How to install Ubuntu without CD (on Windows)

How to install Ubuntu without CD (on Windows)
How to install Ubuntu without CD (on Windows)
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Want to install Ubuntu on your Windows computer but don't have a CD or DVD drive? There are different ways to install Ubuntu on computers that do not have disk drives. The most common way is to create an installer USB drive and install Ubuntu from it. You can also use the installer that can be used on Windows if your computer is compatible.

Steps

Method 1 of 2: Using a USB key

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 1

Step 1. Check the amount of free space available

You will need at least 7 GB of free space on your computer to be able to install Ubuntu, but you will need more if you want to be able to install software and download files. You will have the choice between having Ubuntu alongside Windows or replacing Windows completely.

If you are going to replace Windows, make sure you have backed up all of your important data to other media. Installing Ubuntu will clean up the disk containing Windows in case you want to replace it

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 2

Step 2. Find a suitable USB drive

You can install Ubuntu from any USB drive that has at least 2 GB of space. Make sure that the stick does not contain any important data, because its contents will be erased when creating the USB installer.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 3

Step 3. Go to the Ubuntu Desktop web page

You can go to the Ubuntu Desktop website at ubuntu.com/download/desktop.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 4

Step 4. Download the version you want

Press the "Download" button corresponding to the version you want. Ubuntu usually offers you two versions: the LTS version and the most recent stable version. The LTS version (for "Long-Term Support") will have system and security updates for the next five years, this is the version recommended for most users. The most recent version will be updated for nine months, until it is considered that most people have upgraded to the next most recent version.

Most newer computers can run the 64-bit version of Ubuntu. If you have a somewhat older computer and you are not sure whether it is 64-bit, click here

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 5

Step 5. Donate or go to download

You will be asked if you want to donate to Canonical before reaching the download page. If you don't want to donate, go down the page and select “Not now, take me to the download”.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 6

Step 6. Wait for the download to complete

You will download the Ubuntu ISO file, which is a little over 1 GB. It may take a while if your connection is slow.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 7

Step 7. Download and install the Universal USB Installer tool

This free software will format your USB drive, put the Linux installation files on it, and make your drive ready for installation. You can download it for free from pendrivelinux.com.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 8

Step 8. Launch the Universal USB Installer software

Make sure you have plugged in your USB key and that it does not contain any important data.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 9

Step 9. In the first drop-down menu, click on “Ubuntu”

You can use this tool to create an installation USB key for any distribution of Linux. In order for your key to be formatted correctly, be sure to select Ubuntu.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 10

Step 10. Press the “Browse” button and select the ISO file you downloaded

It is usually located in your Downloads folder.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 11

Step 11. At the bottom of the window, click on your USB device

If more than one USB stick is connected, make sure you've chosen the correct one.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 12

Step 12. Press the “Create” button

This will initiate formatting the USB drive and copying the Ubuntu installation files to the media so that your computer can boot from the USB drive.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 13

Step 13. Once the key is ready, restart your computer

You will need to configure your computer to boot from the USB drive. The process for doing this varies from computer to computer.

  • Press the BIOS or BOOT menu key when the computer starts to boot. This key will appear on the same screen as the manufacturer's logo. The most common keys are F2, F11, F12, and Del. In the BOOT menu of your BIOS, put your USB drive as the first boot source.
  • If your computer starts directly under Windows 8 or 10 without showing the manufacturer's logo, you will need to do an advanced start. Open the Charms menu (Windows 8) or click on the Start menu (Windows 10) and click “Settings”. Go to the "Update & Security" section, select "Recovery" and then, in the "Advanced startup" section, click "Restart now". In the “Advanced start-up” menu, select “Troubleshooting” then “Advanced options”. Click on “UEFI Firmware Settings” then go to the BOOT menu. Change the boot order by putting USB media as the first boot media.
Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 14

Step 14. Try Ubuntu before installing it (if you want)

When you first boot from your USB drive, you will see a welcome screen appear. You can choose the desired language and decide to either try Ubuntu or start the installation. If you choose to try Ubuntu, you'll be able to access all of its features (but you won't be able to save anything). During your test, you can run the installer on the desktop at any time to start the installation.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 15

Step 15. Check the boxes in the “Preparing to install Ubuntu” window

Check the “Download updates while installing” and “Install this third-party software” boxes. If you cannot check the "Download" box, go to the next step and then return to this window once you have connected to the network.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 16

Step 16. Connect to a wireless network (if requested)

If your computer is connected to a network using an Ethernet cable, you will not see this screen appear and your network connection will be configured automatically. If you are using a wireless adapter to connect, you will be asked to choose the network you want to connect to and provide your credentials, if necessary. If at this step you are connecting to a wireless network, it is recommended that you return to the previous screen once you are connected to check the “Download” box.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 17

Step 17. Decide whether you want to replace Windows or install Ubuntu in parallel

This is the most important decision you will make while installing Ubuntu. If you choose to install Ubuntu alongside your copy of Windows, you will keep all your files and a new partition will be created from your available free space. When your computer starts up, you will be able to choose which operating system you want to use. If you decide to replace Windows, all of your software and files will be removed.

