Preparing to Install

This section explains various aspects to consider before starting the installation.

System Requirements

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Server Edition supports four (4) major architectures: AMD64, ARM, POWER8, LinuxONE and z Systems (although this manual does not cover installation on LinuxONE or z Systems, see the dedicated guide for that).

Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS introduces a new installer, the "live server" installer (sometimes called "Ubiquity for Servers" or simply "subiquity") which provides a more user friendly and faster installation experience. At the time of writing it only supports amd64 processors and does not support LVM or RAID or other more sophisticated storage options, nor does it support reusing existing partitions on the disks of the system you are installing. It also requires access to the Ubuntu archive, possibly via a proxy. The previous, debian-installer based, installer is still available if these restrictions mean you can't use the live server installer.

The table below lists recommended hardware specifications. Depending on your needs, you might manage with less than this. However, most users risk being frustrated if they ignore these suggestions.

Recommended Minimum Requirements

Install Type

Install Method

CPU

RAM

Hard Drive Space

Base System

All Tasks Installed

Server (Standard)

debian-installer

1 gigahertz

512 megabytes

1.5 gigabyte

2.5 gigabytes

live server

1 gigahertz (amd64 only)

1 gigabyte

1.5 gigabyte

n/a

Server (Minimal)

debian-installer

300 megahertz

384 megabytes

1.5 gigabytes

2.5 gigabytes

The Server Edition provides a common base for all sorts of server applications. It is a minimalist design providing a platform for the desired services, such as file/print services, web hosting, email hosting, etc.

Server and Desktop Differences

There are a few differences between the Ubuntu Server Edition and the Ubuntu Desktop Edition. It should be noted that both editions use the same apt repositories, making it just as easy to install a server application on the Desktop Edition as it is on the Server Edition.

The differences between the two editions are the lack of an X window environment in the Server Edition and the installation process.

Kernel Differences:

Ubuntu version 10.10 and prior, actually had different kernels for the server and desktop editions. Ubuntu no longer has separate -server and -generic kernel flavors. These have been merged into a single -generic kernel flavor to help reduce the maintenance burden over the life of the release.

When running a 64-bit version of Ubuntu on 64-bit processors you are not limited by memory addressing space.

To see all kernel configuration options you can look through /boot/config-4.14.0-server. Also, Linux Kernel in a Nutshell is a great resource on the options available.

Backing Up

  • Before installing Ubuntu Server Edition you should make sure all data on the system is backed up. See Backups for backup options.

    If this is not the first time an operating system has been installed on your computer, it is likely you will need to re-partition your disk to make room for Ubuntu.

    Any time you partition your disk, you should be prepared to lose everything on the disk should you make a mistake or something goes wrong during partitioning. The programs used in installation are quite reliable, most have seen years of use, but they also perform destructive actions.