Ubuntu is an operating system that is part of the Linux family. Installing Ubuntu on your Windows device is one of the best ways to try it out if you like Linux without fully committing to it. Ubuntu is completely free for personal or professional use, so don’t worry about losing any money with this installation.
If you are used to Windows OS, Ubuntu might have a bit of a learning curve, but after some practice, there are many benefits to using Ubuntu. Before we get started, let’s go over a list of things you will need before getting started on the installation.
Even though Ubuntu is compatible with a large number of devices, we recommend checking out this list to make sure it is compatible. What you’ll need:
- A Windows computer, either a laptop or desktop, with at least 256GB of storage,
- A USB flash drive.
Step 1: Download Ubuntu Image
To start, download an Ubuntu image onto your computer from this website. Then, save it to a memorable location on your computer. We recommend saving it to your desktop for ease of access. The image file will be saved as an .ISO file, which we will use to boot from.
Step 2: Install balenaEtcher
To finish converting the .ISO file to create a boot drive, we will need to download a free piece of software. For this tutorial, we will be using balenaEtcher. After getting to this website, select your current operating system.
Step 3: Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive
Now that you have balenaEtcher installed, open it up and select the Ubuntu .ISO file that we downloaded in step 1. Insert the flash drive you chose to be your boot drive into your computer, and set that as your target.
After those two fields are filled out, select Flash on the far left-hand side of the program, and the software will take care of the rest.
Step 4: Boot From USB Flash Drive
After the balenaEtcher software finishes its process, either leave the USB flash drive in the computer that you completed these previous steps on if you want to install Ubuntu on this device, or remove it and plug it into the device you want to install Ubuntu on.
With the USB drive in the computer, you want to install Ubuntu, restart the computer, and the flash drive should automatically be detected as a bootable drive.
If it doesn’t automatically detect it, restart the computer again and press F12 to choose how your computer boots manually. If you did it correctly, a screen Welcoming you to Ubuntu will appear and it will look like the screenshot above.
Step 5: Start Ubuntu Setup
Now, follow the installation wizard to complete the setup of Ubuntu. It is worth noting that you can select Try Ubuntu on the welcome screen just to see what it is like without changing anything to your system. For this guide, we will be choosing the Install Ubuntu option. Then you will select the language and keyboard layout you prefer.
Step 6: Choose the Installation Option
The next screen on the install wizard will ask you what version of Ubuntu you would like to install. Normal Installation is the complete build of Ubuntu with nothing removed.
Minimal Installation is perfect for people with smaller storage drives because it comes with not as many preinstalled programs. In the Other options category, you will see two checkboxes. The first one is Download updates while installing Ubuntu.
We recommend checking this box if you are already connected to the internet. The second box you will see is Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware and additional media formats. Again, we also recommend you check this box.
Step 7: Drive Management
This screen will allow you to configure your drive(s) for installing Ubuntu on your computer. If you would like Ubuntu to be the sole operating system on your device, then select Erase disk and install Ubuntu.
If you would rather keep both operating systems on your computer on the same drive, you can choose Something else. This will allow you to create and resize partitions on your drive(s) to install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10.
If you do dual-booting, please note that Ubuntu requires at least 25GB of space, so make sure you have enough room in your partition to install the operating system comfortably.
Step 8: Enable Encryption (Optional)
Before selecting Install Now, if you would like to encrypt your drives with Ubuntu on them, you can do that on this page by selecting Advanced Features. We suggest using the LVM encryption option and then clicking OK to create an encryption key.
You will then be prompted to enter a security key and, optionally, a recovery key. We highly recommend the recovery key. Once you have that set, click on Install Now.
Step 9: Choose Your Location
Select your timezone and location from the map screen, then click Continue. Note that this information will be detected automatically if connected to the internet.
Step 10: Create Log-in Details
Finally, on this screen, you will create your login details. Just like on Windows computers, you can set your username and password to log into your device. At the bottom, you can choose to either Log in automatically or Require my password to log in.
If you are using this computer at home, Log in automatically makes the process a bit quicker, but it is less secure. But if you are installing Ubuntu on a laptop, we highly recommend selecting Require ms password to log in.
Note: If you are installing this on a laptop with a fingerprint sensor or a FaceID unlock feature, this will not be available on Ubuntu.
Step 11: Complete the Installation
Now, all that difficult work is done. You can sit back and watch Ubuntu install onto your computer. After completing the installation, a prompt will appear asking you to restart your computer. Once you have restarted your computer, a Ubuntu screen asks you to remove the USB flash drive from your computer and press Enter.
Step 12: Don’t Forget To Update!
Congratulations, you now have Ubuntu installed on your device. There is just one more thing to do before you start exploring your brand-new OS: update!
The easiest way to do this is with the Software Updater app. First, search for Software Updater using the app menu (the icon is 9 small squares that make one bigger square in the bottom corner of your screen). After opening, it will check for updates and apply them.