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How can I install a minimal GNOME desktop on F22 Server?

asked 2015-10-06 09:15:53 -0500

dcrdev gravatar image

In Fedora 22 Server I can install a minimal XFCE Desktop with the command 'dnf groupinstall "XFCE Desktop"' - this pulls down XFCE, Thunar and LightDM with not much else. To install GNOME you have to pull down the "Fedora Workstation" group, which also brings down a ton of additional packages such as Firefox, LibreOffice etc...

How can I achieve the same level of minimalism with GNOME instead of XFCE i.e. I just want gnome, gdm and the usual graphical administration tools without the extra applications.

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There is no group for what you want. You will have to install the packages manually (gnome-desktop, .... dnf groupinstall 'Fedora Workstation' will install the entire Gnome Desktop with all apps.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2015-10-06 13:26:41 -0500 )edit

I'm aware there is no existing group to do this - I've attempted to install the essentials like this:

dnf install @base-x gnome-shell

But it runs once and then on reboot it hangs at "Loading User Manager for UID x", additionally it doesn't appear to set up Plymouth. I'd install the individual groups but it seems a lot of the apps are tied to the "Fedora Workstation Core" group.

dcrdev gravatar imagedcrdev ( 2015-10-06 14:18:18 -0500 )edit

Which UID is it hanging on? If you're trying to run Gnome, you're using gdm, and that claims UID 42 on my machine. (I no longer use either Gnome or gdm, but the entry's still in /etc/passwd on this box.)

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2015-10-06 14:23:07 -0500 )edit

Yes it's UID 42

dcrdev gravatar imagedcrdev ( 2015-10-06 14:24:03 -0500 )edit

OK, I have gdm claiming that UID on two different computers, so I think that's established. I'm not sure, as yet, what the next step is, but I think we can presume that the issue is with gdm.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2015-10-06 14:54:38 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-10-06 21:09:04 -0500

updated 2015-10-06 22:24:11 -0500

Thanks to a few hidden groups (if you're interested in reading what little information I have about them, see my blog post on the subject matter), you need only execute sudo dnf group install gnome-desktop base-x - that'll give you the GNOME Desktop Environment along with the X11 server and drivers necessary to run a graphical desktop environment in Fedora 22 Server without any of the additional Fedora Workstation packages.

Once you've installed those groups, you'll have the gdm.service systemd unit available, so enable it and use sudo dnf systemctl set-default if you want to boot into the

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This is the correct answer - I did manage to do this earlier but unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to get the additional configuration utilities that you get with the "XFCE Desktop" option such as the firewall config gui etc... Is there a group for these utilities?

dcrdev gravatar imagedcrdev ( 2015-10-07 03:24:05 -0500 )edit

Well, that's odd, 'cause a listing of the packages included in the "Xfce Desktop" group and a comparison with the "GNOME" group show that both include the "firewall-config" package. Can you check specifically to see if it's installed? It should be.

bitwiseoperator gravatar imagebitwiseoperator ( 2015-10-07 09:47:11 -0500 )edit

Yeah it's definitely not installed - installing it manually results in it not being able to connect to the daemon. I assumed there were probably some other dependencies missing and gave up.

dcrdev gravatar imagedcrdev ( 2015-10-07 13:20:38 -0500 )edit

Well that just doesn't make any sense. If you've installed the gnome-desktop group, that package comes with it. What's your dnf history output look like? When you examine the entry regarding the installation of the gnome-desktop group in detail, is the firewall-config package simply absent?

bitwiseoperator gravatar imagebitwiseoperator ( 2015-10-07 13:50:22 -0500 )edit

Correct - completely absent hence why I was enquiring about any additional environment groups. I couldn't figure it out either - on the face of it both the gnome group and xfce group contain the same secondary groups.

dcrdev gravatar imagedcrdev ( 2015-10-07 13:55:00 -0500 )edit

answered 2017-01-27 17:32:47 -0500

agodinhost gravatar image

It also worked on Fedora 25 Server (using the DVD image).

minimal install
login as root
sudo dnf group install gnome-desktop base-x
systemctl enable gdm.service
systemctl set-default
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I found @hardware-support was needed to get Intel wireless working.

andmalc gravatar imageandmalc ( 2017-01-31 23:04:29 -0500 )edit

But this also installs Libreoffice, evince, totem, gnome-wheather and many more gnome apps, so this is not what dcrdev is looking for. (I tested it with Fedora 26 Workstation netinstall iso).

octied gravatar imageoctied ( 2017-08-09 02:51:47 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-10-06 12:49:31 -0500

andmalc gravatar image

updated 2015-10-06 12:50:14 -0500

Haven't tried this myself, however:

dnf groupinfo 'Fedora Workstation'

Shows the component groups such as 'Fedora Workstation product core', 'LibreOffice' and 'Multimedia'. You could try running dnf group install with only the components you want.

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That would work except the group that contains the base GNOME packages "Fedora Workstation Core" has a load of applications baked in.

dcrdev gravatar imagedcrdev ( 2015-10-06 14:20:03 -0500 )edit

I see that you can exclude individual packages with the '-x' option. That works for Firefox, Rhythmbox, and Dev Assistant but not the other big one Evoluation which is required. I didn't try any others - you could probably find a few more non-required packages.

andmalc gravatar imageandmalc ( 2015-10-06 19:47:32 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-10-06 09:15:53 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 06 '15