CentOS 7 – CLI to GUI

CentOS7I’ve been playing with a few VMs as I try to figure out a new infrastructure for our office, and as part of this I’ve taken a particular shine to CentOS as a minimal build for my virtual servers. I then decided I wanted to get a few sandbox environments running with desktop software and, well.. that’s where the fun began!

After about twelvety-zillion restores from snapshots and reading, and forum trawling, and more restores, I think I’ve come up with a winning way to turn a humble CentOS 7 minimal build, booting to the lonely command prompt, into a bastion of desktoppy goodness. Hopefully this will be of use to someone else out there, if not – it will serve and a handy reminder to me as to what I did to get things running.

The following assumes you already have a CentOS minimal build running, with network connectivity, and a working sudo credential set.

The Development Tools are pretty handy, YMMV but I’m including them in my command stack..

sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools"

Next up, we need the EPEL repositories

sudo yum install epel-release

Then, install X (the window system), and MATE, and tell the machine to start the GUI

sudo yum groupinstall "X Window system" && sudo yum groupinstall "MATE Desktop" && sudo systemctl isolate graphical.target

The last set of commands tells the system to boot to the GUI

sudo systemctl set-default graphical.target && sudo rm '/etc/systemd/system/default.target' && sudo ln -s '/usr/lib/systemd/system/graphical.target' '/etc/systemd/system/default.target'

I also find disk fnarkling painful, so let’s throw a disk manager into the mix.

sudo yum install gnome-disk-utility

You’re done, reboot and enjoy your GUI goodness!

sudo reboot