How to Make a Full desktop Ubuntu OS on Ubuntu Server 20.04 in a Raspberry pi 4

Do you have an Ubuntu Server installed on your Raspberry pi? Do you want to use your CLI-based Ubuntu OS in everyday use as a desktop computer? In this tutorial, I will discuss the steps on how to add GUI to your Ubuntu server.

But before I proceed to the procedure, let me explain why the server edition does not include a graphical user interface (GUI) and when you would want to install one on your server.

Difference between Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop

If you compare the Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop, you will notice that Ubuntu Desktop functions as a normal desktop operating system like Windows or Mac. It has a full desktop environment with a graphical user interface.

Ubuntu Server is CLI-based means the only way to use this type of OS is by the use of a terminal. To access the Ubuntu Server, you still need to have a monitor and keyboard and the other way is to use an SSH connection.

How to install GUI on Ubuntu server?

To make your Ubuntu server OS into a Ubuntu Desktop, just follow this steps:

Step 1 preparation

First, you need to update and upgrade your repositories to make sure you have are running the latest packages.

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2 Install Tasksel package

Tasksel, is a simple and easy-to-use tool developed for Debian/Ubuntu that provides users an interface to enable them to install a group of related packages such as LAMP Server, Mail Server, DNS Server, etc. as a single pre-configured task. It works comparably to meta-packages, you will find nearly all tasks in tasksel present in meta-packages.

To install the ubuntu-desktop environment, you will need to install this package. To install this package type this command:

sudo apt install tasksel

Step 3 Installation of Ubuntu Desktop

After the installation is finished, you can now proceed with the installation of the Ubuntu Desktop. Type the following command:

sudo tasksel install ubuntu-desktop

If you want to see the available packages in tasksel, run this command:

sudo tasksel

Note: To navigate the list of packages, use your arrow keys to go up or down, press space bar to choose a package, press tab to focus on the ok button, and press enter to proceed with installation.

Step 4 Reboot

If the installation is finished, reboot your Ubuntu Server by typing this command:


The raspberry pi will restart and load your Ubuntu Desktop environment. To access your new ubuntu os, you will need to connect your raspberry pi to a monitor with a mouse to view the login screen.

This is basically done. You successfully install a GUI Ubuntu OS to your Ubuntu Server. If you want to use your Ubuntu desktop remotely, you can install remote control access like Teamviewer to leave your raspberry pi as it is without a monitor or mouse.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *