I downloaded an Ubuntu 18.04 Live Server ISO.

I burned it onto a DVD-RW. I can boot from that DVD-RW. I press "tab" while booting as described here: If you act quickly enough, hitting the TAB key you will bring up the boot menu where you can choose to simply just try Ubuntu without installation. (Also described here.)

However, it doesn't show "Try Ubuntu." It only shows

  • Install Ubuntu Server
  • Check disc for defects
  • Test memory
  • Boot from first hard disk

and F6 "Other Options" doesn't show "Try" either.

How do I "Try" without installing? In fact, I want to boot, fix this damn bug, then boot from disk.

I looked at this page to debug, but a lot of it is about whether the DVD will boot at all. It boots, but doesn't offer the option I want.


The Server image uses a different installer from the Desktop image.

To 'Try Ubuntu', use a Desktop image


To get to the "live" part of the live server, you have to choose "Install", then press Ctrl+Alt+F2-F6 to get to another TTY, where you will be given a shell.

Source: Installing using the live server installer

If you need to at any time during the installation you can switch to a different console (by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F<n> or Ctrl-Alt-Right) to get access to a shell.

  • 2
    Just thought I'd add, you can use Right Ctrl + F2 - F6 in VirtualBox. Then, sudo -s to elevate to root (which is passwordless). Apr 10 '19 at 2:37
  • 1
    Update for 20.04: the terminal is available from the server installer via F2 key without Ctrl+Alt etc (also you can navigate to "Help" menu, and find it there). Not sure if the same is true for 18.04 though.
    – MichaelK
    Mar 18 at 11:34
  • @aggregate sudo in general should be passwordless in the installer, no?
    – wjandrea
    Mar 18 at 21:07

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