Install a Desktop Environment on CentOS 6 Minimal Install

After performing a base install of CentOS 6 using the minimal install CD, do the following to install a basic GNOME desktop environment:

# yum groupinstall "Desktop" "Desktop Platform" "X Window System" "Fonts"

Run the following on a particular package group in order to see detailed information including a description and which packages it will install.

# yum groupinfo groupname

There are additional package groups if you want something more than a basic desktop environment. For example,

# yum -y groupinstall "General Purpose Desktop"

To see a list of all the installed and available package groups:

# yum grouplist

Once installed, you can start GNOME by running:

$ startx


$ /sbin/telinit 5

To have CentOS boot into runlevel 5 “X11” instead of runlevel 3 “Full multiuser mode”, modify the /etc/inittab file to change start up level from




My System Configuration

  • CentOS 6.5 x86 64-bit


8 thoughts on “Install a Desktop Environment on CentOS 6 Minimal Install”

  1. Thank you, this is exactly and precisely the information I was looking for, nothing more and nothing less (well if it’s less I might not actually know that, but let’s not quibble).
    Great post and you now have a new follower.

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