Ultimate Home server Part 2 – Operating System + Remote Access

Addendum: Installing a graphical interface

Linux differs from Windows in that it often doesn’t include a graphical interface. It’s also true that there are many different graphical interfaces to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

The problem with most graphical interfaces is that they tie up system resources that could be used for actually doing stuff. So in the case of a server, where the machines ultimate goal is to serve things to other devices, it’s adviseable to not install a graphical interface and instead use the command line.

However, if you’re absolutely certain that you need to install a graphical interface then the best solution would be one which ties up as few resources as possible.

In my view the best example of this would be the LXDE interface, which is lightweight and simple to use, even if you’re not familiar with Linux.

Installation of LXDE is simple, you just need to enter the following command from the command line:

sudo apt-get install lxde

You’ll be prompted for your password and then asked if you want to install the package. Press Y on your keyboard to accept and the necessary files will be downloaded and installed.

Next issue a reboot command:

sudo reboot

Once your machine restarts you should find it boots to the LXDE desktop environment:

From there on your server should appear a lot more familiar.

Throughout the rest of this guide I’ll be specifying commands to be entered at the command line. You can open up a command line within LXDE by using the LXTerminal app built into LXDE, from there your experience will be the same.

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