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Install Graphical Desktop for ClearOS 7

A desktop environment is useful for certain applications which require a full graphical desktop manager. For simplicity and security, ClearOS comes with only the graphical console for enough Webconfig components to enable remote administration through a web browser.

ClearOS is not designed for desktop managers and installing a full desktop is highly NOT recommended. This howto is only for developers and proofs of concept and should never be implemented in a production environment without ClearCenter support. The ClearOS Graphical Desktop is supported in Business Platinum edition only when implemented under the direction and instruction of ClearCenter support engineers.


You will need to install a great deal of packages and also be able to reboot the system. Because you will need to reboot, you can install the packages remotely over SSH or you can do so at the console by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F2.

Installing Packages

From command line, run the following:

yum update

The purpose of this command is to get the packages up to date from the subscription that you are working from. The installation of the ClearOS Desktop will update packages from additional repositories and you will want to ensure that your system is already up to date to limit the number of packages that will be sourced in your install.

yum install gnome-classic-session gnome-terminal control-center liberation-mono-fonts firefox

There will be quite a few packages that get downloaded and installed with these two commands.

If you get a message about 'Finish Configuration' on a subsequent reboot, remove the packages for initial-setup (yum remove initial-setup initial-setup-gui)

Setting the System to Launch Graphically

If you are actively using ClearOS as a Desktop or need active VNC support, you will likely want to run the GUI on a permanent basis. If you are planning on walk up administration or running ClearOS in a data center, skip this section and launch the GUI from command line with 'startx'.

To make the system start each time in GUI, run the following from command prompt to unlink the current launch target:

unlink /etc/systemd/system/

Now, link in the graphical system:

ln -sf /lib/systemd/system/ /etc/systemd/system/

Reboot your system:


Logging In

Upon reboot, you should be presented with a grey screen with the day and hour listed at the top. There are also controls for usability, sound, and power functions. In the center of the screen it will say 'Not listed?' This is because the system will not list your only user by default under ClearOS, namely 'root'. Click on 'Not listed?' and you will be able to put in the 'root' username. Click Next. Supply the password for 'root' and then click 'Sign In'.

Congratulations. If all is working well, your system is now converted to graphical mode with an interactive desktop.

You can even run Webconfig for the local machine by navigating to https://localhost:81 in the Firefox Web Browser.

Because ClearOS will change its certificate that is used for Webconfig after the configuration of the Certificate Manager, we suggest that you do not permanently add the certificate for the Webconfig interface until after that has taken place.

Setting up Remote Access to the Graphical Desktop with VNC

Install VNC server and create user

yum install tigervnc-server


useradd -r vncuser

Setup systemd service parameters from template

cp /lib/systemd/system/vncserver@.service /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@:1.service

Edit '/etc/systemd/system/vncserver@:1.service' and replace both entries of 'USER' with vncuser. For example:

sed -i 's//vncuser/' /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@:1.service

Setup vncuser password and service

mkdir -p /home/vncuser
chown vncuser /home/vncuser
su vncuser





Run this once and then press ctrl+d to exit back to root

Setup daemon and configure to run

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable vncserver@:1.service

You can now download your favourite VNC viewer to your client (e.g. TightVNC for windows) and connect to your display by using your ClearOS address “hostname:1” or “ipaddress:1”. If you have the firewall enabled you may need to open up port 5901+

It should start automatically after boot, but you can also call manually with:- systemctl start vncserver@:1.service and check status with systemctl start vncserver@:1.service

P.S if you want to change the screen resolution, connect via VNC, and go to top left hand menu Applications → Settings → Displays

Changing the Default Resolution

If you want to change the default resolution, you can modify this line in your /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@:1.service file:

ExecStart=/usr/sbin/runuser -l  -c "/usr/bin/vncserver %i"


ExecStart=/usr/sbin/runuser -l vncuser -c "/usr/bin/vncserver %i -geometry 1600x1200"

If you change this, you will need to reload the systemd files and restart the service:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart vncserver@:1.service

Special Considerations - HPE MicroServer Gen10

If you need multi-monitor support for the graphical user interface you MUST install the driver from AMD to support this. This is a secondary driver to the one that comes default on ClearOS. As mentioned, ClearOS does not typically use a monitor for its normal operations so this driver was not included when you installed ClearOS. If your MicroServer came pre-installed with ClearOS then you can find the driver in the /boot/utilities subdirectories but our recommendation is to download the latest version from the ClearCenter FTP site:

  • username: pub
  • password: pub
  • path: pub/MicroServerGen10/drivers
content/en_us/kb_7_install_graphical_desktop_for_clearos.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/15 13:39 by dloper