Install a GUI on Ubuntu 20

  1. Ensure your server and package list are up to date using the following commands:

$sudo apt update

$sudo apt upgrade

  1. Once the server has been updated you will need to install a Display Manager service so that your installed GUI can be displayed. Ubuntu uses GDM3 for Gnome by default, though there are other options available as well:

$sudo apt install gdm3

  1. You will then need to install your desired GUI. The following command will install Ubuntu's default GUI, this can easily be replaced with a GUI of your choice by replacing the "ubuntu-desktop" section of this command with the name of your desired package:

$sudo apt install ubuntu-desktop

*Please note that these packages both require a number of dependencies, meaning a number of other required packages will be installed with them. Using an alternate GUI option may help decrease this by limiting the number of other tools/utilities installed alongside it.

  1. Once both the Display manager, and GUI are installed you will need to either reboot the server, or manually start this:

$sudo reboot


$sudo service gdm3 start

  1. In order to access this GUI you will need to connect using our provided console in your client portal or by configuring a remote access service such as VNC or xrdp on your server. Depending on the GUI installed you may then be prompted to create a user, and confirm some required settings. If just the login page is displayed you should be able to use your root login details to access this.:

Ubuntu 20 GUI


Extra Information:


After a GUI has been installed, please check any power/idle settings that may be available to ensure the server does not go into any type of “Sleep” or “Suspended” mode. As these modes typically require a power-button press to wake up they may cause your server to appear offline/unresponsive:

Ubuntu GUI