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How to Boot CentOS 7 in GUI Mode (Desktop Environment)

How to Boot CentOS 7 in GUI Mode (Desktop Environment)

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Lately, I installed CentOS 7 in VMWare, and it was all good until it booted in CLI (Command Line Interface) mode.

I tried startx command but no help. It looks like Desktop Environment was not installed for some reason.

If you are in the same situation then here is how you can install the necessary package to boot in GUI (Graphical User Interface) mode.

Let’s install GNOME Desktop with the following command.

yum groups install "GNOME Desktop"

It will take few minutes to install the packages needed for GNOME and once done use “startx” command.


You need to go through accepting a license, creating a user, configuring language, keyboard type to set up for the first time, and finally, you will have the CentOS desktop.

We are not done yet. When you reboot your CentOS, you will see the command prompt again.

So you need to preserve the settings to start in graphical mode every time you boot the OS.

Open terminal and execute the following command

systemctl set-default

Restart the CentOS, and it should be booted in GNOME GUI mode.

If you are not a GNOME fan then Alternatively, you may install KDE environment with the below command.

yum  groups install "KDE Plasma Workspaces"

I hope above helps you to boot CentOS in graphical desktop mode.

Learn more about CentOS administration here.

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Chandan Kumar
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