Enable GUI at CentOS

Linux admins spend most of their time on working in a terminal; there are some who like to work on GUI instead of a terminal. By default, CentOS 7 installed as the minimal server, and user intervention is required to change the installation type. This guide will help you to install GUI on CentOS 7 on the top of the minimal server installation.

Before installing GUI, make a Local Yum Repository to avoid downloading packages from the internet.

Optional: Run the following command to list down the available package groups for CentOS 7.

yum group list


Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
There is no installed groups file.
Maybe run: yum groups mark convert (see man yum)
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
Available Environment Groups:
Minimal Install
Compute Node
Infrastructure Server
File and Print Server
Basic Web Server
Virtualization Host
Server with GUI
GNOME Desktop
KDE Plasma Workspaces
Development and Creative Workstation
Available Groups:
Compatibility Libraries
Console Internet Tools
Development Tools
Graphical Administration Tools
Legacy UNIX Compatibility
Scientific Support
Security Tools
Smart Card Support
System Administration Tools
System Management

Step 1: Install Gnome GUI by issuing the following command.

CentOS 7

yum group install “GNOME Desktop” “Graphical Administration Tools”


yum groupinstall “Server with GUI”

Step 2: Enable GUI on system start up. In CentOS 7, systemd uses “targets” instead of run levels; /etc/inittab file is no more used to change run levels. Issue the following command to enable the GUI on system start.

ln -sf /lib/systemd/system/runlevel5.target /etc/systemd/system/default.target

Step 3: Reboot the machine to start the server in the graphical mode.


License Agreement:

Accept the license by clicking on the “LICENSE INFORMATION“.
Install Gnome GUI on CentOS 7 - Licensing Page
Install Gnome GUI on CentOS 7 – Licensing Page

Tick mark the “I accept the license agreement” and click on “Done“.
Install Gnome GUI on CentOS 7 - License Agreement
Install Gnome GUI on CentOS 7 – License Agreement

Click on “FINISH CONFIGURATION” to complete the setup.
Install Gnome GUI on CentOS 7 - License Accepted
Install Gnome GUI on CentOS 7 – License Accepted

You may need to do some post configuration tasks, like creating first user (local account), language, etc.

Then finally you will get the desktop.
CentOS 7 - GUI Desktop
CentOS 7 – GUI Desktop

That’s All!!!, You have successfully installed GUI on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7.