How to Configure Ubuntu 21.04 with GNOME

By default Ubuntu Servers do not come with Graphical User Interface (GUI). They can be enabled manually and this will help in certain cases for managing tasks better.

You may want to note that, once the GUI is enabled, System will use additional resources such as CPU and Memory.

There are various flavours available for setting up a Desktop Environment on a server, you can choose any one from the below Gnome installs.

Prerequisites:

  • Root access to your Ubuntu 21.04 server.

Install Vanilla Gnome

To install Vanilla Gnome shell desktop, run the following command.

apt install gnome-session gnome-terminal

Output:

[email protected]:~# apt install gnome-session gnome-terminal
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  acl adwaita-icon-theme adwaita-icon-theme-full apg aptdaemon aptdaemon-data
  aspell aspell-en at-spi2-core avahi-daemon avahi-utils bluez bubblewrap
  cheese-common colord colord-data cpp cpp-9 cracklib-runtime cups-pk-helper
  dbus-x11 dconf-cli desktop-file-utils dictionaries-common dns-root-data
  dnsmasq-base docbook-xml emacsen-common enchant-2 evolution-data-server
  evolution-data-server-common fontconfig fontconfig-config fonts-cantarell
  fonts-dejavu-core fprintd gcc-9-base gcr gdm3 geoclue-2.0
  gir1.2-accountsservice-1.0 gir1.2-atk-1.0 gir1.2-atspi-2.0

Restart the server.

reboot

Install Gnome Minimal Desktop

To install Gnome Minimal Desktop, run the following command.

apt install tasksel

Output:

[email protected]:~# apt install tasksel
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  laptop-detect tasksel-data
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  laptop-detect tasksel tasksel-data
0 upgraded, 3 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 40.0 kB of archives.
After this operation, 309 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y

Installing a package group using taskel. It will around 10-15 mins to complete the installation.

tasksel install ubuntu-desktop-minimal

Restart the server.

reboot

After the reboot, you will be greeted with GUI based login screen.

Incase you're using our platform, you can use VNC Console feature to access this.

And if you're looking to connect to the server remotely, you can follow our next article on accessing your Ubuntu via Remote Desktop.

If you have any questions or trouble setting this up, please feel free to contact our support team via Support Ticket.