Install GUI in Ubuntu Server

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We have already discussed how to install ubuntu 9.04 LAMP server .If you are a new user and not familiar with command prompt you can install GUI for your ubuntu LAMP server using the 2 options

1) Install desktop Environment

2) Install Webmin

1) Install desktop Environment

First you nee to make sure you have enabled Universe and multiverse repositories in /etc/apt/sources.list file once you have enable you need to use the following command to install GUI

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

The above command will install GNOME desktop

If you wan to install a graphical desktop manager without some of the desktop addons like Evolution and OpenOffice, but continue to use the server flavor kernel use the following command

sudo aptitude install --without-recommends ubuntu-desktop

If you want to install light weight desktop install xfce using the following command

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

If you want to install KDE desktop use the following command

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

2) Install Webmin in Ubuntu

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.Currently There is no Webmin package in the Ubuntu repositories.This tutorial will explain how to Install Webmin in Ubuntu Jaunty

You can install webmin for your server web interface to configure apache2,mysql,FTp servers and many more.Now we will see how to install webmin in Ubuntu 9.04

Preparing your system

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.

Using the Webmin APT repository

If you like to install and update Webmin via APT, edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file on your system

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

add the line

deb sarge contrib

Save and exit the file

You should also fetch and install my GPG key with which the repository is signed, with the commands : cd /root


sudo apt-key add jcameron-key.asc

You will now be able to install with the commands

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install webmin

All dependencies should be resolved automatically.

Ubuntu in particular don’t allow logins by the root user by default. However, the user created at system installation time can use sudo to switch to root. Webmin will allow any user who has this sudo capability to login with full root privileges.

Now you need to open your web browser and enter the following


Now you should see similar to the following Screen

After login if you want to configure Apache,Mysql server you need to click on Servers on your lefthand side you should many servers are ready to configure

This is very Easy to configure most of the servers and Enjoy your new Ubuntu Jaunty LAMP Server.

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89 thoughts on “Install GUI in Ubuntu Server

  1. Problem is that in the cli you get different commands that are supposed to do the samething for different unix/linux distros. Causes a problem sometimes so a GUI is helpful from time to time. To me cli is almost like flying blindly. Object oriented approach allows for a better lay of the land.

  2. There’s nothing stopping anyone from using the CLI in a terminal window. It’s kind of nice to have a few terminal windows open and unless there is a security concern, like the system being directly exposed to the Internet or holds confidential information, who cares if a GUI is installed?

  3. Command line is great but gui is also great learn to use both and you will be happy.

  4. Ok I’ve installed everything but when I tried to shutdown using the $ shutdown -h now command I get an error saying I need to be root.

    how do to that?

  5. @Alex

    So all aspiring formula one drivers HAVE to start out in an F1 car? I think that is unlikely. I believe that there are drivers out there who couldn’t build their own car from scratch. Should they be allowed to drive? :)

    @linuxadmin – I get annoyed with the arrogant mentality encountered on these bulletin boards. I’m a web developer, I don’t need to know every detail of how to set up a server and a GUI would make doing some jobs so much easier. On Macs we can use MAMP Pro for a testing server and it’s perfect. Linux is a total mess for someone who knows a bit, but really just wants wizards to set it up for her.

  6. For driver who does not know what a wheel, clutch, gear stick is and how engine works & vehicle drives in corners… for god sake NOOOO!!!! :) I really hope that driver has good insurance ;P

    Why is Linux a mess?? U’re using Mac, right? That also *NIX based OS like linux and u like it?

    What you’re saying, I’m driving F1 too fast for you because u just want do design regular “car” body on a truck 😛
    And thats why there a so many breaks in *nix based web servers. Insufficient system settings.

  7. Linux is great, I use Win/Mac & Ubuntu. But the mentality of a lot of people is that you shouldn’t be allowed to use it if you don’t know how to!

    That’s just mental, and a reason people won’t switch to linux. MAMP pro provides a really easy way for me to run a testing server (note testing) for web development. Why can’t linux do this as well? I don’t need to know how to set up a full blown server to do that. It’s the difference between driving a car and building a car.

  8. I have a question concerning this… Isn’t having a GUI on a server (for someone like me who is still learning how to use the full potential of the mighty command line) a good thing? If you don’t know command line yet and don’t have a GUI, doesn’t that basically render your server useless? Just a thought.

  9. If you have only one machine (like me, private, at home) and you like to install a mail server on that particular ubuntu server and you also want to test it with some web-mail servers, a gui makes it much more easier to see, if the web-mail account got the mails from your ubuntu server.

    Just to point out my current problem, having no UI on the ubuntu server 😉

  10. I got the webmin installed but the user that has root access via sudo which works to get into the command line via SSH does not work for the webmin. What credentials should I use?

  11. Every time I try to set up ubuntu for my own personal use or for someone else I eventually tear my hair out and turn back to windows. with all the glitches this software has like applying an update that kills the network manager and makes it unaccessable why do people even use this pile? seriously just wasted 6 hours of my day to figure out what i knew before. ubuntu will always have major glitches and bugs and is not at all easy to use.

  12. Hi.

    I install ubuntu-desktop on Ubuntu Server… but now.. I can’t find the terminal.. where is it????


  13. @joe schmoe installing this particular package kills the network manager? Seems unlikely. Probably you’re just complaining about something unrelated to the topic.

  14. @joe schmoe
    you know what? you’re right. I used to be a linux sysadmin. I switched to windows for a new job and I can’t even install ubuntu server anymore. there is just so much shit you have to know to even make it semi- useful.

  15. Hello all,

    You can start Ubuntu Desktop by usign the comand “startx”;but how can i start Webmin in Ubuntu?

  16. If it is causing that much grief-use Zentyal.
    It is basically an administration interface for ubuntu server with some extras.
    Easy setup, etc and not very resource intensive.

  17. Great post.

    I stumbled across the site while searching for installation instructions for minimal desktop with Ubuntu server.

    I never used Webmin before, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s a nice addition to the tool chest.

  18. its now installing ubuntu desktop i guess but wish you had posted some screen shots, i hope i will get ubuntu desktop after this installation.

  19. Ive used webmin for several years and it works great, once installed it runs all the time and can be called by typing https://(servername or ipaddress):10000

    You can call it up from any web browser on the same network, can also be used externally but not recommended..

  20. I call it six degrees of Linux. No matter what you want to do, you’re going to have to fix six things before you get what you want to work.

  21. @joe, this is the biggest load of crap ever.
    Same to you, @DOKKA.
    You said you used to be a sysadmin?

    I dont believe that at all.
    I am 16, with just a little bit of knowledge of linux systems (I am interested in the Cyber Security field… ‘hacking’)
    And I have yet to encounter a problem with linux/Ubuntu that I couldnt not only solve quickly, but easily.

    Plus I have barely even encountered that many problems in the first place.

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