I installed Cinnamon on CentOS 7, but it fails to show, because the cog button that lets me choose the desktop environment on the CentOS login screen does not appear.


I just got a new computer on which I installed CentOS 7 (and wiped the original Windows OS).

CentOS 7 came with a command line interface, so I tried to install GNOME desktop first, following this guide. And I got a GUI that looks likes the picture below.

I followed the instructions to install Cinnamon here like I've done many times before but this time, Cinnamon doesn't show up anywhere, there is no cog icon on the login screen to choose Cinnamon, I ran the command systemctl set-default graphical.target but nothing happened. So I also tried following this guide.

Here are all the commands I typed:

sudo yum update 
sudo yum -y groups install "GNOME Desktop"
echo "exec gnome-session" >> -/.xinitrc
systemctl set-default graphical.target
sudo systemctl set-default graphical.target
yum install epel-release -y
sudo yum install epel-release -y
sudo yum groupinstall "Server with GUI" -y
yum install cinnamon -y
sudo yum install cinnamon -y
systemctl get-default
systemctl isolate graphical.target
systemctl get-default
sudo systemctl isolate graphical.target
sudo yum -y install epel-release
sudo yum -y groupinstall "X Window system"
sudo yum -y install lightdm
sudo yum -y install cinnamon
sudo systemctl isolate graphical.target
systemctl set-default graphical.target

Here is what my desktop looks like ever since I installed GUI on CentOS and I still see it right now.
CentOS 7 Desktop that I don't want

Here is what I have for yum:

$ yum group list
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Determining fastest mirrors
 * base: ftpmirror.your.org
 * epel: mirror.team-cymru.com
 * extras: ewr.edge.kernel.org
 * updates: ftpmirror.your.org
Installed Environment Groups:
   Server with GUI
   GNOME Desktop
Available Environment Groups:
   Minimal Install
   Compute Node
   Infrastructure Server
   File and Print Server
   Cinnamon Desktop
   MATE Desktop
   Basic Web Server
   Virtualization Host
   KDE Plasma Workspaces
   Development and Creative Workstation
Available Groups:
   Compatibility Libraries
   Console Internet Tools
   Development Tools
   Educational Software
   Electronic Lab
   Fedora Packager
   General Purpose Desktop
   Graphical Administration Tools
   LXQt Desktop
   Legacy UNIX Compatibility
   Scientific Support
   Security Tools
   Smart Card Support
   System Administration Tools
   System Management
   TurboGears application framework

I feel like the problem is showing the cog icon to choose the desktop environments on the login page. Currently I don't have that icon.


First install Cinnamon group:

$ sudo yum -y groupinstall "Cinnamon"

Then it appears in gdm list - last line - xfce in my case:

CentOS 8 with Xfce

  • Yeah I figured out the root of the program was not having this cog icon appear on my log in screen. I knew I needed to have this icon to choose the environment. So it turned out I had to set an account password to have this cog icon appear. So strange!
    – HaoQi Li
    Jul 3 '20 at 20:15

So the solution turned out to be the strangest thing ever. All I need to do to make the desktop environment cog icon appear on the login screen is to set a password for my username!

I had this problem because I chose to skip sitting a password for my username when installing Centos 7. I did set a root password, but not an account password.

I can't believe having a password or not would change the UI! Perhaps a bug in the Centos login screen.

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