How to disable/enable GUI in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux Desktop

The default behavior of Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish is to start the GUI automatically when the computer boots up, at least on the desktop edition.

On the server edition of Ubuntu 22.04, you may find that your GUI does not start up automatically. Either way, there is an easy setting to adjust in systemd which controls whether or not your GUI starts up automatically.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to disable or enable GUI on boot in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux Desktop.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to disable GUI on boot
  • How to enable GUI on boot
  • How to how to start GUI from command line
Disable GUI on boot in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux Desktop
Disable GUI on boot in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux Desktop
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish
Software GNOME or any other GUI
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

How to disable GUI on boot in Ubuntu 22.04 step by step instructions



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  1. The following command will disable GUI on boot hence upon the reboot the system will boot into multi user target:
    $ sudo systemctl set-default multi-user
    
  2. Reboot or log out from a current session to exit GUI:
    $ reboot
    OR
    $ gnome-session-quit
    

How to enable GUI to start on boot

Given that you have installed GUI on your Ubuntu 22.04 Server/Desktop you can enable the system to start to GUI by execution of the following command:

$ sudo systemctl set-default graphical

Start GUI manually from a command line

For a GNOME GUI installations using GDM as a default display manager you can start GUI from a command line by executing the below command:

$ sudo systemctl start gdm3

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we saw how to disable or enable the GUI to start automatically upon system boot of an Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish system. For desktop users, having a GUI start automatically is a matter of convenience. However, it does consume a lot more system resources than simply booting into the command line and then starting the GUI manually if necessary. For servers, you almost always do not want to boot directly to GUI, as to minimize system overheard and boot time as much as possible.