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Installing X11 and Gnome Desktop in RHEL

News X Window System Softpanorama Bookshelf Recommended Links Architecture Configuration
Exporting_display "Can't open display" Error .Xresources xrdb Using xauth Xdefaults
Fonts in X X11 security X display manager XDMCP vnc vino
Installing X11 and Gnome Desktop in RHEL Activating the gnome VNC vino-server from the command line     Cygwin/X Xming
Troubleshooting Diagnosing problems with remote X11 sessions via SSH Too high refresh rate/ too high resolution problem Tips Humor Etc

Introduction

X11 can be installed after you install minimal system. In RHEL 6 (and we will be talking about this version of RHEL) the need to install X11 occur when you forget to include X11 in the initial list of Anaconda packages. This problem arise due to change of default settings.  In RHEL 6 when you install OS and don't use the customized option, you will not get the GUI.

You can install the missing packages using the command:

yum -y groupinstall "X Window System" "Desktop" "Fonts" "General Purpose Desktop"
But that's only a start of your troubles:

Steps to restore X11

In any case you need several additional steps to get resemblance of the same system as constructed by Anaconda during the initial install with X11 (unless explicitly specified otherwise, all operations should be done from root account):

  1. Change the default runlevel to 5 (minimal install and any system without X11 default to levlel 3). You need to change it in  /etc/inittab
  2. Enable vino (remote desktop).  This is a tricky part:
    1. Login as user you want to have this functionality.
      1. If you can access to GUI console then you can enable it from  System > Preferences > Remote Desktop for users the you want this functionality.
      2. In case you don't have access to GUI console, see Activating the gnome VNC vino-server from the command line for some ideas.
    2. Check the set of Gnome autostart applications (Gnome is a system with the system ;-) and ensure that vino-server is started by Gnome.  Go to System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications sub menu. This is where you can enable, disable or add applications for Gnome auto start.

    3. Add the line export DISPLAY=:0.0 to the /etc/profile. Execute it in your root session

    4. Check if port (typically 5600) is open using the command
      netstat -nl | grep 590[0-9]

    5. One problem that you will (at lease initially) encounter is that vino-server is not starting with gnome. This is due to absence of value of $DISPLAY variable. You can start it manually without rebooting using the following script. (IP of remote host is passed as parameter):

      #!/bin/bash 
      export DISPLAY=:0.0 
      xhost $1
      /usr/libexec/vino-server & 
  3. Add your client to access list using xhost command, for example:

    xhost 10.1.1.100

    If you used the script for manual start of /usr/libexec/vino-server above xhost command was already executed.
     

  4. Try to connect from your Windows desktop/laptop using VMC client (for example TightVNC client).

Deinstallation and reinstallation as a troubleshooting tool

If your XX11 stop to be functional, For example a Gnome self-destruct (or you helped it ;-), deinstallation and reinstallation can be a more productive idea then trying  to figure our the root caouse of the problem.

first verify the packages with to see what do you have now. This is and interesting exersize in its oqn and usully gives you some additional tips about extent of the damage. 

rpm -VA
Then try to install everything: that will take case about missing packages
yum groupinstall "X Window System" "Desktop" "Desktop Platform" "General Purpose Desktop"

Now you can reinstall

yum reinstall "@X Window System" "@Desktop" "@Desktop Platform" "@General Purpose Desktop"

And then you need to update (just in case):

yum groupupdate "X Window System" "Desktop" "Desktop Platform" "General Purpose Desktop"
After those steps you need to restart the system specifying the runlevel 3 as the runlevel to boot to in /etc/initab

From runlevel 3 you need manually start Gnome

startx > /tmp/startx.out

If it is OK you need to stop Gnome using Ctrl-C and try switching to runlvel 5 using the command:

init 5

If this is OK, then you need to change back runlevel to which to boot   to 5. But it might be not and then you need to specify the command

startx &> /tmp/startx.out

as a custom init script on level 3 (for example adding it to /etc/init.d/local).

