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Initial Fedora install - No Gnome Desktop

I'm new to Linux, coming primarily from the Windows world.  I installed Fedora 7.  The install went pretty cleanly, but when I boot Fedor, it goes straight to loading X Serve, once that occurs, I get a gray background with a cursor (which moves using the mouse, no problem).  I get no desktop, however, so I can't actually do anything.

I'm not familiar enough with Linux to troubleshoot this.  I couldn't even manage to force a boot to command line at this point.  Any help to point me where to look would be appreciated.


4 Solutions
Deepak KosarajuCommented:
did u intall gnome desktop rpm's u can check using
rpm -qa | grep gnome*
in the command prompt if u get output with couple of names then u go to try with
startx command
and if now installed then u need to install the gnome packages using
rpm -ivh gnome-*
but before installing u got to copy all the files in all cd's to local backup and then install from that location
You can try ctrl+alt+f1 which should get you a terminal open. Now enter

yum kde

That should install the KDE GUI.
Since when has: 'yum kde' installed kde!!??

As kosarajudeepak says you need to check your preferred desktop is installed. To check ctrl-alt-f1 to get to the terminal then log in. Then type:
yum grouplist

This will show you the groups you have installed and the groups that are available to install. You need to be looking for 'GNOME Desktop Environment' for GNOME or 'KDE (K Desktop Environment)' for KDE.

If you haven't got any of these installed then you can use the group install option of yum:
yum groupinstall 'GNOME Desktop Environment' # or for KDE:
yum groupinstall 'KDE (K Desktop Environment)'
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I haven't used yum for ages and forgot the "install".

'yum install kde' won't work either. There isn't a package called kde. You could manually install each package in KDE with: yum install <list all packages(which is loads)> or use the groupinstall function.

you /might/ be lucky with dependencies and use: yum install kdebase
You will probably miss quite a few packages that aren't in the dependency tree though. I would just use the groupinstall.
corwin_rangerAuthor Commented:

Thank you.  I haven't been home most of the day, so I need to see if Gnome is installed or not.  I did select it during the install process, but who knows.

As I said, I'm new to linux.  Where would I check to ensure that when X starts the Gnome desktop is being requested (assuming it IS installed)?  I assume it's a startup script of some kind.

The default desktop is defined in: /etc/sysconfig/desktop

Basically startx calls ~/.xinitrc
Lacking this it will call /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc - which execs /etc/X11/xinit/Xclients which in turn sources /etc/sysconfig/desktop for the preference of desktop environment.

So. If GNOME is installed (when you have checked using yum) i'd look in /etc/sysconfig/desktop
You should find something like:
If not add or amend the line so it read this.

Then run this from the command prompt:
Another note:
Check /etc/sysconfig/desktop
Look for the DISPLAYMANAGER variable. This needs to be GNOME as well. This will ensure gdm is run when you boot your machine in initlevel 5. This basically defines which login screen appears ;)
It seems to me that the GDM failed to load for some reason, or failed to show the login window.
What is the output of the file /var/log/gdm ?
You can use the command 'cat' to pour its contents. Do it like that:
cat /var/log/gdm

Also - take heed of the letters case - it does matter in Linux/Unix.

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