In this tutorial we will perform the Ubuntu 20.04 server installation. The Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa LTS is a long term support release which guarantees updates for up to 10 years since its initial release. In terms of the actual Ubuntu 20.04 server this means security updates until 2032. This article will guide you through the minimal Ubuntu 20.04 server installation.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to download Ubuntu 20.04 server ISO image
  • How to create bootable installation media
  • How to boot to Ubuntu 20.04 Server installation wizard
  • How to install minimal Ubuntu 20.04 server
Ubuntu 20.04 Server Installation
Ubuntu 20.04 Server Installation

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Installed Ubuntu 20.04 or upgraded Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
Software Ubuntu 20.04 Server
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Ubuntu 20.04 Server Installation step by step instructions

  1. First step is to download Ubuntu 20.04 server ISO image. Ubuntu 20.04 Server ISO image is the only image release for various other architectures such as 64-bit PC (AMD64), 64-bit ARM, PowerPC64 and IBM System z. Select an appropriate architecture and download the *.iso file.
  2. Next, choose from which medium you wish to perform the Ubuntu installation. In case your intention is to install the Ubuntu 20.04 Server virtually using a hypervisor simply proceed to the next step.

    Most beginners will find using DVD as bootable medium a simpler method. If this is your case use your current operating system to burn the previously downloaded ISO image to blank DVD medium. There are no specific settings you need to choose while burning the ISO image just look for "Burn ISO image" image feature when using your burning software. Alternatively, you can install the Ubuntu Server using a bootbale USB flash drive.

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  4. Next step is to insert the bootable media into your PC and change bios settings to boot from your selected boot media.

    The following tables should provide you with some hints on how to access your computer Boot Menu. You will need to hit different keys (or combination of keys) depending on your computer type. Here is the list of possible keys you may have to press depending on your system:

    Access Hypervisor boot menu

    Key combinations for accessing Boot Menu on Hypervisors
    DeviceKey CombinationComment
    Oracle Virtual BoxF12 Automatically boots from ISO when attached via virtual machine settings
    VMware WorkstationEsc boot menu, F12 BIOSAutomatically boots from ISO when attached via virtual machine settings

    Access BIOS legacy

    Key combinations for accessing Legacy Boot Menu
    DeviceKey CombinationComment
    AcerEsc, F12 or F9 F12 key most likely
    AsusF8 or Esc
    Compaq Esc or F9
    Dell F12
    eMachines F12
    Fujitsu F12
    HP Esc or F9
    Lenovo F8, F10 or F12Other possibilities: Novo button or Fn + F11
    Samsung Esc or F2 or F12 For ultrabooks from Samsung disable the fast boot option in BIOS/UEFI. See next section.
    VAIO Esc, F10 or F11 Other possibilities: Assist button
    Toshiba F12

    Access BIOS/UEFI

    To access BIOS/UEFI on your computer you will also need to hit different keys (or combination of keys) depending on your computer type. Here is the list of possible keys you may have to press depending on your PC:
    Key combinations for accessing BIOS/UEFI
    DeviceKey CombinationComment
    AcerDel or F2 F2 key most likely
    AsusDelete or Del
    Compaq F10
    Dell F2
    eMachines Tab or Del
    Fujitsu F2
    HP Esc, F10, F11Other possibilities: on Pavilion - F1
    Lenovo F1 or F2Other possibilities: small button next to the Power button (if laptop)
    Samsung F2 For ultrabooks from Samsung it might be F10
    VAIO F1, F2, F3 Other possibilities: Assist button
    Toshiba F1, F2, F12 or Esc
  5. Ubuntu 20.04 server boot menu
    After successful initial Ubuntu 20.04 server boot you will be welcomed with the following boot options or you will be taken directly to the actual installation.
  6. Let's proceed with the installation. Simply use the keyboard's navigational arrows and TAB key to navigate the Ubuntu 20.04 Server installation wizard.

