Welcome to our article on uninstalling desktop from Ubuntu server. If you have installed the desktop environment on your server but realized that it’s not necessary and you want to remove it to save resources, you’ve come to the right place.
Uninstalling the desktop environment from your Ubuntu server might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. In this guide, we’ll take you through four easy steps that will help you to remove the desktop environment from your Ubuntu server quickly and easily.
Whether you’re an experienced system administrator or a beginner, this guide is for you. You’ll learn how to check your Ubuntu version, stop the desktop environment, remove the desktop packages, clean up your system, and avoid common mistakes. By the end of this article, you’ll have a leaner, faster, and more secure Ubuntu server.
So, let’s dive into the details and learn how to uninstall desktop from Ubuntu server in just four easy steps.
Step 1: Check Your Ubuntu Version
If you’re planning to uninstall the desktop environment from your Ubuntu server, it’s important to first determine which version of Ubuntu you’re running. This is because the process of removing the desktop environment may vary depending on the version you have installed. To check your Ubuntu version, open up a terminal window and enter the command:
This command will display information about your Ubuntu version, including the release number and code name. Once you know your version, you can proceed to the next step of the uninstallation process.
It’s important to note that removing the desktop environment can impact the functionality of your server, especially if you’re not familiar with the command-line interface. Therefore, it’s recommended that you have a good understanding of the Linux command line and are comfortable working in a terminal environment before proceeding with these steps.
Now that you’ve determined your Ubuntu version and have a basic understanding of the potential impact of removing the desktop environment, it’s time to move on to step 2 of the uninstallation process.
Determine Your Ubuntu Version Using the lsb_release Command
Open the terminal: Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal in Ubuntu Server.
Check Ubuntu version: Enter the following command in the terminal:
Identify version details: Look for the
Description:line to identify the version of Ubuntu Server you are running.
Note down the version: Note down the version number, like 20.04 or 18.04, for future reference.
Check release status: Look for the
Release:line to see if it is supported or not.
Repeat as necessary: Repeat the above steps on any other Ubuntu Server installations you want to remove the desktop environment from.
If you are running an unsupported version of Ubuntu Server, you may experience issues when attempting to remove the desktop environment. It’s important to verify your version before proceeding with the steps to ensure a smooth process.
Step 2: Stop the Desktop Environment
After verifying your Ubuntu version, the next step is to stop the running desktop environment. The desktop environment consists of various software and services that need to be stopped before removing the packages.
You can use the following commands to stop the desktop environment: sudo systemctl stop gdm3.service or sudo service lightdm stop. Use the command that corresponds to the desktop environment installed on your server.
If you encounter any issues with stopping the desktop environment, try restarting your server and attempting the process again. If the issue persists, consult the documentation for your specific desktop environment.
Once the desktop environment has been successfully stopped, you can proceed to the next step of removing the desktop packages.
Note: Stopping the desktop environment will terminate your current graphical session, and you will be left with a command-line interface.
Switch to a Console
The first thing you’ll need to do before stopping the desktop environment is switch to a console. To do this, press CTRL + ALT + F1 on your keyboard. This will take you to the first virtual console, where you can log in and execute commands.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll need to stop the display manager, which is responsible for starting the desktop environment. The commands you’ll use depend on the display manager you’re using.
If you’re using LightDM, use the following command to stop it:
sudo service lightdm stop
If you’re using GDM, use the following command to stop it:
sudo service gdm stop
If you’re using SDDM, use the following command to stop it:
sudo service sddm stop
Stop the Display Manager
The display manager is responsible for starting the desktop environment when you log in to your Ubuntu server. Stopping it will prevent the desktop environment from starting, and it’s an important step in the uninstallation process.
To stop the display manager, you need to use a command specific to the display manager you are using. If you’re not sure which display manager you have, you can check the output of the following command:
sudo dpkg -l | grep display-manager
The output will show you the name of the display manager package installed on your system. Once you know the name, you can use the appropriate command to stop it.
For example, if you’re using the LightDM display manager, you can stop it using the following command:
sudo service lightdm stop
If you’re using GDM, you can use this command:
sudo service gdm stop
Stopping the display manager will bring you back to the console, where you can continue with the next step of the uninstallation process.
Step 3: Remove the Desktop Packages
Now that you have stopped the desktop environment, you can proceed to remove the desktop packages from your Ubuntu server. Removing the desktop packages will free up disk space and prevent any potential conflicts with other software that you might install later.
