Install Ubuntu desktop 18.04

Key Value
Summary Discover how easy it is to install Ubuntu desktop onto your laptop or PC computer, from either a DVD or a USB flash drive.
Categories desktop
Difficulty 2
Author Canonical Web Team


Duration: 0:05

:warning: This tutorial covers the installation of a previous Long Term Support release (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS). Jump to Install Ubuntu desktop if you wish to install the latest version.

The Ubuntu desktop is easy to use, easy to install and includes everything you need to run your organisation, school, home or enterprise. It’s also open source, secure, accessible and free to download.

In this tutorial, we’re going to install Ubuntu desktop onto your computer, using either your computer’s DVD drive or a USB flash drive.


Duration: 0:01

You’ll need to consider the following before starting the installation:

  • Connect your laptop to a power source.
  • Ensure you have at least 25 GB of free storage space, or 5 GB for a minimal installation.
  • Have access to either a DVD or a USB flash drive containing the version of Ubuntu you want to install.
  • Make sure you have a recent backup of your data. While it’s unlikely that anything will go wrong, you can never be too prepared.

See Installation/System Requirements for more specific details on hardware requirements. We also have several tutorials that explain how to create an Ubuntu DVD or USB flash drive.

Boot from DVD

Duration: 0:03

It’s easy to install Ubuntu from a DVD. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Put the Ubuntu DVD into your optical/DVD drive.
  2. Restart your computer.

As soon as your computer boots you’ll see the welcome window.

From here, you can select your language from a list on the left and choose between either installing Ubuntu directly, or trying the desktop first (if you like what you see, you can also install Ubuntu from this mode too).

Depending on your computer’s configuration, you may instead see an alternative boot menu showing a large language selection pane. Use your mouse or cursor keys to select a language and you’ll be presented with a simple menu.

boot menu

Select the second option, ‘Install Ubuntu’, and press return to launch the desktop installer automatically. Alternatively, select the first option, ‘Try Ubuntu without installing’, to test Ubuntu (as before, you can also install Ubuntu from this mode too).

A few moments later, after the desktop has loaded, you’ll see the welcome window. From here, you can select your language from a list on the left and choose between either installing Ubuntu directly, or trying the desktop first.

If you don’t get either menu, read the booting from the DVD guide for more information.

Boot from USB flash drive

Duration: 0:02

Most computers will boot from USB automatically. Simply insert the USB flash drive and either power on your computer or restart it. You should see the same welcome window we saw in the previous ‘Install from DVD’ step, prompting you to choose your language and either install or try the Ubuntu desktop.

If your computer doesn’t automatically boot from USB, try holding F12 when your computer first starts. With most machines, this will allow you to select the USB device from a system-specific boot menu.

ⓘ F12 is the most common key for bringing up your system’s boot menu, but Escape, F2 and F10 are common alternatives. If you’re unsure, look for a brief message when your system starts - this will often inform you of which key to press to bring up the boot menu.

Prepare to install Ubuntu

Duration: 0:01

You will first be asked to select your keyboard layout. If the installer doesn’t guess the default layout correctly, use the ‘Detect Keyboard Layout’ button to run through a brief configuration procedure.

After selecting Continue you will be asked What apps would you like to install to start with? The two options are ‘Normal installation’ and ‘Minimal installation’. The first is the equivalent to the old default bundle of utilities, applications, games and media players — a great launchpad for any Linux installation. The second takes considerably less storage space and allows you to install only what you need.

Beneath the installation-type question are two checkboxes; one to enable updates while installing and another to enable third-party software.

  • We advise enabling both Download updates and Install third-party software.
  • Stay connected to the internet so you can get the latest updates while you install Ubuntu.
  • If you are not connected to the internet, you will be asked to select a wireless network, if available. We advise you to connect during the installation so we can ensure your machine is up to date

Allocate drive space

Duration: 0:01

Use the checkboxes to choose whether you’d like to install Ubuntu alongside another operating system, delete your existing operating system and replace it with Ubuntu, or — if you’re an advanced user — choose the ’Something else’ option.

Options related to side-by-side installation or erasing a previous installation are only offered when pre-existing installations are detected.

Begin installation

Duration: 0:01

After configuring storage, click on the ‘Install Now’ button. A small pane will appear with an overview of the storage options you’ve chosen, with the chance to go back if the details are incorrect.

Click Continue to fix those changes in place and start the installation process.

Select your location

Duration: 0:01

If you are connected to the internet, your location will be detected automatically. Check your location is correct and click ’Forward’ to proceed.

If you’re unsure of your time zone, type the name of a local town or city or use the map to select your location.

: If you’re having problems connecting to the Internet, use the menu in the top-right-hand corner to select a network.

Login details

Duration: 0:01

Enter your name and the installer will automatically suggest a computer name and username. These can easily be changed if you prefer. The computer name is how your computer will appear on the network, while your username will be your login and account name.

Next, enter a strong password. The installer will let you know if it’s too weak.

You can also choose to enable automatic login and home folder encryption. If your machine is portable, we recommend keeping automatic login disabled and enabling encryption. This should stop people accessing your personal files if the machine is lost or stolen.

: If you enable home folder encryption and you forget your password, you won’t be able to retrieve any personal data stored in your home folder.

Background installation

Duration: 0:20

The installer will now complete in the background while the installation window teaches you a little about how awesome Ubuntu is. Depending on the speed of your machine and network connection, installation should only take a few minutes.

Installation complete

Duration: 0:01

After everything has been installed and configured, a small window will appear asking you to restart your machine. Click on Restart Now and remove either the DVD or USB flash drive when prompted. If you initiated the installation while testing the desktop, you also get the option to continue testing.


