like share folders to your network by right-clicking a folder and selecting Local Network Share (Figure B). You will be prompted to install the necessary software to make this happen, but you won't have to configure Samba through the command line.

How To Install Maltego On Ubuntu Desktop

Figure B

Another added bonus is having access to GNOME Disk. With this tool you can easily create an image of your server disk to be used for disaster recovery. It is also possible to install firewall configuration tools, such as GUFW, that will allow you to more easily configure your server's firewall. Install GUFW with the command:

Not for everyone

Some people prefer to have their servers without GUIs. If that's not you, you will certainly appreciate having Ubuntu Server with one of the slickest and most user-friendly GUIs available. Install GNOME Desktop on Ubuntu Server and see if it doesn't make it more usable for you and your admins.

Open Source Weekly Newsletter

You don't want to miss our tips, tutorials, and commentary on the Linux OS and open source applications. Delivered Tuesdays

Sign up today Sign up today

Also see

How to install ubuntu
  • How to install and configure rsyslog for a centralized Linux log server (TechRepublic)
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  • How to sync your Linux GUI-less server to your cloud service with rclone (TechRepublic)
  • Why new users don't need to fear the Linux command line (TechRepublic Video)
  • Ubuntu Linux will never be the same after version 17.10 (ZDNet)
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