List Installed Desktop Packages
To remove the desktop packages, you need to know which ones are installed on your system. You can list all the installed desktop packages using the command:
dpkg --get-selections | grep ubuntu-desktop
Remove the Desktop Packages
Once you have a list of the installed desktop packages, you can remove them using the following command:
sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-desktop
Remove Unused Packages
After you remove the desktop packages, you can also remove any unused packages that were installed as dependencies using the following command:
sudo apt-get autoremove
Clean Up the System
To free up disk space, you can also clean up any residual files and configuration files using the following command:
sudo apt-get clean
After completing these steps, your Ubuntu server should no longer have the desktop environment installed.
List Installed Packages
Before you remove any packages, it’s a good idea to list the installed packages on your Ubuntu server. This will help you to identify any packages that you may want to keep. You can use the following command to list all the installed packages:
- dpkg –get-selections: This command lists all the installed packages on your system.
- dpkg –get-selections | grep ubuntu-desktop: This command lists all the installed packages related to the Ubuntu desktop.
- dpkg –get-selections | grep desktop: This command lists all the installed packages related to desktop environments.
- dpkg –get-selections | grep gnome: This command lists all the installed packages related to the GNOME desktop environment.
- dpkg –get-selections | grep kde: This command lists all the installed packages related to the KDE desktop environment.
- dpkg –get-selections | grep xfce: This command lists all the installed packages related to the Xfce desktop environment.
After you have listed the installed packages, you can decide which packages you want to remove.
It’s important to note that removing packages can have unintended consequences. Make sure you know what you are doing and have a backup of your system before removing any packages.
In the next step, we will remove the packages related to the desktop environment.
Uninstall Desktop Packages
|GIMP||2.10.24||GNU Image Manipulation Program is a free and open-source image editor used for retouching and editing images.|
|Thunderbird||91.3.1||Thunderbird is a free and open-source email client developed by Mozilla Foundation.|
|VLC||3.0.16||VLC is a free and open-source media player used to play various audio and video formats.|
Uninstalling desktop packages on your computer is a simple process that can be done via the command line. By uninstalling unused packages, you can free up disk space and optimize the performance of your system. Here are three packages you may want to consider uninstalling:
GIMP – If you are not a graphic designer or do not work with images regularly, it may be unnecessary to keep the GNU Image Manipulation Program installed on your system. Uninstalling GIMP can free up a significant amount of disk space.
Thunderbird – If you use a web-based email client or another email client, you may not need to keep Thunderbird installed on your computer. Uninstalling Thunderbird can free up disk space and remove unnecessary software from your system.
VLC – If you do not use VLC to play media files, it may be a good idea to uninstall it from your computer. Removing VLC can free up disk space and reduce the number of applications running on your system.
Uninstalling desktop packages that you no longer use is a great way to optimize the performance of your computer. By removing unnecessary software, you can free up disk space and reduce the number of processes running on your system, resulting in a faster and more efficient computer.
Remove Dependencies No Longer Required
- Dependencies are an essential part of every project that is developed. They are required to install the required libraries and packages and to run the project efficiently. However, over time, a project’s dependency list can become bloated, and there may be several dependencies that are no longer required.
- To ensure that your project remains lightweight and fast, it’s essential to identify and remove the dependencies that are no longer necessary. This can be done by using a tool like npm-check, which allows you to review and update your project’s dependencies.
- Once you have identified the dependencies that are no longer required, it’s important to remove them from your project. This will not only reduce the size of your project but also make it easier to maintain and update in the future.
- Removing dependencies that are no longer required can also help to improve your project’s security. Outdated dependencies can have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. By removing them, you can reduce the attack surface of your project and make it more secure.
- It’s important to note that before removing any dependencies, you should ensure that they are no longer required. Sometimes, dependencies may be required by other dependencies, and removing them can cause your project to break.
- In conclusion, removing dependencies that are no longer required is an essential task that should be performed regularly. It can help to reduce the size of your project, make it easier to maintain, and improve its security.
By using tools like npm-check and following best practices for managing dependencies, you can keep your project up-to-date and optimized. Remember to only remove dependencies that are no longer required and to test your project thoroughly after making any changes.