    Select the Ubuntu server installation Language
    Select the Ubuntu server installation Language


  7. Choose keyboard layout
    Choose keyboard layout. If unsure select the Identify Keyboard and the system will help you to discover your keyboard layout.




  8. Select the network interface
    Network connections screen should present you with all system's available network interfaces. Please note that any additional network configuration can be changed later as well as the configuration of the static IP address. Select the network interface you wish to use and hit Done


  9. proxy configuration
    The proxy configuration is optional. If you are behind the proxy or using apt proxy cache server enter its URL and port number into the box. Otherwise leave blank and hit Done.


  10. losest archive mirror
    The closest archive mirror will be automatically pre-selected for you. Feel free to overwrite this settings if required.
  11. Filesystem setup allows your server to be configured across multiple storage devices and partitions. Ubuntu 20.04 Server wizard offers the following filesystem setup options:

    Select Filesystem setup to be used for the Ubuntu 20.04 Server installation
    Select Filesystem setup to be used for the Ubuntu 20.04 Server installation
  12. Use An Entire Disk
    This is the simplest filesystem configuration where all installation files as well as user home directories are a part of single (/) partitions.
    Use An Entire Disk And Set Up LVM
    Same as the above option however it uses LVM (Logical Volume Manager) to partition the disk.
    Manual
    This option provides the most flexibility and lets the user decide on the appropriate filesystem layout.


    If you have selected the Use An Entire Disk option to let the installation wizard partition your filesystem automatically, simply proceed to Step 10 now.

    For those interested in a simple Manual filesystem partitioning keep reading below.
    DID YOU KNOW?
    For servers it is a good practice to set at least /var and /home directories on a different partitions. The reason is that servers are most likely to be used as multi-user systems or will provide number of services which if not set correctly, may from time to time go out of control. Detaching the /var and /home directories from the main system will provide more stability since the user or service disk usage will not affect any core system functions and performance.
    In the next few configuration steps we will manually partition our 30GB storage disk to consist of the following partitions:
    /boot - 500 MB
    /home - 5 GB
    /var - 15 GB
    SWAP - 2 GB
    / - 7.5 GB
    
    Manual partitioning
    Select Manual partitioning
    DID YOU KNOW?
    To install any GNU/Linux system you need at minimum two partitions. First partition is the root partition / which contains the entire system and SWAP for the virtual memory.
    Select disk storage to partition and choose Add Partition
    Select disk storage to partition and choose Add Partition. Repeat this step for all required below partitions
    create boot partition
    First create /boot partition.


    create var partition
    Depending on you Ubuntu 20.04 server intended usage your /var partition may require the most disk space.
    home directory
    The /home partition will be used to store home directory of every user (except root user). If your intention is to install eg. Samba server to share user's home directories you may want to make this partition largest.
    swap partition
    SWAP partition is compulsory. The swap partition will be used to host the virtual memory in case you main RAM memory is depleted. SWAP partition has no mount point.
    root partition
    Lastly, the root / partition is used to contain the core system files and configuration.
    filesystem summary
    Check the filesystem summary and hit Done.
    loss of data
    After this point all your current data on the selected installation disk will be removed.


  13. Select main user name and system's hostname
    Type main username and system's hostname along with user's password.

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  15. ssh server
    Although optional, SSH server installation is recommended for most of the Ubuntu server installation. SSH allows easy remote server access.


  16. install snaps
    Unless you have anything specific already in mind select the appropriate box to install the service. Recommendation is to keep things simple and perform the installation of any required services once the Ubuntu 20.04 Server is installed and up and running


  17. Ubuntu 20.04 server installation in progress
    Wait for the Ubuntu 20.04 Server to finish. If you like to see what is happening in the background during the installation select View full log.


  18. Reboot the Ubuntu 20.04 server
    If all went well reboot your Ubuntu server. When prompted remove the installation DVD disk or USB flash drive.


  19. login with the username and password created during the Ubuntu 20.04 Server Installation
    You should now be able to login with the username and password created during the Ubuntu 20.04 Server Installation.
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