If you do your initial Centos 6 install using “minimal install” from the full DVD or you use CentOS-6.0 minimal.iso you won’t have a desktop environment or other packages.

Thankfully the minimal install includes yum so you can add and remove packages from your system.  To install the Gnome desktop environment do one of the following as a root user:

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yum groupinstall basic-desktop desktop-platform x11 fonts
yum groupinstall "Desktop" "Desktop Platform" "X Window System" "Fonts"

Here is what is included in the minimal CentOS 6 install (taken from here):


aic94xx-firmware bfa-firmware ql2100-firmware ql2200-firmware ql23xx-firmware ql2400-firmware ql2500-firmware acl
attr audit binutils checkpolicy chkconfig coreutils curl bridge-utils
db4-utils device-mapper dhclient diffutils dracut e2fsprogs efibootmgr ethtool
findutils fipscheck gpgme iproute iptables iputils logrotate lvm2
mdadm mingetty ncurses net-tools nfs-utils nss-util openssh-clients openssh-server
python rsyslog selinux-policy-targeted util-linux-ng vi yum