Suppose you have a "minimal" version of CentOS without X-windows set up on your machine (e.g., VPS). Now you want to install GNOME desktop on the CentOS system in order to run some desktop applications. If you would like to add GNOME desktop to minimal CentOS installation, you can do the following.
On CentOS 6 or earlier:
On CentOS 7:
The resulting minimal GNOME desktop will only have Firefox, VirtualBox Guest Additions, and basic system tools such as File Browser and Terminal.
If you are installing CentOS from scratch, installing minimal GNOME desktop is much more straightforward. All you have to do is to use the netinstall or LiveCD version of CentOS ISO distribution. During installation, choose "Minimal Desktop" option. Then you will have the same minimal GNOME desktop described above.
Note that the minimal version of CentOS ISO distribution does not allow you to install GNOME desktop.
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