Install Gnome GUI on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7

Linux admins spend most of their time on working in a terminal; there are some who like to work on GUI instead of a terminal. By default, CentOS 7 installed as the minimal server, and user intervention is required to change the installation type. This guide will help you to install GUI on CentOS 7 on the top of the minimal server installation.

Before installing GUI, make a Local Yum Repository to avoid downloading packages from the internet.

Optional: Run the following command to list down the available package groups for CentOS 7.

# yum group list

Output:

Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
There is no installed groups file.
Maybe run: yum groups mark convert (see man yum)
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
Available Environment Groups:
 Minimal Install
 Compute Node
 Infrastructure Server
 File and Print Server
 Basic Web Server
 Virtualization Host
 Server with GUI
 GNOME Desktop
 KDE Plasma Workspaces
 Development and Creative Workstation
Available Groups:
 Compatibility Libraries
 Console Internet Tools
 Development Tools
 Graphical Administration Tools
 Legacy UNIX Compatibility
 Scientific Support
 Security Tools
 Smart Card Support
 System Administration Tools
 System Management
Done

Step 1: Install Gnome GUI using the YUM command.

CentOS 7

# yum groupinstall "GNOME Desktop" "Graphical Administration Tools"

RHEL 7

# yum groupinstall "Server with GUI"

Step 2: Enable GUI on system startup. In CentOS 7,  systemd uses “targets” instead of runlevel. The /etc/inittab file is no more used to change run levels. So, issue the following command to enable the GUI on system start.

# ln -sf /lib/systemd/system/runlevel5.target /etc/systemd/system/default.target

Step 3: Reboot the machine to start the server in the graphical mode.

# reboot

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