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In this article I will share the steps to install GNMOE desktop to enable GUI mode in RHEL/CentOS 8 Linux. There are different GUI Desktop Environment in RHEL/CentOS 8.
RHEL/CentOS 8 Desktop Environment
By default RHEL and CentOS 8 supports below GNOME Desktop Environments
- Server with GUI
But with EPEL repo, we have an option to install KDE Desktop Environment
- KDE Plasma Workspaces
Install GNOME Desktop Environment on RHEL/CentOS 8
To install GNOME desktop environment on RHEL and CentOS 8 you do not need any additional repository. You can also install GNOME Desktop without registering your RHEL 8 node using subscription-manager. But if there are any package version conflicts then in RHEL 8 you must have a valid Red Hat subscription to register your node.
On CentOS 8 you do not any additional subscription, you just need an active internet connection to be able to download the GNOME Desktop Environment packages.
List the available Desktop Environment Groups
Starting with RHEL/CentOS 7.7, we have DNF as a replacement of YUM. Although you can continue to use YUM but it will also be internally linked to DNF.
To list the available groups for installation
there are no enabled repos" error
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# dnf grouplist Last metadata expiration check: 0:19:26 ago on Mon 27 Apr 2020 11:21:11 AM IST. Available Environment Groups: Server with GUI Server Workstation Virtualization Host Custom Operating System Installed Environment Groups: Server with GUI Minimal Install Installed Groups: Container Management Headless Management Available Groups: .NET Core Development RPM Development Tools Smart Card Support Development Tools Graphical Administration Tools Legacy UNIX Compatibility Network Servers Scientific Support Security Tools System Tools
Install GNOME Desktop Environment
To install GNOME Desktop Environment, you can choose "
Server with GUI" or "
Server with GUI contains server related environment mostly used for official purpose but if you are a home user then you can choose Workstation based on your requirement.
To install "
Server with GUI" use
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# dnf groupinstall "Server with GUI" -y
OR to install "
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# dnf groupinstall "Workstation" -y
How to enable GUI mode from command line?
Since we had installed our RHEL/CentOS 8 with "
Minimal Install", GUI mode was disabled
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# systemctl list-units --type target --all | egrep graphical.target graphical.target loaded inactive dead Graphical Interface
Now since we have installed GNOME Desktop environment, we can enable GUI mode.
Enable GUI mode by using graphical.target (Starting with RHEL 7 we have systemd targets instead of runlevel). The command to switch to GUI mode is
systemctl isolate <target>
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# systemctl isolate graphical.target
Next check the
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# systemctl list-units --type target --all | egrep graphical.target graphical.target loaded active active Graphical Interface [root@centos8-kvm ~]# systemctl status graphical.target ● graphical.target - Graphical Interface Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/graphical.target; static; vendor preset: disabled) Active: active since Mon 2020-04-27 11:29:41 IST; 26min ago Docs: man:systemd.special(7) Apr 27 11:29:41 centos8-kvm systemd: Reached target Graphical Interface.
Also check your RHEL/CentOS 8 console
Change default target to start RHEL/CentOS 8 Server with GUI at reboot
Now we started GUI mode for the current session but the existing default target would be still set to multi-user.target
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# systemctl get-default multi-user.target
To change default target we use below command:
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# systemctl set-default graphical.target Removed /etc/systemd/system/default.target. Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/default.target → /usr/lib/systemd/system/graphical.target.
To verify the new default target
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# systemctl get-default graphical.target
So now we enabled graphical desktop environment as default environment.
Install KDE Environment on RHEL/CentOS 8
As also mentioned earlier, KDE Desktop Environment is officially deprecated from RHEL and CentOS 7.6 onward
At the time of writing this article we had KDE Desktop available with EPEL (
epel-release-8-8.el8.noarch) but the groupinstall was failing for missing
NetworkManager-vpnc required by plasma-nm-vpnc-5.15.5-1.el8.x86_64
It is possible that later period this is released by CentOS 8 after which we can install KDE Environment on RHEL/CentOS 8
Below are the list of available groups after installing EPEL Repo
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# dnf grouplist Last metadata expiration check: 0:11:09 ago on Mon 27 Apr 2020 10:15:50 AM IST. Available Environment Groups: Server with GUI Server Minimal Install Workstation KDE Plasma Workspaces Custom Operating System Installed Environment Groups: Virtualization Host Available Groups: Legacy UNIX Compatibility Container Management Development Tools .NET Core Development Graphical Administration Tools Headless Management Network Servers RPM Development Tools Scientific Support Security Tools Smart Card Support System Tools Fedora Packager Xfce
List of active repos with EPEL
[root@centos8-kvm ~]# dnf repolist Last metadata expiration check: 0:03:36 ago on Mon 27 Apr 2020 12:53:12 PM IST. repo id repo name status AppStream CentOS-8 - AppStream 4,830 BaseOS CentOS-8 - Base 1,661 PowerTools CentOS-8 - PowerTools 1,456 *epel Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 8 - x86_64 5,352 *epel-modular Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux Modular 8 - x86_64 0 *epel-playground Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 8 - Playground - x86_64 4,468 *epel-testing Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 8 - Testing - x86_64 898 extras CentOS-8 - Extras 15
Lastly I hope the steps from the article to install GNOME Desktop Environment on RHEL/CentOS 8 Linux was helpful. So, let me know your suggestions and feedback using the comment section.