I can find plenty of tutorials on how to install Ubuntu, Mint, and others with OEM installation, but without any explanation as to what OEM is. What are the differences between regular OS installations and OEM?

  • OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer. Basically someone who manufactures/sells devices, and in this case, with Ubuntu on them. A few examples would be Dell, HP, and Lenovo.
    – cocomac
    Jan 12, 2022 at 21:32
  • I tried the OEM installation and then got stuck, some settings I did not know what to enter. What is different with the OEM installation?
    – Teso
    Jan 12, 2022 at 22:01
  • 2
    @Teso It's made so that manufacturers such as HP. Lenovo, Dell, etc. can install or modify the distribution before it ships out to users. The difference is that after you do the OEM install, the user can enter a username and password when they set up the computer. It's simply a way to make modifications to the system before the user gets it. Jan 12, 2022 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer, so it is for device manufacturers in general case.

I use OEM installs to preconfigure new devices with Ubuntu MATE LTS to my friends and colleagues with respect to their privacy and settings. Some of these people can't install the Ubuntu on their own, they are not skilled in this area.
From their point of view it looks like the following:

  1. Boot new device with preinstalled Ubuntu MATE
  2. Follow the wizard to specify location, language and keyboard layout, hostname (computer name), user name, login and password
  3. Wait for first reboot and enjoy the system.

Part 1 – preparing device for end-user:

  1. Boot the system into OEM install

    • In Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS (and earlier) press F4 in the bootloader menu, select OEM Install (for manufacturers) and press Enter

      OEM install selection from isolinux bootloader

      Press Enter on Try Ubuntu MATE without installing, wait live system to boot.

    • Select OEM Install (for manufacturers) in newer versions like upcoming 22.04 LTS directly

      OEM install selection from GRUB bootloader

  2. Click on Install Ubuntu MATE

  3. Optionally provide series name, for example QATeam

    provide series name

  4. Select your keyboard layout and click on continue

  5. Proceed installation as usual

  6. Specify password for OEM user

  7. Wait for the installer to finish

  8. Click the Restart Now button

  9. Remove the disc and press enter

  10. Allow the machine to reboot

  11. Install all updates by sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    Note: on this step you can also install some other applications globally to the system by APT (maybe using some third-party repositories and PPAs) respecting end-user's wishes.

  12. Restart the computer

  13. Double click the Prepare for shipping to end user icon on the desktop

    oem preparation icon

    and provide password to oem user.

  14. Shutdown the system.

This part ends by shipping device to its end-user.

Part 2 - end-user received the device and configures it:

  1. Select a language and click Continue

  2. Select a timezone and click Continue

  3. Select a keyboard layout and click Continue

  4. Add end user details and click Continue

    Note: end-user can enable auto-login here if needed.

  5. Wait device to reboot

  6. Type in the end-user's username and password on login screen and hit enter


  1. More detailed instruction may be found on ISO QA testing tracker at Install (OEM setup) .
  2. The above method also works for other official Ubuntu flavors.

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