Sometimes I find the need to install Ubuntu Server with a gnome desktop like the one that you get with Ubuntu Desktop. You can install Ubuntu Server and then use apt-get to install the package ubuntu-desktop. However, if you do that you will end up installing almost everything that comes with a Ubuntu Desktop installation. This is not what I want.
What I really want is a gnome graphical desktop running on top of Ubuntu Server and very little else. Here is what I do.
Install Ubuntu Server
Logon and install the following packages.
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop –no-install-recommends
You will want the indicator applets.
$ sudo apt-get install indicator-applet-complete indicator-applet
If you want a web browser, a good choice is chromium.
$ sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
Reboot and enjoy.
That is all.