How to Check if Ubuntu Is Desktop or Server

“Desktop or server” is not a binary thing – it’s possible to have some desktop components installed on a machine originally installed as a server, etc.

However, there are some tips available to find that out.

Check a package

$ dpkg -l ubuntu-desktop                               ;# will tell you if the desktop components are installed.

Login to the terminal to see Welcome message or cat /etc/motd


    Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.2.0-29-generic i686)

     * Documentation:


    Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.2.0-29-generic x86_64)

     * Documentation:

      System information as of Thu Nov 21 13:23:37 ICT 2013

      System load:  0.0                Processes:           185
      Usage of /:   70.7% of 60.90GB   Users logged in:     1
      Memory usage: 57%                IP address for eth0:
      Swap usage:   8%

      => There are 13 zombie processes.

      Graph this data and manage this system at

    134 packages can be updated.
    66 updates are security updates.