TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

Turnkey core - how get to graphical mode?

vicar's picture

I've just run turnkey core drive on virtual machine. I get root@core:~# and prompt. How can I now run grphical mode? Commands X, startx, kde, gnome doesn't working. Is there such? How to run webmin? Sorry for such questions, but I'm quite new to this...

Guest's picture

Stripped of GUI

My understanding and experience of TKL Core is that it is stripped of all but the most fundamental aspects of the system. But the great thing about the Core is that each of us can build from it to suit our needs. So, if a graphical interface is in your needs, you're able to use apt-get to install the necessary packages.

Unless I've misunderstood the question or the Core.

Krzysztof's picture

But there is something on

But there is something on screenshots? What should I download by apt-get? What about Webmin? What about other Turnkeys - e.g. Ruby on Rails. There I also can't run graphical mode.


The appliances I've used boot to a "usage" page that lists URLs and what's accessible via each URL. One of the URLs listed on the usage page of the core, for example, is an URL for Webmin. Access that URL by navigating to it with the browser on separate machine or virtual machine. The screenshots you've seen are probably produced by following the URLs on these initial pages.

Krzysztof's picture

Sory but I really don't get

Sory but I really don't get it :( Can anyone write step by step what should I do in any of this turnkeys to get graphic interface? (Is there KDE, Gnome, GTK or what?)

Guest's picture

Installing GUI (Desktop) to Turnkey Appliances

For the standard Gnome environment: sudo apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment

For Ubuntu desktop: sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

After that, you can use Synaptic to install additional software.....if needed

I don't have a system in front of me but...

A quick look around google yielded this:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

looks about right to me. My hope is that will install Gnome and all dependencies.

Krzysztof's picture

That command (sudo apt-get

That command (sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop) returns: "E: Couldn't find package ubuntu-desktop". Am I in wrong directory? I should be connected with internet, because I can ping e.g. (but I can't ping www.google.com).  When I run system I see in configuration console e.g. "Webmin". What to do with it?

Jeremy Davis's picture

Hi Krzysztof

Firstly, TKL appliances are Server appliances, designed to do server work. As such they are optimised for best possible performance for the specific role they fulfill (only include files and services required for configuration and the job at hand) and not a lot more. Basically they are intended to be run as headless servers - ie no monitor, mouse or keyboard connected. Thus there is no need for a resource hungry GUI/desktop to be included.

If you wish to configure your appliance, then everything you can do at the local commandline, can be done via a web interface. Webmin is probably the best bet for you if you are not comfortable with the commandline. Webmin can be accessed in a web browser (that has a network connection to the appliance) using the address documented in the Configuration Console screen. From your post above, I would suggest you try

FYI the easiest way to get files in and out of the appliances is by using SFTP (a secure FTP connection). To do this you will need an FTP client (such as Filezilla) and use the IP or hostname and the port 22.

If you need/want a GUI/desktop setup then TKL Core may not what you are after. One of the other Linux distros may be better suited to your purpose (such as Ubuntu).

OTOH If you are sure TKL is what you want but you still want a GUI/desktop then you'll need to sort out your networking issues first. Seeing as you can ping IPs but not domain names, I'd guess your problem is DNS resolution. Assuming you used Config Console to set a static IP, ensure that you have a nameserver set. If you aren't running a local DNS, use the IP of your router (they usually pass through DNS to your ISP's nameservers).

Once you've got that sorted, then Rick's directions should work to install GNOME (and apps as Rick suggests above), although you don't need the sudo (default user in TKL is root so is already a superuser). Also you will need to update the package database first too. So at the commandline type:

apt-get update
apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

I still think that its probably a bit resource intensive and contains many more apps than what you'd want for a server. I'd consider exploring the option of an LXDE/OpenBox desktop instead. Another thing you may well find, unlike Win and OSX server editions, many of the Linux server apps, do not have GUI config options available (well not that I've found anyway). So even with a GUI, I suspect you will probably find yourself having to use a text editor (or Webmin) to configure many things anyway.

