Using the Linode Graphical Shell (Glish)

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Using the Linode Graphical Shell Glish

Glish is the graphical version of the Linode Shell (Lish). It allows you to use a graphic environment running natively on your Linode’s operating system.


Linode base distribution images do not have graphic environments installed. You will need to install one, or use a Custom Distro with a graphic environment pre-installed.

Glish is only available on KVM Linodes.

Enable Glish on a Linode-Supplied Image

Ensure that your Linode is booted with the latest Linode kernel, which has mouse drivers enabled. You may need to reboot to access the latest kernel version.

When using one of Linode’s distribution templates with Distro Helper turned on, Glish accesses the tty1 console over the virtual VGA device. If you aren’t using Distro Helper, or haven’t rebooted since Glish was released, manually launch a getty on tty1:

exec /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty1 &
The process for launching a getty may differ depending on your distribution.

Access Glish

  1. From your Linode Dashboard, click on the Remote Access Tab. Under Console Access, click on the “Launch Graphical Web Console” link:

    Glish access link.

    A new window will pop up:

    Glish at the Debian login prompt.

  2. You will need to install a desktop environment. On our Debian example Linode, we’re using Xfce4:

    sudo apt-get install xfce4
  3. After installation, launch your desktop environment from the Glish console:


    Glish at the Xfce4 desktop.

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This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.