Lighter installation

How to perform minimal install of Ubuntu

You can now install Ubuntu without unnecessary software, and this guide, you'll learn the steps to use the minimal install option.

Ubuntu minimal install

Ubuntu has a “minimal install” option to perform a clean install of the Linux distro with a minimal set of apps. If you’ve been using Ubuntu (19.10 or 18.04) as your web development platform on a new device or on a dual-boot system alongside Windows 10, you probably noticed that the default installation comes with a lot of apps and tools pre-installed, including web browser, office software, games, and media player.

The minimal install option is available through the setup process, and it allows you to proceed with an installation that only includes the most necessary elements, including the desktop environment, core system tools, and web browser, reducing the installation footprint, removing clutter, and making the system a little lighter.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to perform a minimal install of Ubuntu 19.10 (or a later release) on your device.

How to clean install Ubuntu using minimal option

To perform a minimal install of Ubuntu, use these steps:

  1. Start device with an Ubuntu USB bootable media.

    Quick tip: You can use the steps below to create an Ubuntu USB bootable media. If your PC is not starting into the Ubuntu setup, you may need to access the system Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) to change the boot settings to start from USB. Typically, you can change these settings by pressing one of the functions (for example, F2, F8, F12), Delete, or ESC key, but make sure to check your computer manufacturer support website for more details.
  2. Select your language.

  3. Click the Install Ubuntu button.

    Ubuntu install option
    Ubuntu install option
  4. Choose your keyboard layout.

  5. Click the Continue button.

    Ubuntu keyboard layout option
    Ubuntu keyboard layout option
  6. Under the “What apps would you like to install to start with” section, select the Minimal installation option.

    Ubuntu minimal installation option
    Ubuntu minimal installation option
  7. (Optional) Under the “Other options” section, check the Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware and additional media formats option.

  8. Click the Continue button.

  9. Select the Erase disk and install Ubuntu option.

    Ubuntu erase disk and install option
    Ubuntu erase disk and install option
  10. Click the Install Now button.

  11. Click the Continue button.

    Confirm drive erase
    Confirm drive erase
  12. Select your time zone.

    Select installation timezone
    Select installation timezone
  13. Click the Continue button.

  14. Confirm your information to create an account.

  15. Click the Continue button.

    Ubuntu create user account option
    Ubuntu create user account option
  16. Click the Restart Now button.

  17. Remove the USB bootable media and press Enter.

Once you complete the steps, the setup will proceed with clean installation of Ubuntu adding only the minimal set of utilities you need to operate the distro.

How to create an Ubuntu bootable media

If you don’t have an USB bootable media, then you’ll also need to download the ISO file containing the latest version of Ubuntu. 

On Windows 10, the easiest way to create a USB bootable drive with the Ubuntu files that will boot on BIOS or UEFI is using the Rufus tool.

To use Rufus to create an Ubuntu 19.04 install media, use these steps:

  1. Download Rufus.

  2. Double-click the .exe file to launch the tool.

  3. On “Device,” use the drop-down menu and select the USB flash drive you want to use.

  4. Click the Select button.

  5. Select the Ubuntu ISO file.

  6. Click the Open button.

  7. On “Partition scheme,” use the drop-down menu and select the MBR option.

  8. On “Target system,” use the drop-down menu and select the BIOS or UEFI option.

  9. On “File System,” select the FAT32 option.

    Rufus create Ubuntu USB media
    Rufus create Ubuntu USB media
  10. On “Cluster size,” leave the default selection.

  11. Click the Start button.

  12. If you’re prompted to download additional files to create a bootable drive using a Linux distro, click the Yes button.

    Rufus syslinux component download
    Rufus syslinux component download
  13. Select the Write in ISO Image mode option.

    Rufus write ISO image mode
    Rufus write ISO image mode
  14. Click the OK button.

  15. Click the OK button again.

After completing the steps, you can proceed with the steps below to create a dual-boot system with Ubuntu and Windows 10.

We’re focusing this guide on Ubuntu 19.10, but you can refer these instructions if you’re installing Ubuntu 18.04 or later releases.