Hope that helps.

@Rick I deleted all your duplicate posts - hope thats ok!?

David Hall's picture

How about a Desktop Appliance?

Jed's instructions should work fine.

I downloaded the core appliance.  Started it up with VMware and selected NAT neworking choice.  I believe Bridge Adaptor should work fine as well to be able to access the internet package repostories with apt-get.

But perhaps a better idea would be an optimised Desktop Appliance.  I'd love to have a ready to go Ubuntu Desktop that I had personalised and could carry around with me from site to site.  If you move from one site to another, you frequently find you need to install your favorite tools, ide, etc...  and it takes a long time to get runing.  If you had a Desktop Appliance, all you need at the site is vmware/ virtual box, etc... and run your own desktop - even if it's a Windows only shop (as many large banks tend to be).

David Hall @ The Agile Architect dot com

Jeremy Davis's picture

I think the idea of an optimised Desktop appliance is gold!

Awesome suggestion David. I like it so much I just registered a Blueprint here and started a Dev Wiki page here. My entry on the wiki was very brief, please feel free to pad it out a bit - and/or change it if I have misinterpreted your suggestion and hijacked it :).

Guest's picture

Remastersys, perfect app for

Remastersys, perfect app for that...........

Liraz Siri's picture

I think LXDE would make a great base for this

I've been playing around with LXDE and I'm impressed. Hardy didn't include LXDE so it wasn't an option, and I'm not too enthusiastic about KDE or Gnome as appliances. They have a big footprint and are pretty resource intensive. But LXDE is really lightweight (e.g., desktop session uses only 60MB RAM). And functional to boot!

So after the Lucid release comes out I think it would be neat to work on a TurnKey Core Client type appliance. Throw it out there and let the community start cranking out client-side tklpatches that optimize it for various usage scenarios. Who knows what we could come up with...

Jeremy Davis's picture

Good call Liraz

Yes I agree LXDE would have to be the best candidate. As you say it is light but also functional.

There are probably others but I think that as LXDE is in the repos it makes it an obvious choice.

Also I think that LXDE has the 'pretty' --> performance ratio just right. As you say, KDE & Gnome are a bit on the heavy side. But many lightweight window managers often seem to either be too ugly (think Fluxbox) or too boring (think XFE) whereas I find LXDE quite visually appealing.

Sounds like fun!

Guest's picture

Desktop Appliance

Easiest way to do what you are asking for....instead of TurnKey appliance

Install Ubuntu in a machine, do full updates.....install any software you normally use (or remove software you don't need)...then install and use Remastersys

Remastersys creates a customized ISO image that replicates the base system you configured.  After that you can run it in live mode from USB Thumb drives (or DVD) or install into any other machine

That's what I do everytime a new release comes out...I may spend a few hours on the first installation but after that I can replicate same configuration on multiple systems in 15 minutes or so

Jeremy Davis's picture

RemasterSys is a good thing

And I regularly use it on my Ubuntu Desktop. Theoretically it should be able to be installed in TKL too (although it may require a GUI, I'm not sure).

However what we are discussing here is a minimalist desktop/GUI OS and whilst it could be built from a standard Ubuntu setup, it's better IMO to start from a minimal base and build up (rather than culling from a somewhat bloated base). OTOH for non-tech users that would like to share an ISO of their prototype it could be very helpful.

Guest's picture

autologin in gdm gnome

okey this is..

I install this apt-get install xorg gdm gnome

and works perfect...

I seet the "root" password for enter in the desktop and works fine but, 

But when I reboot the computer, appears in the start the blue screen for configuration of mi network card or say the ip to access the system, well y i press CTRL+ALT+F7 I can enter to the desktop and if I press CTRL+ALT+F8 again I see the blue screen of turnkey...


well this is the problem when the computer starts I want enter to the desktp gdm gnome with AUTOLOGIN ROOT (without sign root and password every time what I reboot the machine), and wants appear the TTY7 first not TTY8. thanks!!!

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