I want to start using Ubuntu so I went to software shop today, asking for Ubuntu Desktop installation media.

There were some Ubuntu boxes, like Windows ones. I was told that I should enter a product key from some label when installing Ubuntu. I have never seen copy protection in free software.

I was allowed to copy an example label PNG.

I am unable to download Ubuntu from official website because my computer doesn't have operating system installed and I don't have any other devices.

Where can I purchase genuine Ubuntu?

  • 3
    Ubuntu is distributed for free. You don't have to purchase it. I wonder why people try to buy it.
    – Pilot6
    Nov 30, 2019 at 20:02
  • That must be some kind of fraud. They customized Ubuntu installed with that "product key"
    – Pilot6
    Nov 30, 2019 at 20:05
  • 1
    @karel This is not about the "free software". The question is about the customized Ubuntu installed and selling product keys. I don't think it's legal.
    – Pilot6
    Nov 30, 2019 at 20:06
  • @Pilot6 I don't have operating system installed on my computer. I'm unable to burn a CD/DVD and I access Ask Ubuntu from an Internet café (which is the reason why I use another account).
    – user1020852
    Nov 30, 2019 at 20:07
  • 2
    You can buy an Ubuntu installer, nothing wrong is with selling it. But there is no such thing as "product key". If the installer requires it, I wouldn't install from it. This is NOT a genuine Ubuntu and we don't know what else is there.
    – Pilot6
    Nov 30, 2019 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


Ubuntu is free software. It is not only free in cost, but free as in freedom. That means Ubuntu is free to download, run, copy, distribute, study, share, change and improve for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.

There used to be several places to buy a CD/DVD/USB of Ubuntu but due to the ease of downloading it and burning to DVD or writing to bootable USB, these options have all but disappeared. Perhaps you can use a public library?

Personally, I would not feel comfortable buying or recommending someone to purchase an unofficial release of an operating system.

See Our Mission and Licensing for more information.

  • I'm unable to burn a CD/DVD now. Where could I purchase it?
    – user1020852
    Nov 30, 2019 at 20:12
  • It is not easy to buy because it can be downloaded for free. You can use a USB flash drive as an installer.
    – Pilot6
    Nov 30, 2019 at 20:13
  • @Pilot6 after damage was caused by USB Killer use, USB ports are no longer available in the only Internet café available to me. It looks like I have to purchase Ubuntu installation media somewhere.
    – user1020852
    Nov 30, 2019 at 20:15
  • 2
    If you have a friend/neighbour with a windows PC, maybe if you buy them a coffee they can download and make a USB/DVD for you. cheaper than 49$.
    – crip659
    Nov 30, 2019 at 21:12
  • 1
    Most Internet cafes I have been in will burn you a copy, in their spare time, for a small fee. Dec 1, 2019 at 3:37