Installing the Desktop for Ubuntu Server

We have previously written praise for Ubuntu as an operating system.  The regular Ubuntu desktop OS can be found here.  Some of you may prefer the Ubuntu Server that can be found here.

If you install the Ubuntu Server, when the system boots the first time, you will find out very quickly that by default a GUI Desktop in not included.  Not to worry, there are multiple options.  Please read the entire article before you actually proceed.

We assume you have installed the Ubuntu Server and you are at the $ prompt.

First, make sure access to the updates is complete:

sudo apt-get update

Now, there are four desktop options and their associated install commands:

  1. The GNOME desktop with OpenOffice and Evolution

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

  2. The GNOME desktop with OpenOffice and Evolution

    sudo aptitude install –without-recommends ubuntu-desktop

  3. The light weight dektop called xfce

    sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

  4. The KDE desktop

    sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

These installs will take a little time, so be patient.  If the screen goes blank – just touch a key like the space bar.

Once complete enter “sudo reboot” to restart the server.  The Desktop will be active!

Another option is to install Webmin. Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration for Unix. Using any modern web browser, you can setup user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing and much more. Webmin removes the need to manually edit Unix configuration files like /etc/passwd, and lets you manage a system from the console or remotely.  

You can install webmin for your server web interface to configure apache2,mysql, FTP servers and many more.

First you need to install the following packages:

    sudo aptitude install perl libnet-ssleay-perl openssl libauthen-pam-perl libpam-runtime libio-pty-perl libmd5-perl

Now download the latest webmin using the following command or from here:


Now we have webmin_1.470_all.deb package install this package using the following command

    sudo dpkg -i webmin_1.470_all.deb

This will complete the installation. 

Now you need to open your web browser and enter the following: https://your-server-ip:10000/


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