Installing CentOS GNOME Desktop Environment

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Mostly the CentOS servers is running on CLI (Command-Line Interface) mode. But in some cases, we need to have a GUI (Grapich User Interface) to install some applications. In this case, I will use GNOME, the most popular user-friendly desktop for any UNIX based system.


  • OS: CentOS 6.4
  • Desktop environment: GNOME

1. Using yum, we will need to install X Windows System as the based for GUI and rich input device capability:

$ yum groupinstall -y 'X Window System'

2. Only then we can install GNOME desktop environment on top of it:

$ yum groupinstall -y 'Desktop'

3. Since previously the server is running on CLI mode, we need to change some value to tell CentOS to boot up in the GUI mode. Open /etc/inittab via text editor and change following line:




4. Start the GUI:

$ init 5

Note: You can switch from GUI to CLI mode manually by using following method:

GUI to CLI: Ctrl + Alt + F6
CLI to GUI: Ctrl + Alt + F1

If you want to start the desktop from CLI console (not SSH session), use following command:

$ startx

In some cases, when you login into the system via GUI, you will see some kind of weird boxes replacing the fonts. You can overcome this problem by installing fonts group via yum:

$ yum groupinstall -y fonts

Done! We now have user-friendly interface like below: File:Centos gnome.png

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