Installing GNOME Desktop on CentOS

CentOS VPS Hosting
Installing GNOME Desktop on CentOS is faily straightforward. Most CentOS servers are run on CLI (Command-Line Interface) mode. But in some cases, one may need to have a desktop to install some applications with GUI (Grapich User Interface) mode. In this case, we will use GNOME, the most popular user-friendly desktop for any UNIX based system. This tutorial will run you through the basics of installing GNOME on a CentOS VPS. All of the virtual private servers from Bitronic Technologies come pre-setup with VNC access, however should you want to set up a VNC server within the DomU under CentOS, read this.

GNOME is an easy and elegant way to use your Linux computer. It is designed to put you in control and bring freedom to everybody. GNOME is developed by the GNOME community, a diverse, international group of contributors that is supported by an independent, non-profit foundation. Not only is GNOME a great desktop but it is easy to install GNOME on CentOS.

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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:
 
id:3:initdefault:
 
To:
 
id:5:initdefault:
4. Reboot:
 
$ init 6
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
You are now done and should have a working GNOME desktop on your CentOS VPS! 
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