Remove the X Windows Package Group


By removing the xorg-x11-server-common package, the system no longer has X Windows installed. If X Windows is not installed then the system cannot boot into graphical user mode. This prevents the system from being accidentally or maliciously booted into a mode. To do so, run the following command:

$ sudo apt_get groupremove "X Window System"
$ sudo apt_get remove xorg-x11-server-common


Unnecessary service packages must not be installed to decrease the attack surface of the system. X windows has a long history of security vulnerabilities and should not be installed unless approved and documented.


Shell script

The following script can be run on the host to remediate the issue.


# CAUTION: This remediation script will remove xserver-xorg
#	   from the system, and may remove any packages
#	   that depend on xserver-xorg. Execute this
#	   remediation AFTER testing on a non-production
#	   system!

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get remove -y "xserver-xorg"

Ansible playbook

The following playbook can be run with Ansible to remediate the issue.

- name: Ensure xserver-xorg is removed
    name: xserver-xorg
    state: absent
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(b)
  - disable_strategy
  - low_complexity
  - low_disruption
  - medium_severity
  - no_reboot_needed
  - package_xorg-x11-server-common_removed


The installation and use of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) increases your attack vector and decreases your overall security posture. Removing the package xorg-x11-server-common package will remove the graphical target which might bring your system to an inconsistent state requiring additional configuration to access the system again. If a GUI is an operational requirement, a tailored profile that removes this rule should used before continuing installation.