Minimum System Requirements

Minimum System Requirements

Ubuntu runs on a very wide range of hardware, old and new.

You’ll still want a certain minimum level to make sure your system performs well.

For Desktop Installations

If you want to run Ubuntu with a full installation including the Graphical User Interface or GUI, you should have at least:

  • A 2 GHz dual core processor
  • 2 GiB of RAM (system memory)
  • 25 GiB of free hard drive space
  • A VGA or better video card with a resolution of at least 1024×768 pixels
  • A CD/DVD drive or USB port for the installation image
  • [Note] A CD/DVD drive or USB drive is not required for installation of Virtual Machines
  • Internet Access

[Note] Running the Unity or GNOME GUI requires more capable hardware:

  • 4 GiB of RAM
  • A 3D Accelerator capable video card with at least 256 MB of Video RAM

These are the requirements as of 3 October, 2017. Please double check them to see if they have changed prior to your installation. They can be found at

For Ubuntu Server, as it is usually not installed with a GUI, the requirements are much lower.

  • A 300MHz x86 processor
  • 256 MB of system memory (RAM)
  • 1.5 GB of disk space
  • A graphics card and monitor capable of 640×480 pixels resolution
  • A CD drive

If your system won’t support the full version and you want to use Ubuntu Desktop, you could opt for a lightweight GUI alternative, Xubuntu, or Lubuntu

These only require:

512 MB of RAM

5 GB of disk space

A Graphics card and monitor capable of 800×600 resolution

If you have a system made in the last several years, you should be fine, and should be able to load the full Desktop operating system.

For practice throughout the course, you should have Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop installed in a virtualization platform. The tutorials cover installation on VirtualBox.

You should be able to accept the default system specifications during the VirtualBox install and won’t have to worry about them meeting the minimum requirements.

For installation on a local hard drive, where you want to boot to and use Ubuntu right on the system, it is good to have more than the recommended minimum if possible. This is called a “bare metal” install.

The minimum will function but may not provide the most pleasant experience.

If you easily meet the minimum requirements, please download the appropriate image for your system.

If not, you can check out the Low Memory System instructions available in the downloadable document for this lesson.