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How to use GUI in VM with Linux?

Desktop environments for Linux allow you to perform any action related to your operating system in visible way. Its purpose is to deliver a proper suite in terms of look, functionnalities, and usability.

In our Glance repository we possess two Linux distributions in the full version(with GUI):

  • CentOS 7 + Sen4Cap
  • OSGeo

In order to install GUI for CentOS and basic Ubuntu images we have to consider some apt-get and yum installations. We have prepared four environments that interact correctly with the recommended visual remote desktop application -x2GO.

(Use ssh connection to easily parse copy-paste actions)

Tutorial has been prepared on machine with preinstalled Ubuntu 16.04.

1. MATE:

Project created by the Arch Linux community. It’s the fork of GNOME 2.32


$ sudo apt update
$ sudo tasksel install ubuntu-mate-desktop



 Theme for Mate:


Its aim is based on being fast and light-weight.


$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt-get install xfce4



First look on the fresh environment:


LXDE has been created for less efficient machines.


$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install lxde



LXDE appearance (x2go session):

4. Cinammon:

Desktop environment corelated with the GTK+3 library.


$ sudo apt update
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:embrosyn/cinnamon
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install cinnamon-desktop-environment lightdm



Cinammon appearance (x2go session):


What is X2GO?

Simply, X2GO is one of the many solutions for Remote Desktop that works well over either low or high bandwith.

For more informations, I reffer to the documentation:



X2GO configuration

Using SPICE console within the Horizon panel may effect in worse optimalization and non-synchronized cursor. To improve the whole setup we may install X2GO server on the virtual machine and X2GO client on our computer which is being used to connect to our instance.


Operations on the virtual machine:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:x2go/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install x2goserver x2goserver-xsession

Operations on the client side:

apt-get install x2goclient

Ok, we are equipped to initialize our first session. Launch X2GO application and look on the prompt window:

Fill in necessary blanks:

  • host: IP of the virtual machine
  • Login: eouser ( account allowed for ssh connection)
  • SSH port 22 (by default)


Optionally: Use RSA/DSA key for ssh connection: Put your ssh private key in the case of not using basic id_rsa file.


Take a brief and short look at another bookmarks:

In Input/Output you are able to set a useful Clipboard mode.

In Shared folders you might set up a folder shared between machines.

Press “OK”

Notice a rectangle with curved edges on your right side. Click on it.


If every value in the step before was typed in correctly, you should encounter a window with information: Established X server connection


Few seconds after that you obtain a visible access to your virtual machine:


Congratulations, you installed your desktop environment and established a connection through remote desktop application.