Install GUI on Ubuntu Server 20.04 Quick Guide

Updated: Aug 11

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install GUI ( graphical user interface ) on Ubuntu server 20.04. We will install ubuntu-desktop in the following example.

GUI Installation on Ubuntu Server 20.04

1. Update the apt package index and install tasksel.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install tasksel

2. List the GUI we have installed and we can install:

$ sudo tasksel --list-tasks
Main available Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) installations using tasksel's tasks
Task	Description
kubuntu-desktop	Kubuntu desktop ( KDE Desktop )
lubuntu-desktop	Lubuntu Desktop ( LXQt desktop )
ubuntu-budgie-desktop	Ubuntu Budgie desktop
ubuntu-desktop	Ubuntu desktop ( default GNOME )
ubuntu-desktop-minimal	Ubuntu minimal desktop ( default GNOME )
ubuntu-mate-desktop	Ubuntu MATE desktop
ubuntustudio-desktop	Ubuntu Studio desktop ( Xfce-based desktop )
ubuntustudio-desktop-core	Ubuntu Studio minimal DE installation ( Xfce-based desktop )
xubuntu-desktop	Xubuntu desktop ( Xfce desktop )

3. Use tasksel command to install the selected GUI. For example to install the default Ubuntu GNOME desktop execute. This step will install all the files and take some time to finish.

$ sudo tasksel install ubuntu-desktop

4. Run the following command to make sure our system boots into the graphical target after reboot

$ sudo systemctl set-default

5. Run command sudo reboot to reboot. At this point, the GUI should start.

$sudo reboot

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