How to install Gnome on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish

GNOME is the default desktop environment for Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish. If you don’t yet have a desktop environment installed, or have a different environment and would like to switch to GNOME, it’s very easy to do.

GNOME includes a variety of desktop applications and its aim is to make a Linux system easy to use for non-programmers.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install GNOME desktop environment on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install Gnome Vanilla on Ubuntu 22.04
  • How to install Full Gnome Desktop
Gnome Dekstop on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish
Gnome Dekstop on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish
Software GNOME desktop environment
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

Install GNOME minimal on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish Linux step by step instructions



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The “Vanilla Gnome” version is a clean GNOME desktop installation. It lacks most of the software you would expect as default, however the desktop resource requirements are minimal.

  1. To install the minimal GNOME desktop environment, open a command line terminal and use your system’s package manager to install the GUI and gdm3 window manager.
    $ sudo apt update
    $ sudo apt install gnome-session gdm3
    
  2. If the installation prompt asks you to select your default window manager (because you are currently using a different one), be sure to select gdm3 if you want GNOME to be your default desktop environment.
    Select gdm3 as default window manager
    Select gdm3 as default window manager
  3. After installation is complete, reboot your system and you will be presented with a GNOME login.
    $ reboot
    
  4. At this point, the GUI should start. You may need to select your desired desktop flavor on the login page before you login. In case the GUI is not starting at all, make sure your system boots into the graphical target. To do so execute:
    $ sudo systemctl set-default graphical.target
    

Install GNOME full desktop on Ubuntu 22.04

The “Full version” of GNOME will come with more software by default. Some users may find it bloated, and others may find that it comes with all the necessary things they need. The only thing to keep in mind is that this version will consume a bit more system resources than the minimal version.

  1. The easiest way to install full GNOME desktop is by using the tasksel command. First ensure that the tasksel command is available on your system:
    $ sudo apt update
    $ sudo apt install tasksel
    
  2. Next, use the tasksel command to install GNOME desktop:
    $ sudo tasksel install ubuntu-desktop
    
  3. If the installation prompt asks you to select your default window manager (because you are currently using a different one), be sure to select gdm3 if you want GNOME to be your default desktop environment.
    Select gdm3 as default window manager
    Select gdm3 as default window manager
  4. All done. Reboot your Ubuntu 22.04 system to be presented with the GNOME desktop:
    $ reboot
    
  5. At this point, the GUI should start. You may need to select your desired desktop flavor on the login page before you login. In case the GUI is not starting at all, make sure your system boots into the graphical target. To do so execute:
    $ sudo systemctl set-default graphical.target
    


Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we saw how to install the GNOME desktop environment on Ubuntu 22.04. This will work for Ubuntu servers that don’t have any GUI at all, or for Ubuntu desktops that are running a different desktop environment, such as KDE Plasma (Kubuntu). If you opted for the minimal GNOME install and find it to be lacking, you can always continue with the full installation afterwards.