Step 4: Clean Up Your System
After you have finished with your project and removed any unnecessary dependencies, it’s a good idea to clean up your system. This will ensure that your system remains optimized and free from any unnecessary files or processes that could slow it down. Here are a few things you can do to clean up your system:
Remove unused programs: If you have programs on your system that you no longer use, it’s a good idea to remove them. These programs can take up valuable disk space and slow down your system. Use the built-in uninstaller or a third-party uninstaller tool to remove these programs.
Delete temporary files: Temporary files can accumulate on your system over time and take up valuable disk space. Use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool or a third-party cleaning tool to remove these files.
Disable unnecessary startup programs: Some programs may start automatically when you boot up your system, causing it to slow down. Use the Task Manager or a third-party tool to disable any unnecessary startup programs.
Clean up your registry: Your system’s registry can become cluttered over time, which can cause it to slow down. Use a registry cleaner tool to clean up your registry and optimize your system’s performance.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your system remains optimized and runs smoothly. Regularly cleaning up your system can also help to extend its lifespan and prevent any performance issues.
Remove Additional Packages
Once you have removed any unnecessary dependencies, it’s important to remove any additional packages that are no longer required. These packages may have been installed as a dependency for a previous package, but are no longer needed once that package has been removed. Here are a few things you can do to remove additional packages:
Use the package manager: The easiest way to remove additional packages is to use your system’s package manager. This will automatically detect any packages that are no longer required and remove them for you.
Manually remove packages: If you prefer to manually remove packages, you can use the package manager to list all of the installed packages on your system. Then, you can manually remove any packages that are no longer required.
Remove unused kernels: If you have multiple kernels installed on your system, you may want to remove any kernels that are no longer in use. These kernels can take up valuable disk space and slow down your system. Use the package manager to remove any unused kernels.
By removing any additional packages that are no longer required, you can free up valuable disk space and ensure that your system remains optimized. Regularly checking for and removing these packages can also help to prevent any potential security issues that may arise from outdated packages.
Remove Configuration Files
- Before you begin to remove configuration files, you need to ensure that you have a backup of the original configuration files. This is important in case you need to restore them later.
- To remove the configuration files on a Linux system, use the following command: sudo rm /etc/filename. Replace filename with the name of the configuration file that you want to remove.
- If you want to remove multiple configuration files at once, you can use a wildcard character. For example, the command sudo rm /etc/.conf will remove all configuration files with a .conf extension in the /etc directory.
- It is also important to remove any references to the configuration files that you have removed. This can be done by editing the appropriate configuration files, such as /etc/fstab or /etc/passwd.
- After you have removed the configuration files, you may need to restart any services or applications that rely on those files. This will ensure that they use the default settings or the new configuration files that you have created.
- Finally, it is a good practice to verify that the configuration files have been removed by checking the appropriate directories. You can use the command ls /etc to list all files in the /etc directory and ensure that the configuration files that you have removed are no longer there.
If you follow these steps carefully, you can safely remove any unwanted configuration files from your Linux system. Remember to always make a backup of the original files, edit any relevant configuration files, and verify that the files have been removed before continuing to use your system.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Uninstalling Desktop from Ubuntu Server
Ubuntu Server is a powerful platform that can be used for a wide range of purposes, from running web servers to managing databases. However, sometimes you may have installed the desktop environment on your server for convenience, only to find that it’s no longer needed or causing issues. In such cases, uninstalling the desktop environment can be a wise decision.
Before you proceed with uninstalling the desktop environment, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes that can cause issues with your server. One common mistake is to uninstall only the graphical interface, without removing the other desktop-related packages. This can lead to conflicts and performance issues.
Another common mistake is to use the apt-get autoremove command to remove the desktop environment. While this command can be useful in removing unused packages, it can also remove packages that are still in use, causing issues with your system.
It’s also important to ensure that you have a backup of your important data before uninstalling the desktop environment. This is especially important if you have customized any settings or installed any additional software on your system.
Finally, it’s important to verify that the desktop environment has been completely removed from your system. You can use the command dpkg –list | grep desktop to list all desktop-related packages and ensure that they have been removed.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can safely and effectively uninstall the desktop environment from your Ubuntu server, freeing up resources and improving system performance.
Not backing up important files
One of the most common mistakes people make when uninstalling desktop from Ubuntu server is not backing up their important files. When you uninstall desktop, there is a chance that you might lose your files if they are not properly backed up. It’s important to make sure that all your important files are backed up before you uninstall desktop.
