How To Setup GUI Like Gnome, KDE, Xfce, Unity For Ubuntu Server and Desktop?

Ubuntu provides server edition for enterprise environments. Ubuntu server is provided without a GUI by default. In some cases we may need to use GUI in order to manage Ubuntu server. In this tutorial we will look how to install different GUI or Desktop Environments for Ubuntu Server and Desktop edition.

Before start installation be sure that we have root privileges. We can add sudo command before apt command like below or change to root user like below.

$ su -

Install Unity Desktop Environment

Unity is a desktop environment created by Canonical which is also creator of the Ubuntu. Unity has its own specialties and provides modern and dynamic desktop environment. Unity can be installed on Ubuntu Server like below.

$ apt install ubuntu-desktop
Install Unity Desktop Environment
Install Unity Desktop Environment

Install Gnome Desktop Environment

Gnome is the old fried of the Ubuntu distribution. Gnome was default desktop environment for the Ubuntu up to creation of Unity. Gnome GUI can be install like below on Ubuntu Server. Ubuntu provides GNOME 3 which is named as gnome-shell

$ apt install gnome-shell

Install KDE Desktop Environment

KDE is my favorite GUI in user systems. KDE provides very good user experience but requires more system resources like CPU and RAM in order to work without problem. We can install KDE GUI for Ubuntu Server like below. KDE GUI is provided as kubuntu-desktop in Ubuntu distribution.

$ apt install kubuntu-desktop

Install Mate Desktop Environment

Mate is new generation desktop environment forked from GNOME. Mate provides less resources hungry interface. Mate is continuation of GNOME 2. and gets less updated than other desktop environments.

$ apt install ubuntu-mate-desktop

Install XFCE Desktop Environment

XFCE provides some performance and some eye candy. XFCE have some packages that are unique to XFCE. We can install XFCE GUI for Ubuntu Server and Desktop like below.

$ apt install xfce4

Install LXDE Desktop Environment

LXDE provides ligther desktop environment than XFCE. We can install LXDE GUI for Ubuntu Server and Desktop like below. LXDE has also specific Ubuntu spin named Lubuntu .

$ apt install lxde

Install Openbox

Openbox is not a whole Desktop environment. Openbox provides some GUI to render windows on the desktop. Openbox is the less resource hungry GUI in previous stated GUI’s. We can install openbox to the Ubuntu Server and Desktop like below.

$ apt install openbox

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