  • If you choose to do the parallel installation of Windows, you will not be able to use the slider to adjust the amount of space used for Ubuntu and the amount of free space left for Windows.
  • If you choose to replace Windows, the partition you installed it on will be wiped clean and Ubuntu will be installed on it. The partition will keep its original size.
Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 18

Step 18. Configure your location and your keyboard layout

If you are connected to the Internet, Ubuntu should be able to automatically detect which region you are in. If you don't know which layout to choose for your keyboard, select “Detect Keyboard Layout”.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 19

Step 19. Create a user account

Give your name and then create an account. Your username should not contain spaces, and your password should be easy to remember but difficult to guess. You can choose whether or not you want to be logged in automatically when you turn on the computer or whether you want to be prompted for the password.

On this page, you can also change the name of your computer. This is the name that will appear when your computer is connected to a network

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 20

Step 20. Wait for Ubuntu installation to complete

After creating your account, you will just have to wait for the installation to finish. It usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 21

Step 21. At startup, choose Ubuntu (if you installed it alongside Windows)

Your computer will restart after the installation is complete. If you installed Ubuntu alongside Windows, you will see a new menu when you start your computer for the first time, allowing you to select the desired operating system. Choose Ubuntu and you will then be automatically logged in or you will see the login screen appear, depending on the option you chose when you created your user account.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 22

Step 22. Start using Ubuntu

Once logged in, you can start using Ubuntu. Here are several wikiHow articles that can help you get started with Ubuntu:

  • click here for a guide to basic Terminal commands
  • click here for instructions on installing software in Ubuntu
  • click here for instructions on setting up a network connection in Ubuntu
  • click here to see a guide on how to install your graphics card drivers

Method 2 of 2: Using the desktop installer

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 23

Step 1. Understand the process

Ubuntu no longer allows the use of the Windows installer to install Ubuntu from within Windows itself, but you can still use it if you prefer. The installer will not work on Windows 8 and newer, you must use Windows XP, Vista or 7. The installer can also create problems that would not occur if you were installing from a USB drive, even on a compatible machine. It is recommended that you use the USB method given above, unless absolutely necessary.

You can only use the installer to install Ubuntu alongside Windows. You cannot use it to replace Windows. If you want to replace Windows with Ubuntu, use the USB method given above

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 24

Step 2. Download the Wubi files

This is the Ubuntu installer that allows you to install Ubuntu from the Windows environment, just like any Windows software works. You can download these files from cdimage.ubuntu.com/wubi/current/.

If you are not sure what to choose, click the link for the “i386.tar.xz” file. If you know you have a 64-bit compatible configuration, download “amd64.tar.xz” instead

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 25

Step 3. Unzip the Wubi installer

You will need GZIP compatible software to be able to extract the files from the "tar.xz" archive you downloaded. One of the most popular free software is 7-zip, which you can download from 7-zip.org. Once 7-zip is installed, use it to open the "tar.xz" archive you downloaded. Unzip the files therein into a new folder.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 26

Step 4. Launch the Wubi installer

You will only need to change a few settings before you can run the installer, and they are all in the same menu.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 27

Step 5. Choose the amount of space you want to allocate to Ubuntu

Ubuntu will create its own partition from the free space available to install there. Use the drop-down menu to determine the size of the partition. You need at least 7 GB of free space to install Ubuntu, and more if you want to install software and download files.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 28

Step 6. Create a username and password

You will need to create a user account before you can install Ubuntu. You will be able to create more users after the installation is complete. Enter a password to secure your account.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 29

Step 7. Press the “Install” button and wait for the Ubuntu installation to complete

The installer will download the necessary files and then ask you to restart the computer.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 30

Step 8. When you restart, select “Ubuntu”

You will see a new menu appear upon reboot, allowing you to choose the operating system you want to use. Choose Ubuntu to continue with the installation.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 31

Step 9. Wait again for the Ubuntu installation to complete

Once Ubuntu starts up, it will continue to install for approximately 15 minutes. Once this is done, the computer will restart again.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 32

Step 10. From the start menu, choose the desired operating system

Once Ubuntu is installed, you will be asked each time you start up to choose your operating system. This is how you can switch from one operating system to another.

Install Ubuntu Linux Without CD (Windows) Step 33

Step 11. Start using Ubuntu

You can start using Ubuntu as soon as you are logged in. Here are several wikiHow articles that can help you get started with Ubuntu:

  • click here for a guide to basic Terminal commands
  • click here for instructions on installing software in Ubuntu
  • click here for instructions on setting up a network connection in Ubuntu
  • click here to see a guide on how to install your graphics card drivers.

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