Note: Sometimes Gnome runs OK when manually started from runlevel 3 but does not run if you specify runlevel 5 (This was, for example, the case when Red Hat screw patching of version 5.8 to 5.10). If you don't want to figure out why failure is ocuuring you can put start command in cron @start statement and forget about the problem. See Cron and Crontab commands


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Old News ;-)

[Jul 18, 2013] how to enable GUI in rhel 6

02-03-2011, 03:11 PM #3
John VV
Guru


Registered: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,916

Rep: servers normally DO NOT have a gui, there is no monitor attached to the server / blade center

if this is a desktop install of RHEL6.0 did you buy the license
http://www.redhat.com/rhel/benefits/
http://www.redhat.com/rhel/desktop/

also did you install gnome ????
In RHEL 6 when u install OS & don't use the customized option so you will not get the GUI
if you select that option at the time of OS installation you will select the kde of Gnome etc

Following steps can resolve your prob


Quote:
yum groupinstall "X Window System" "GNOME Desktop Environment"

need KDE

yum groupinstall "X Window System" KDE

need XFCE
yum groupinstall "X Window System" XFCE


Thanks
dkpant

[CentOS] Installing a gnome-desktop on CENTOS-6.3 following minimal system install. - Grokbase

Nux!

Oct 5, 2012 at 9:31 am ⇧

On 05.10.2012 14:05, James B. Byrne wrote:

So what is it that I am missing? What other step is required to get
my 'normal' gnome desktop with the utilities ans such displayed in
the
title bar?

Try:

yum groupinstall "Desktop" "Desktop Platform" "General Purpose Desktop"

Btw, you can't really have "minimal" AND "gnome" ... :-)

Nux!
www.nux.ro

Installing the Graphical Window System (X.org-X11) and the Default Desktop Environment on CentOS 6

LinuxQuestions.org

Posted 09-06-2011 at 01:12 PM by gearge
Updated 11-26-2011 at 02:29 PM by gearge Installing the Graphical Window System (X.org-X11) and the Default Desktop Environment on CentOS 6

Performing the default "Minimal" install of CentOS 6 does not install the graphical subsystem (the X.org server) and the desktop environment (e.g. GNOME or KDE). Such OS install is nice for building an optimal system from scratch, setting up a headless server (no monitor, keyboard and mouse) and other purposes; but for one reason or another, you may still require a graphical user interface (GUI). This tutorial will show you how to install and start the graphical window system and the desktop environment of your choice.

To achieve the task, you will need to install the following package groups (groups of packages combined for a common purpose): "X Window System", "Desktop", "Fonts" and "General Purpose Desktop" (last two are optional). This will install about 500 additional packages on your system (~250MB download, or you may use the available OS installation DVD to retrieve packages).

Code:
yum -y groupinstall "X Window System" "Desktop" "Fonts" "General Purpose Desktop"
(Please enter this as is - package group names as well as package names are case sensitive).

Previous versions of RHEL and its derivatives provided a package group called "GNOME Desktop Environment", that was sufficient for a general purpose GNOME desktop. Currently, package group "Desktop" installs all critical components of GNOME, including gdm (the GNOME Display Manager), plus a few additional packages; enough to provide a minimalist GNOME desktop with mouse support, a graphical file manager, copy/paste functionality and the luxurious GNOME Terminal emulator - maybe just what you need. Thus, installing the "General Purpose Desktop" package group is optional, but will help you mimic the system you would probably get if you where to include the default graphical desktop during OS install. Alternatively, you can chose a single package group "KDE Desktop", for a general purpose KDE Software Compilation.

It is generally recommended to install the "Fonts" package group to improve usability of the GUI, no matter what desktop environment you choose to install.

You may view the complete list of available package groups by issuing:

Code:

yum grouplist
You may review the contents of each package group by entering:

Code:

yum groupinfo "Name of the Package Group"
To boot directly into GUI, you will need to manually change the runlevel of the system from 3 (full multiuser environment with networking) to 5 (the same as mode 3 + X11), by changing the line "id:3:initdefault:" to "id:5:initdefault:" in /etc/inittab file. Or you can manually start X.org from console, by entering "startx" (without quotes).

Upon installation and subsequent reboot, you will be presented with the "Setup Agent" interface (even if you choose to stay in runlevel 3, you will see the text user interface of this tool - hence, the options provided will be different from the graphical variant). This is due to package "firstboot" being automatically installed by the "X Window System" package group and can be a handy way to setup a freshly installed system. All steps in "Setup Agent" are optional, so you can just skim through them, skipping any. Though, creating a new normal user on a freshly installed system is done best through this graphical tool, as it helps automatically create the new user and associate it with groups (such as the "video" group) appropriate for everyday use in a GUI environment . So, for the purpose of this tutorial, I would advice not skipping the user creation step.