Backup your files to an external hard drive. One way to backup your files is to use an external hard drive. This will ensure that all your files are safe and secure in case something goes wrong during the uninstallation process. Make sure you have enough space on the external hard drive to backup all your files before you start the uninstallation process.
Use a cloud-based backup service. Another way to backup your files is to use a cloud-based backup service. This is a great option if you don’t have an external hard drive or if you want to access your files from anywhere. There are many cloud-based backup services available such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
Verify that your files are backed up. Once you have backed up your files, it’s important to verify that they have been properly backed up. You can do this by checking the backup location to make sure that all your files are there. You can also try to access your files from the backup location to ensure that they are accessible.
Benefits of Removing Desktop Environment from Ubuntu Server
If you are running an Ubuntu server, you might have installed a desktop environment to make it easier to manage certain tasks. However, there are several benefits to removing the desktop environment from your server, including:
Improved Performance: Running a desktop environment on a server can be resource-intensive, which can slow down your server’s performance. Removing the desktop environment can free up system resources, allowing your server to run faster and more efficiently.
Increased Security: Removing the desktop environment can also improve your server’s security. Desktop environments can introduce additional security risks, such as potential vulnerabilities in graphical user interfaces. By removing the desktop environment, you reduce the attack surface of your server and decrease the risk of security breaches.
Reduced Maintenance: Running a desktop environment on a server requires regular updates and maintenance, which can be time-consuming and difficult to manage. Removing the desktop environment simplifies your server’s setup and reduces the need for ongoing maintenance.
Optimized Resource Usage: A server that doesn’t have a desktop environment installed consumes fewer resources, leading to reduced power consumption and lower energy bills.
Streamlined User Access: When running a server, you don’t need a graphical user interface to complete most tasks. Removing the desktop environment allows you to focus on the terminal interface and access your server more efficiently.
One of the main benefits of removing the desktop environment from an Ubuntu server is that it improves security. The more software you have installed, the greater the potential attack surface. A desktop environment adds a significant amount of software that you might not need on a server. Attackers can exploit these additional software packages to gain access to your system. By removing the desktop environment, you can reduce the risk of potential vulnerabilities and exploits.
Improved security also comes from having fewer open ports. Desktop environments, especially those with graphical interfaces, often require more open ports to function. These open ports can provide a way for attackers to gain access to your system. By removing the desktop environment, you can reduce the number of open ports and therefore, reduce the potential attack surface.
Another aspect of improved security is easier maintenance. With fewer software packages installed, it’s easier to keep everything up to date. By having fewer packages, you can more easily apply security updates, which can help to prevent potential security breaches.
Removing the desktop environment from Ubuntu Server can significantly increase the system’s performance. The desktop environment usually comes with many pre-installed applications, which can consume valuable system resources. Uninstalling the desktop environment means you are freeing up valuable disk space, memory, and CPU usage. This can lead to faster and smoother server operation.
Without the desktop environment, your server will also have a smaller footprint. This means fewer system files to manage, leading to faster boot times and application launches. The system will also be less prone to crashes or errors, which can cause delays and downtime.
Another way to increase performance is by choosing a lightweight window manager or a minimal desktop environment. For example, you can choose to install Xfce, LXDE, or Openbox, which are known for their lightweight and resource-friendly design. These options are perfect for servers with limited resources and do not compromise functionality.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ubuntu Server?
Ubuntu Server is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, designed to provide a reliable and scalable platform for running server applications.
Why would you want to remove the desktop environment from Ubuntu Server?
There are several reasons why you might want to remove the desktop environment from Ubuntu Server, including improving performance, increasing security, and freeing up resources for other tasks.
What are the steps to uninstall desktop from Ubuntu Server?
The steps to uninstall desktop from Ubuntu Server typically involve opening the terminal, removing the relevant packages using the appropriate package manager, and then removing any remaining configuration files.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when uninstalling desktop from Ubuntu Server?
Some common mistakes to avoid when uninstalling desktop from Ubuntu Server include not backing up important files, removing essential system packages, and not properly removing all configuration files.
What are the benefits of removing the desktop environment from Ubuntu Server?
The benefits of removing the desktop environment from Ubuntu Server include improving security, increasing performance, and freeing up resources for other tasks, such as running server applications.