How To CentOS / RHEL 7 Install Gnome Desktop Using Yum

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I installed minimal CentOS Linux 7.x on my laptop. How can I install Gnome desktop GUI on a RHEL (Red Hat) 7 or CentOS Linux 7 system using command line option?

GNOME is a highly intuitive and user friendly desktop environment for CentOS and RHEL 7.x based system.
Tutorial details
Difficulty level Easy
Root privileges Yes
Requirements None
Est. reading time 2 minutes
If you did a minimal install, this guide will quickly tell you how to install Gnome GUI on a CentOS 7 or RHEL 7 using a command line options.

Install Gnome GUI

The syntax is as follows to list available software groups on a CentOS/RHEL 7:
yum grouplist
Sample outputs:

Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base:
 * extras:
 * updates:
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
Installed groups:
   Graphical Administration Tools
   Legacy UNIX Compatibility
   Security Tools
   System Administration Tools
Available Groups:
   Compatibility Libraries
   Console Internet Tools
   Development Tools
   Scientific Support
   Smart Card Support
   System Management

To install GNOME desktop group, enter:
sudo yum groups install "GNOME Desktop"
sudo yum groupinstall "GNOME Desktop"
To install Gnome on a RHEL 7 or CentOS Linux 7 server for operating network infrastructure services, with a GUI, enter:
sudo yum groups install "Server with GUI"
sudo yum groupinstall "Server with GUI"
Now yum command will download all required packages from the internets or RHN if you are using Red Hat Enterprise Linux .

How do I set the system to boot directly into the GUI in CentOS7/RHEL 7?

Type the following command:
sudo systemctl set-default

How do I switch or start GUI login from command line?

Type the following command if you do not want to reboot the server or desktop/laptop:
sudo systemctl start
You should see login screen as follows:

Fig.01: CentOS / RHEL 7 Gnome the GUI login

Fig.01: CentOS / RHEL 7 Gnome the GUI login

And here is my desktop:
Fig.02: CentOS / RHEL 7 Gnome Desktop

Fig.02: CentOS / RHEL 7 Gnome Desktop

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12 comments… add one
  • Charles May 7, 2015 @ 4:30

    Edit /etc/inittab to change runlevel from 3 (full multiuser) to 5 is now deprecated? Thanks.

    • 🛡️ Vivek Gite (Author and Admin) Vivek Gite May 7, 2015 @ 8:20

      Yup. You need to use systemd for everything.

  • Bob Jun 25, 2015 @ 19:52

    Thanks for that; it really helped!

  • Yogendra Oct 23, 2015 @ 16:34

    my login screen remained just black
    so no way to login
    and see the GNOME desktop

    can I have a link to your step by step install centos 7
    on vmplayer using minimal iso

    • ®γσ, Eng Jan 23, 2016 @ 20:56

      same with mine, there is a message `Maybe run: yum group mark install (see man yum)` prompt me during the step : `$sudo yum groups install “Server with GUI”`. When I run as mark then a message `Marked install: Server with GUI`. Just wondered if there problem is with Server or not?

  • Akis Nov 25, 2015 @ 16:05

    When I run yup grouplist I get the error “There is no installed groups file”

    Any ideas?

  • cyril Dec 15, 2015 @ 19:10

    Same here. Stuck now with no way to login!

  • nosyba Jan 8, 2016 @ 20:48

    strangely it doesnt accept my root password anymore! i even installed a new centos 7 and did the steps again, and yet it changed my root system password or i dont kno what happened but it says wrong password!
    help please

    • DotSlashAttack Feb 4, 2016 @ 20:59

      sudo passwd root –> enter your password, then enter the new root password –>sudo su OR su -i –> Login as root.

  • Shubhangee Apr 29, 2016 @ 8:54

    Thanks, now switched to GUI.

  • Satya Jun 29, 2016 @ 18:03

    Really great help

  • Hans Gallardo Feb 9, 2021 @ 14:51

    Thank you, but know how can I remove the grouplist or gnome

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