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Ubuntu System Requirements

In this tutorial, we will see the hardware essential to run Ubuntu and its derivate versions.

The majority of users wish to install a desktop system like Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or Xubuntu. A desktop system has a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and is mainly used for personal computer operations, whereas a server system has a command-line interface (CLI).

Recommended Minimum System Requirements

The recommended minimum system requirements must permit even somebody new to installing Ubuntu or GNU and Linux to quickly install a usable system with sufficient space to feel at ease. A fair "rule of thumb" is that machines that run Windows XP, Vista, Window 7 or x86 or OS X will almost be much quicker with Ubuntu, even if they are less-spec than described below. Simply use Ubuntu CD as a LiveCD to ensure that our hardware is work.

Ubuntu Desktop Edition

  1. Having Internet access is beneficial
  2. 4 GiB RAM (system memory)
  3. 2 GHz dual-core processor
  4. VGA capable of 1024*678 screen resolution
  5. 25 GB of hard-drive space (or memory card, external drive, or USB stick, but see LiveCD for an alternate tactic.
  6. For the installer media, we will need a CD/DVD or a USB port.

The screen resolution has to set to the highest that our graphics card can manage, but at the time boot-up, we have to give an option of "Low graphics mode" that permits us to set it to somewhat good for our monitor.

On the one hand, hardware produced in the past few years or machines with an effective architecture or machines built for a definite purpose may typically work better with less.

For example,

The 8 GB SSD netbook will work admirably, but there won't be much space for saving files directly to the drive. Thus, cloud storage services could be beneficial. A computer with a crumbling, 8 GB, old, 15-year-old, slow, IDE hard-drive is unlikely to work and doesn't truly compare to a netbook. It's worth a shot at Ubuntu, but we should really start looking at alternative distros. However, Few GNU/Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu GNOME, may need more powerful hardware as the least system requirement. All 64-bit (x86-64) CPUs, and the 32-bit (x86) version, should be able to run Ubuntu.

A 64-bit installation CD is available for individuals who desire an optimal installation (and especially for those who want to run more than 3GiB of RAM). The 32-bit version is generally easier to use and has fewer issues. ISO images in the 32-bit format are no longer created ISO (as of 17.10).

Unity is the default graphical user interface in Ubuntu Desktop 11.04 through 17.04, whereas the GNOME panel was the default in prior editions. GNOME shell is used on the desktop since 17.10.

A higher competent graphics adapter is required to execute these below environments.

  1. 4096 MiB RAM is required for physical installations (system memory).
  2. 3D Acceleration Capable Videocard with at least 256 MB is required.
  3. 2048 MiB RAM (system memory) for virtualized installs.

Machines that are 10 years or older (and were originally preloaded with "Windows" 2000 or "Windows ME") that do not fulfill these guidelines will almost certainly need some work to bring back to life (the RAM generally requires to be upgraded to the level defined above). We might try a lighter distribution or a simple Ubuntu installation.

The most efficient as well as the simplest step towards a minimal install of Ubuntu is to install a lighter-weight Desktop Environment like Xfce (see Xubuntu below), LxDE (see Lubuntu officially supported from 11.10 onward)) or Enlightenment, to name simple, some of the more famous.

Various larger applications, like LibreOffice, might be replaced with much lighter alternatives but check the recommendation at for further information on how to do a minimal install.

Visual Effects

Visual effects offer several graphical effects that we can be added to our desktop to make it more pleasurable and user-friendly. Even if our computer can run visual effects, we can disable them and still have a functional Ubuntu desktop system.

If we have a GPU (graphics card or integrated chipset) that supports visual effects, they are enabled by default. Manufacturers of GPUs that are supported include:

  1. Nvidia (with their proprietary driver)
  2. ATI (Few may need proprietary fglrx driver)
  3. Intel (excluding GMA 500, called "Poulsbo" i915 or better).

Lightweight GUI Alternative (Xubuntu and Lubuntu)

If we have a low-spec or old computer and want to get the most out of it, with the help of a lightweight desktop system like Xubuntu or a lightweight like a Lubuntu is advised since they make better use of our system's resources. Of course, we could use these two even if we had the most up-to-date technology.

If our system contains less than 768 MiB of system memory, the Another Installation CD (Lubuntu 18.04 LTS) used to be available; however, it is no longer supports and is no longer available.

Various features may be turned off automatically to save system resources if we have a low-spec computer. The boot-up screen might not show if our graphics card has only a little amount of video memory (VRAM).

We could utilize computers with even less memory with the help of the With Lubuntu 18.04 LTS and earlier. However, in LXQT desktop, the team of Lubuntu stopped declaring minimal specifications, while it's still light, older hardware is no longer Lubuntu's prime priority.

Ubuntu 18.04 flavours were the final release for x86 (32-bit i686) systems, with flavor support ending April 2021.

What are the Ubuntu System Requirements for a Server?

Ubuntu is a popular open-source operating system. Ubuntu has been booted on hundreds of millions of computers, virtual machines, and servers. Although the operating system and server software are both free, they are not ineffective. Ubuntu-powered server farm was used to create the stunning CGI effects in the blockbuster film Avatar. It may appear evident that we would want to use this free, powerful software to run our own server. However, we must first ensure that our hardware is ready beforehand.

Ubuntu Minimum Requirements

The following are the Ubuntu minimal requirements:

  • 1 GB RAM
  • 20GB hard drive space
  • 0 GHz Dual Core Processor

Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and Ubuntu 14.04 all have the same system requirements.

What Processor Speed is recommended?

A processor with a frequency of at least 1 GHz is necessary for a standard installation. This is so minimum on which the Ubuntu Server can run. A dual- core processor with at least 2 GHz is required for best performance. This is especially right if we intend to run apps that require more significant resources.

If our hardware does not fulfill these requirements, then we can make a minimal Ubuntu installation. We will need at least 300 MHz to run.

The minimal installation, on the other hand, is a very stripped-down version. We might need or want most of the features not included, especially if we are new to the system.

How Much Space Does Ubuntu Need?

We will require 1.5GB of hard drive space allotted for the base installation in terms of disk space. In order to install the additional software and achieve the minimal system requirements, we will need 2.5GB of disk space.

In reality, we will have a lot more space in our hard drives. Thus, this is not a big deal. It is more of a warning about how much space the installation will consume on our hard drive. The amount of disc space we will need is determined by the amount of hard drive space required for the applications running on the server.

Can Ubuntu Run on 1GB RAM?

The system memory requirement for running the standard installation is 512MB RAM (Debian installer) or 1 GB RA (Live Server installer). The Live Server installer can only be used in AMD64 platforms.

Once again, these are the fundamental minimal requirements. Regardless of our installation method, we need a minimum of 2 GB of system memory. This frees up some RAM for the more memory-intensive applications.

The minimal installation is supposed to run on only 348 MB of system RAM, although we do not encourage doing so.

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