How to install GNOME desktop on CentOS

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:

$ sudo yum groupinstall basic-desktop desktop-platform x11 fonts

On CentOS 7:

$ sudo yum groupinstall "GNOME Desktop"

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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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.

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