[CentOS] yum groupinstall "GNOME Desktop" fails

Wed Apr 17 16:30:22 UTC 2019
Warren Young <warren at etr-usa.com>

I’ve got a CentOS 7 VM here that was installed with one of the CLI-only presets.  To answer a question in another thread here, I wanted to install a GNOME desktop environment in it, so I went searching and found the standard instructions for doing that.

The problem is that rebooting the VM gives me a black screen after it finishes the text booting parts.  There’s an X cursor, and wiggling the mouse moves it, but I get no gray login screen.

Pressing Ctrl-Alt-F2 and logging into a text console works.  Saying “startx” brings X back up again — indicating that it does find the proper X drivers and such — but now I get just a few default icons on the desktop, but no top and bottom toolbars:


So, the GNOME shell is also broken.

I’ve repeated the yum groupinstalls for “GNOME Desktop”, “Server with GUI” and “Graphical Administration Tools.”  yum claims everything is fine.

Short of installing another VM with a GUI enabled from the start, I’m stuck.

For what it’s worth, the VM system is Parallels, and I do have the Parallels Tools installed.

The same symptoms occur when booting into single-user mode and trying to startx from there.