Ubuntu server system requirements

Ubuntu Linux is one of the most well known Linux distributions available. You have probably seen Canonical’s ubiquitous logo and the familiar look of Ubuntu Desktop running GNOME. What you may not have realized is that Ubuntu also has a very popular server edition of their operating system.

Many distributions choose to concentrate on a single computing environment – either desktop PCs or servers. But Ubuntu’s massive popularity and strong footing in the Linux community have allowed it to produce a very viable server edition and still maintain their desktop release. If you are considering downloading and installing Ubuntu Server, you should first make sure that your computer meets the recommended and minimum system requirements.

In this tutorial, you will learn about the minimum and recommended system requirements for the latest version of Ubuntu Server Linux. All you need to do is make sure that your computer’s hardware is meets these requirements, which means it can run Ubuntu Server. You will also need a CPU with the proper architecture as laid out below.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • System requirements for Ubuntu Server
Ubuntu server system requirements
Ubuntu server system requirements
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu Linux
Software N/A
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 Server System Requirements

The big difference between the server edition of Ubuntu and the desktop version is that the server edition doesn’t come with a graphical interface and the installation process itself is a bit different.

Since everything on a Ubuntu server is done by the command line, the lack of a GUI and its many dependencies means that the minimum system requirements are far lower. Canonical recommends the following for its server edition of Ubuntu (source):

Ubuntu Server Edition provides a common, minimalist base for a variety of server applications, such as file and print services, web hosting, email hosting, etc. This version supports four 64-bit architectures:

  • amd64 (Intel/AMD 64 bit)
  • arm64 (64 bit ARM)
  • ppc64el (POWER8 and POWER9)
  • s390x (IBM Z and LinuxONE)

The recommended system requirements are:

  • CPU: 1 gigahertz or better
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte or more
  • Disk: a minimum of 2.5 gigabytes

Ubuntu Server also does not require a monitor or any graphics at all. You may need one at first just to go through the set up, but afterwards, it is very common to run a headless instance of Ubuntu Server.

Although the hardware specs above will run Ubuntu Server, you will need a much better computer if you hope to do any kind of intensive tasks on the system. The above will work as a bare minimum to perform basic functions or act as a pass through device.

Closing Thoughts

Ubuntu’s low system requirements means that nearly anyone can run it, as lack of hardware power is rarely an obstacle. And even for those with a staggeringly old PC or a deprived virtual environment, ditching the default Ubuntu desktop edition for the server edition should help you manage to get the operating system running smoothly.