Congratulations! You have successfully installed the world’s most popular Linux operating system!

It’s now time to start enjoying Ubuntu!

Finding help

If you get stuck, help is always at hand.


All good, thanks for the guide. I want to ask something

When there is already an Ubuntu present ( say 18.04 ), there was an option which offered to erase 18.04 and reinstall it. It is no longer available when I tried 18.04.3 a couple of weeks back. Why so ? Please bring it back.

Thanks for the guide. But I have still a question.

I would like to install Ubuntu alongside my Windows, but I don’t have the option and I’m not an advanced user.
So it seems that my existing installation of Windows are not detected.

How can I install Ubuntu along windows without the checkbox with these option?

1 Like

There used to be an option for that in GUI. It vanished recently

Choose Something else when you reach the above step. Make a partition or free space for Ubuntu beforehand. Once you go through Something else , you will get an option to choose that free space you have created. Once you do that Ubuntu will automatically make sure that you have 2 options ( 1. Ubuntu 2. Windows ) while booting in the PC.

There are many guides available on YouTube. Take a look and you will be safe. Good luck.

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The link to “several tutorials” doesn’t work (has no href at all, <a>several tutorials</a>)

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Please note that the steps listed for “Boot from USB flash drive” are not correct one cannot just download an iso stick on a USB and expect it to boot, a key step is missing it muse be extracted to a USB first using either an image tool like Win32diskimager or doing it manually via 7zip or any other tool that can extract an iso file by extracting the iso to the USB that will be used to run the installation

the ISO only step is ONLY true when you use a CD not a USB

my suggestion would be add a step called “Prepare USB for install” and include how to prepare a USB with an iso file properly



dont know how to edit my previous post but in addum: I found in another location a great bootable USB guide so just a link to this guide would make things much clearer for ppl

1 Like

Thanks for your kind guidance… Much appreciated!!!.
I was also installing ubuntu 18.04 for the first time along with my windows environment. Have tried the option " Something else" and had already created separate partitions for this installation, but got stuck with some issues (e.g No root was defined etc). I tried with other Options, this time " Use LVM with the new ubuntu installation" . But unfortunately this one click caused loss of my windows environment (around 600 GB data, with more than 100 applications configurations/installations ). No doubt its my mistake, but just a humble request if these options can be proceeded with warning dialog box and clearly defining the operations sections in future.

Is this tutorial going to be upgraded to 20.04?

In the Boot from USB flash drive, we should add or provide a link to instructions on burning an iso to a flash drive.


We should warn the user to update BIOS. I just lost five hours because my Dell BIOS was from 2017 and had difficulty booting the 20.04.1 USB image. In my situation it was probably due to a change in the encoding of a file from gzip to lz.

can you please include ubuntu partitioning along with this blog

I am here to re-install an existing 18.04.5LTS to repair very broken python env. Repairing existing install should be a major tutorial category. I’m very surprised that its taken me hours of looking to find this tutorial. the above comment describes my situation: re-installation. topics should include how to preserve partitions and most importantly how to preserve /home/ directory structure if possible, or how to archive and then re-store after re-loading the OS. the above comment also raises concern that the functionality might be removed. please add screenshots that show this option. thanks so much for reading this feedback.

In the language list, is there Chinese? :face_with_monocle:

Yes, of course. Both simplified and traditional.

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I see some format typos that could be fixed.

  • In sections Allocate drive space and Select your location there is a text "positive\r\n:" that I don’t know what is trying to say. Is it a tag element no closed or something like that?
  • In other parts of the tutorial there are ":" characters wrongly placed.

I’m using browser Microsoft Edge Versión 89.0.774.68 (64 bit)

I guess it is something to do with your browser since I have no issues with reading this in Firefox.

The “boot menu” image is missing.

I have two things to point out:

  1. Often documentation for how to open BIOS settings on a computer is hard to find – Most modern EFI computers hide the startup key altogether, and it took me about a week to find it.
    It’s worth putting on there that Windows can open BIOS settings for you by opening the Power menu (in the bottom-left corner of Start or the bottom-right on the login screen), and clicking Restart while holding Shift. You click Advanced Options, then UEFI Firmware Settings. From there it’s trivial to find the boot menu, for me it comes up with this menu:
F1 System Info
F2 Diagnostics
F9 Boot Options
F10 BIOS Settings

Go to for more info.

And then I press F9.
2. There’s no mention of how to create a bootable USB drive. Maybe include info about Rufus or Fedora Media Writer?

Also, I can confirm that the colons and out-of-place boolean values that 00fede saw are not a browser issue – I see the same in Firefox on Ubuntu 20.10 and Chrome on Android 9.
And there are a few missing images, that just show this XML:

  <Message>Access Denied</Message>

This comment is, admittedly, very critical, but I think that it’s justified given the gravity of the situation here.

These instructions do not mention that the user is not able to boot with the iso file downloaded on the site, and that they first have to make their USB bootable using third party software like Rufus. In my opinion, this is one of the worst blunders in writing and/or product design I have personally seen (I say product design since instructions on how to acquire the product may be viewed as part of the product itself). The author has wasted countless hours of people’s lives who have read this guide and tried to boot via an unbootable USB. This is bad not only because of the effect is has on the user’s behavior, but also because a) it’s likely the first thing new users navigate to immediately after downloading the iso, and b) it should have been extremely obvious why it is important to mention software like Rufus when writing instructions on how to install Ubuntu.

Given the magnitude of this blunder, perhaps something has to change internally within Ubuntu to stop things like this from happening in the future.

1 Like