Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Install a Fully Functional Ubuntu Desktop on 14.04 Server

Ubuntu 8

In this article, we will guide you through the process of installing a fully functional Ubuntu Desktop on an Ubuntu 14.04 Server. This process can be useful if you want to have a graphical user interface (GUI) on your server.

Quick Answer

To install a fully functional Ubuntu Desktop on an Ubuntu 14.04 Server, you can use the following command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

If you prefer a lighter desktop environment, you can install Lubuntu Desktop instead:

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop

Remember to update your system before installing any new software using the command:

sudo apt-get update


Before we start, make sure you have the following:

  • An Ubuntu 14.04 Server installed and running.
  • Access to a user account with sudo or root privileges.
  • A stable internet connection.

Update Your System

Before installing any new software, it’s a good practice to update your system. This ensures you have the latest security patches and software updates. Run the following command:

sudo apt-get update

sudo allows you to run commands with administrative privileges. apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and update is the command that resynchronizes the package index files from their sources.

Install Ubuntu Desktop

Now that your system is up-to-date, you can install the Ubuntu Desktop. Run the following command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

install is the command that installs new packages, and ubuntu-desktop is the package that installs the Ubuntu Desktop environment.

Install Lubuntu Desktop (Optional)

If you prefer a lighter desktop environment, you can install Lubuntu Desktop instead. It’s designed to be more lightweight and less resource-intensive than the standard Ubuntu Desktop. Run the following command:

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop


Missing Terminal

If the terminal is missing after installation, try opening it using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T. If that doesn’t work, you can install it manually by running:

sudo apt-get install gnome-terminal

Missing Applets

If applets are missing on the top bar, it could be due to a configuration issue. Reset the Unity desktop settings by running:

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/

Then, log out and log back in to see if the applets appear.

Missing Programs

If you installed a program but cannot find it when searching, it could be due to a missing desktop file. For example, if you installed VirtualBox but cannot find it, try creating a desktop file manually:

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/virtualbox.desktop

Then, paste the following content into the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Run virtual machines
Exec=virtualbox %U

Save the file (Ctrl + X, Y, Enter) and try searching for VirtualBox again.


Installing a desktop environment on your Ubuntu 14.04 Server is a straightforward process. Whether you choose the standard Ubuntu Desktop or the lighter Lubuntu Desktop, you’ll have a fully functional GUI at your disposal. If you encounter any issues, the troubleshooting steps provided should help you resolve them.

Can I install the Ubuntu Desktop on a different version of Ubuntu Server?

This guide is specifically for Ubuntu 14.04 Server. While the process may be similar for other versions, it’s recommended to refer to the official documentation or guides specific to your version of Ubuntu.

Can I install a different desktop environment other than Ubuntu or Lubuntu?

Yes, you can install different desktop environments on your Ubuntu Server. Some popular alternatives include Xfce, KDE, and MATE. However, the installation process may vary for each desktop environment, so it’s recommended to refer to their respective documentation or guides.

Can I switch between desktop environments after installation?

Yes, you can switch between different desktop environments after installation. During the login screen, you can select the desktop environment you want to use from the session options. Simply click on the gear icon next to the login button and choose your preferred desktop environment.

Will installing a desktop environment affect the performance of my server?

Installing a desktop environment can consume additional system resources, which may impact the performance of your server. However, if your server has sufficient resources and you’re not running resource-intensive applications, the impact should be minimal. If performance is a concern, you may consider using a lightweight desktop environment like Lubuntu.

Can I access the Ubuntu Desktop remotely?

Yes, you can access the Ubuntu Desktop remotely using remote desktop software like VNC (Virtual Network Computing) or SSH (Secure Shell). These methods allow you to connect to your server’s desktop interface from another device. However, setting up remote desktop access requires additional configuration and security considerations, so it’s recommended to refer to separate guides or documentation for remote access setup.

Can I uninstall the desktop environment if I no longer need it?

Yes, you can uninstall the desktop environment if you no longer need it. To remove the Ubuntu Desktop, you can use the command sudo apt-get remove ubuntu-desktop. For Lubuntu Desktop, you can use sudo apt-get remove lubuntu-desktop. Keep in mind that removing the desktop environment may also remove other packages and dependencies that were installed with it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *