Step-by-Step: How to install Ubuntu 20.04

Prerequisites:  You must have administrator access to the computer on which you want to create the virtual machine.  You need an empty USB flash drive of at least 4GB.



1. Obtain the Ubuntu 20.04 installation file.


Use your preferred web browser to go to

Find the Download link near the top of the page and click on it.



A note about Ubuntu versions:  Ubuntu maintains a six month release cycle for major operating system upgrades. 

The Spring release is usually in the middle of April, which is the fourth month of the year and hence the version number has a .04 suffix.  e.g. the 16.04 version of Ubuntu was released in April 2016 and the 20.04 version was released in April of 2020. 

Every four years, the version released is a Long Term Support (LTS) version.  This means that Ubuntu's developers will provide updates, bug fixes, and security fixes for the LTS version for 5 years beyond the release date. (CSM ITS supports only the LTS versions of Ubuntu).  Even though an updated version of Ubuntu is released every April, since only the LTS versions are supported for 5 years, installing a non-LTS version is not recommended.

The Autumn release of Ubuntu comes in October of each year.  The releases are 16.10, 17.10, 18.10, etc.  The Autumn releases are never long term releases and often include code in them that is not fully robust.  Therefore, it is not recommended that a .10 release of Ubuntu be installed unless it has some feature that is essential.  (CSM ITS does not support the .10 releases of Ubuntu).


On the Downloads page, you will see the latest version of Ubuntu available.  At the time this knowledge base article was written, ITS is supporting Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 only.

Support for 20.04 LTS will probably come during Spring 2021.

Click on the 20.04 LTS download button.



Follow your chosen web browser's download process to save the install image file to your Downloads folder.


2.  Obtain the boot device creation utility. 


There a many open source USB boot device creation utilities.  For the purposes of this document, I choose to use Rufus.

Navigate to in your web browser and clcik on the Rufus 3.13 (1.1MB) download link for the latest version.

NOTE:  The link name may update over time as the developers continue Rufus development.



Follow your chosen web browser's download process to save the install file to your Downloads folder.


3.  Create a bootable Ubuntu install device. 


Browse to your downloads folder and identify the Rufus utility and the Ubuntu-20.04-desktop-amd64.iso files.

Insert a blank USB flash device of at least 4GB into an available USB port on your computer.  Note that the contents of the USB flash device are destroyed by this process.

Double-click on the rufus-3.13.exe file to launch it.



Rufus launches and automatically populates the Device field with your USB flash device.  However, it is good practice to ensure that the proper device is selected

as the contents of thedevice are destroyed when imaging.

The Device field shows the current volume title of the USB flash drive

To browse to and select the Ubuntu 20.04 installation file, click on the Select button.

The Partition scheme andTarget system selections can be left at MBR and BIOS or UEFI respectively.  If for some reason your system does not recognize the

finished USB boot device, you can repeat this proces and choose GPT for Partition scheme and UEFI (non CSM) for Target system.



Now click on the Start button to commence the imaging process.

If prompted, select Write in ISO image mode.



You are warned one last time that all data on the USB flash drive will be destroyed.

Select OK.



The imaging process can take about 10 minutes.  Progress is displayed in the Status area of the dialog box.



When the imaging process completes, select Close.



Your bootable USB device is now complete.


4.  Install Ubuntu 20.04.


Take the newly created Ubuntu installer USB and insert it into a USB port on the computer on which you want to install Ubuntu.

Different brands of computer have different methods of forcing a boot from USB.  Check your computer manufacturer's instructions for booting off USB.

Reboot the system and boot it off of the USB flash drive.

The install process first does a quick check of the integrity of the boot device.



The Ubuntu install process launches automatically and presents you with two choices.

Click on the Install Ubuntu button.



Select your preferred language settings, then click Continue.



Select the Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware and additional media formats option.

Click Continue.



Select the Erase disk and install Ubuntu option

N O T E :  Any exisiting data on the target hard drive is destroyed.

Click Install Now.



The install process summarizes the changes that will be made to the hard drive.

Click the Continue button.



If your time zone does not populate correctly, you can click on the map or search for your location in the search box.

When you're satisfied with the time zone selection, click on the Continue button.



You are next prompted to create your user account and to create a name for the computer.

N O T E :  The account that you create is automatically an administrator of the system.

For compatibility with other nodes on the CSM campus network, your choice of computer name should be entered in lowercase letters and should not be longer than 15 characters.

Click Continue.



The installation process takes about 20 minutes to complete.  Progress is displayed.



When the process is completed, click Restart Now.



During the shutdown process you are prompted to remove the USB flash drive and press Enter.  



When the system has completed rebooting, click on your user account icon.



Enter the password you created during the install process.

Press the Enter key.



At this initial logon session, Ubuntu will display a series of initial setup dialogs.

Click Skip.



Livepatch is a system that allows for automatic updates to the Ubuntu system.  Enabling it requires registering an account with  

It is user choice to set it up or not.  For the purposes of this tutorial, I am skipping it.

Click Next.



You can choose to send system metadata to Canonical if you like.  Make your selection and click on the Next button.



You can choose to disable Location Services.  Change the setting as appropriate and click Next.



Lastly, you are offered the opportunity to open up the Ubuntu Software store to install more applications.

Select Done.



The installation process is now completed.  You are returned to the default Ubuntu desktop.



Your Ubuntu 20.04 installation is now complete.

For reference, below is a video recording of the entire installation process:



2020.12.14 - dkearney


Article ID: 120529
Mon 11/16/20 4:40 PM
Mon 12/21/20 11:05 AM