There is a new version of this tutorial available for Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish).

How to Install Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Minimal Server

This tutorial shows the installation of an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS minimal server in detail with many screenshots. The purpose of the guide is to show the basic installation of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS that can be used as the basis for our other Ubuntu tutorials here at howtoforge like our perfect server guides. This tutorial uses the LTS branch which gets updates for 5 years from Ubuntu and which is recommended for use on servers.

1. Requirements

To install an Ubuntu Server, you will need the following prerequisites:

2. Preliminary Note

In this tutorial, I use the hostname with the IP address and the gateway These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.

3. The Base System

Insert the Ubuntu install CD / DVD into your system and boot from it. When you install the OS in a virtual machine like I will do it here, then you should be able to select the downloaded ISO file as source for the CD/DVD drive in VMWare and Virtualbox without burning it on CD first.

The first screen will show the language selector. Please select your language for the installation process:

Select the language for the Ubuntu 18.04 installation process.

Then choose the option Install Ubuntu Server:

Start the Ubuntu installation.

Select your language again, this time the language is for the installed Ubuntu OS:

Select the language that is used for the OS

Then choose your location. The location settings are important for the keyboard layout, locale and timezone of your server:

Choose the server location.

Select your region.

Select your country.

Select the server locale.

Choose a keyboard layout: You have the option to let the Ubuntu installer detect the keyboard layout automatically by choosing "yes" here. I prefer to select the right keyboard from a list and therefore, I choose No & keyboard layout as German:

Select the keyboard layout manually.

Select the country for the Ubuntu keyboard locale.

Select the keyboard layout.

The installer checks the installation CD, your hardware, and configures the network with DHCP if there is a DHCP server in the network:

The installer scans the CD image for packages.

Enter the hostname of the system. In this example, my server is named, so I enter

Set the server hostname.

Ubuntu does not let you log in as root user directly. Therefore, we create a new system user here for the initial login. I will create a user with the name Administrator and user name administrator (don't use the user name admin as it is a reserved name on Ubuntu Linux):

Set the full name of the user.

Set a username.

Choose a password:

Choose a password

Repeat the password

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19 Comment(s)

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By: Pete

Best to use a random userid for that login, perhaps admin5443238.  No reason to use a commonly used userid that will be expected for remote ssh access.

By: bch

For those interested,These are the "server" images that has the same installation procedure as the screenshots from this tutorial: OR There are also new "live-server" images which installs faster but have more limited install options and a different installer: OR then there is the netboot image:

By: RR

You dont need the server image to install a minimal system. You can download the minimal "desktop" iso for 64 bit and even 32 bit from

By: Chakalis49

I can't save my changes to 01-netcfg.yaml this tells me I don't have write permission how to fix this?

By: till

Then you don't have admin privileges. Use 'sudo -s' to become root user or prepend the sudo command to the command that you use to edit the file.

By: devin

Would it be possible to re-write this guide using the new Ubuntu 18.04 GUI? Now black and orange vs the purple. Thanks in advance 

By: till

The screenshots are from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as shown in the guide. You seem to mix up an Ubuntu Desktop (GUI) with a server here, this tutorial shows the installation of a minimal server without GUI and therefore it uses the command line installer which has the color scheme as shown in the guide.

By: Tastiger

 The links to the distros that that contain the same "server" images used in this tutorial are no longer available, and the new quicker installation proceedure will not allow me to enter numbers or other characters in the computer name or passwords.This may confuse many people.


By: till

I've updated the download links. The server images for the traditional apt installer used in this guide are still available from Ubuntu.

By: Luis Escovar

Good Day:


What if upgrading from older version of Ubuntu Server (14 to 16 to 18). In my case, there is no 01-netcfg.yaml. Should I just generate the new file with nano and go from there? What happens with the old configuration file (the one used in my current configuration)?





By: Vinod

 apt update

Err:1 bionic InRelease

  Connection failed [IP: 80]

Err:2 bionic-security InRelease

  Connection failed [IP: 80]

Err:3 bionic-updates InRelease

  Connection failed [IP: 80]

Reading package lists... Done

Building dependency tree... Done

All packages are up to date.

W: Failed to fetch  Connection failed [IP: 80]

W: Failed to fetch  Connection failed [IP: 80]

W: Failed to fetch  Connection failed [IP: 80]

W: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.


cat /etc/apt/sources.list

deb bionic main

deb bionic-security main

deb bionic-updates main

By: till

Your server has either a network connection problem or the Ubuntu repository server was temporarily down. But the first is the more likely reason.

By: Franck


This topic is really annoying because it have nothing to do with what is called "Minimal server"

ubuntu-18.04-minimal-cloudimg-amd64.img 15-Aug-2018 09:07 158M Ubuntu Server minimized image builds

You describe standart Ubuntu Server installation. Not helping with the Minimized image.

If you can change the title, google won't be fooled anymore.

thank you


By: Frank Yu

Yes, it fooled me.

By: Petros

Great tutorial!

One question plz. I have a kvm vps and i used this tutorial to install ubuntu. I guess my ip is given through the host os right? So i leave the setting at dhcp as they are?


By: Khorem

I've used the mini.iso to do the install and noticed that it takes up 1.8G for the install. I thought it was supposed to be under/about ~300MB? I have not installed any packages from the list.

By: anmol


When I try to install. It jumps to selection of keyborad selelection after second screenshot in the article. I go back to the main menu to select language and region. However, it refuses to select. I am failing to make Ubuntu server work on Dell PowerEdge.


By: Wastrel

No, that is not what the Ubuntu server (Bionic Beaver ubuntu-18.04.3-live-server) installation looks like. I have tried installing it. It uses snaps, and finally i got the to the screen where it asked me if I wanted to install any snaps, and then it failed again with "An error has occurred in the installation". After five failures, I threw the DVD I had made in the trash. I don't know why the Ubuntu people feel compelled to change what works to something else with every release. I hear that Linix Mint works pretty well.

By: Chris Henderson

This is NOT a minimal server (as per the title of the page). To get a minimal server, after selecting language you have to press F4 and choose "install a minimal system".