How to start CentOS GUI from the command line

Written by andy madeley Google
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How to start CentOS GUI from the command line
No CentOS GUI, no problem. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you installed CentOS as a server, the graphical user interface may not be configured to start and you will be presented with the CentOS terminal window at log in. You can still access the desktop by running a simple command or enable the GUI to run by default.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start the CentOS GUI by logging in to the CentOS operating system. Type "startx" at the command prompt and press "Enter."

  2. 2

    Enable CentOS to boot into a graphical environment by logging in to the CentOS operating system, type "su -" at the command prompt, press "Enter" then type the root user's password. Press "Enter" again. Type "gedit /etc/inittab" and press "Enter" to open the inittab file.

  3. 3

    Edit the line "id:3:initdefault:" to read "id:5:initdefault:" to change the default run-level from 3, a terminal interface, to run-level 5, the graphical interface. Press "CTRL-Q" then click "Save" to save the changes to the inittab file. Restart your CentOS machine to load the X windows system.

Tips and warnings

  • You will need the root user's password to make changes to the CentOS system.
  • Be careful when making changes to inittab, only change the number of the default run-level from 3 to 5.

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