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How to change your Linux window manager

You may have noticed that the graphical user interface (GUI) on the linux boxes is a far cry from the usual Windows or Mac GUIs. It doesn't have to be this way - it's just that the default GUI on the linux boxes is hideous. There are many alternative GUIs installed on the linux boxes, but for most people the one they will want is Gnome, which is the GUI used in Ubuntu and other sexy Linux distributions.

To change your window manager to Gnome, follow these steps:

1. Open a terminal in your current linux VM

2. Type the following:

cd ~  nano .vnc/xstartup

3. An editor will open with the xvnc settings. Use the arrow keys to move the cursor.

4. Comment out anything after the 'xterm -geometry...' line by inserting # (this likely includes references to e.g. icewm)

5. On the line below 'xterm -geometry...' type:

gnome-session & 

6. type Ctrl-x. You'll be prompted to save changes. Type 'y', and hit return/enter to overwrite the file.

7. You should now be back in the terminal window, then EITHER:

vncserver -kill :[yourvncdesktopnumber] 


ps -Af | grep -i xvnc | grep -i <your username> 

and make a note of the process id next to the xvnc process, then type

kill <the Xvnc process id> 

8. Your VNC server will now have closed. Start a new one, and you will find yourself in gnomy goodness.

Your final file should look something like this:


CbuImaging: GettingaNicerLinuxInterface (last edited 2013-03-07 21:23:08 by localhost)