How to Install a Desktop on an Ubuntu Server?

Many a time I just need a server with a desktop interface, almost all the servers are based on the command line interface because it should be minimal in order to work headless.

Ubuntu Desktop
Ubuntu Desktop

If you need or want to enable the desktop in Ubuntu server follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Login to the Ubuntu Server

I think most of us knows how to login and manage the server using SSH Protocol. If you are first time user to such things better read the below article.

Read: How to Connect to an SSH Server?

Step 2: Update the Software Packages

Ubuntu server has its own software package which must be updated in order to work and install the latest or updated software.

apt update

Step 3: Install the Ubuntu Desktop

Now we need to install Ubuntu Desktop.

Ubuntu allows us to install and use many more desktop interfaces that are lightweight and just perfect for small session work.

So according to your need use ANY ONE desktop from below list.

For Ubuntu Desktop

apt install ubuntu-desktop

Other GUI Desktops:

  • For Lubuntu Desktop (LXQt): apt install lubuntu-desktop
  • For Xubuntu Desktop (Xfce): apt install xubuntu-desktop
  • For Kubuntu Desktop (KDE): apt install kubuntu-desktop

The installation may take a few minutes, based on internet and hardware speed.

Step 4: Add a Desktop User

Since we are logged in a root user which is not recommended for a desktop user.

adduser username

You will be asked to enter few details with a new password for that user.

Step 5: Reboot

Now reboot the instance. DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr and similar cloud server services do offer console access to manage the server. You can use that as a remote monitor.

If you want to take this to long term better install VNC or remote desktop application.

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