The console interface for "firstboot"

Centos - Installing graphical X Window System (Boot Options, startx from command line)

Nov 13, 2012 | leerraum blog

Installing GUI

Installing the Graphical Window System (X.org-X11) and the Default Desktop Environment on CentOS 6

Performing the default "Minimal" install of CentOS 6 does not install the graphical subsystem (the X.org server) and the desktop environment (e.g. GNOME or KDE). Such OS install is nice for building an optimal system from scratch, setting up a headless server (no monitor, keyboard and mouse) and other purposes; but for one reason or another, you may still require a graphical user interface (GUI). This tutorial will show you how to install and start the graphical window system and the desktop environment of your choice.

To achieve the task, you will need to install the following package groups (groups of packages combined for a common purpose): "X Window System", "Desktop", "Fonts" and "General Purpose Desktop" (last two are optional). This will install about 500 additional packages on your system (~250MB download, or you may use the available OS installation DVD to retrieve packages).

Code:

yum -y groupinstall "X Window System" "Desktop" "Fonts" "General Purpose Desktop"
(Please enter this as is - package group names as well as package names are case sensitive).

Previous versions of RHEL and its derivatives provided a package group called "GNOME Desktop Environment", that was sufficient for a general purpose GNOME desktop. Currently, package group "Desktop" installs all critical components of GNOME, including gdm (the GNOME Display Manager), plus a few additional packages; enough to provide a minimalist GNOME desktop with mouse support, a graphical file manager, copy/paste functionality and the luxurious GNOME Terminal emulator - maybe just what you need. Thus, installing the "General Purpose Desktop" package group is optional, but will help you mimic the system you would probably get if you where to include the default graphical desktop during OS install. Alternatively, you can chose a single package group "KDE Desktop", for a general purpose KDE Software Compilation.

It is generally recommended to install the "Fonts" package group to improve usability of the GUI, no matter what desktop environment you choose to install.

You may view the complete list of available package groups by issuing:

Code:

yum grouplist
You may review the contents of each package group by entering:

Code:

yum groupinfo "Name of the Package Group"

Enabling booting into GUI - start GUI from command line

To boot directly into GUI, you will need to manually change the runlevel of the system from 3 (full multiuser environment with networking) to 5 (the same as mode 3 + X11), by changing the line "id:3:initdefault:" to "id:5:initdefault:" in /etc/inittab file. Or you can manually start X.org from console, by entering "startx" (without quotes).

Upon installation and subsequent reboot, you will be presented with the "Setup Agent" interface (even if you choose to stay in runlevel 3, you will see the text user interface of this tool - hence, the options provided will be different from the graphical variant). This is due to package "firstboot" being automatically installed by the "X Window System" package group and can be a handy way to setup a freshly installed system. All steps in "Setup Agent" are optional, so you can just skim through them, skipping any. Though, creating a new normal user on a freshly installed system is done best through this graphical tool, as it helps automatically create the new user and associate it with groups (such as the "video" group) appropriate for everyday use in a GUI environment .


If you have installed the X Window System but are not seeing a graphical desktop environment once you log into your Red Hat Enterprise Linux system, you can start the X Window System graphical interface using the command startx.

Once you enter this command and press Enter, the graphical desktop environment is displayed.

Note, however, that this is just a one-time fix and does not change the log in process for future log ins.

To set up your system so that you can log in at a graphical login screen, you must edit one file,/etc/inittab, by changing just one number in the runlevel section. When you are finished, reboot the computer. The next time you log in, you are presented with a graphical login prompt.

Open a shell prompt. If you are in your user account, become root by typing the su command.

Now, type gedit /etc/inittab to edit the file with gedit. The file /etc/inittab opens. Within the first screen, a section of the file which looks like the following appears:
# Default runlevel. The runlevels used by RHS are: 
#   0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this) 
#   1 - Single user mode 
#   2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking) 
#   3 - Full multiuser mode 
#   4 - unused 
#   5 - X11 
#   6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this) 
#  id:3:initdefault:
To change from a console to a graphical login, you should change the number in the lineid:3:initdefault: from a 3 to a 5.

Recommended Links

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Sites

RHEL 6 Installation Guide - 17.4.2. Booting into a Graphical Environment

xorg - Setting up X server on Centos6 minimal - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange

Installing a gnome-desktop on CENTOS-6.3 following minimal system install. - Linux Archive

6.4. Problems After Installation

29.8. Display Configuration

General info

Appendix C. The X Window System

Chapter 25. X Window System Environment

X Window System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

leerraum blog Centos - Installing graphical X Window System (Boot Options, startx from command line)



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