110

I'm thinking about installing Ubuntu Desktop, but I don't know what flavor is the best for my system. What are the minimum and recommended hardware requirements? What kind of CPU? How much memory? Should I have Hardware Acceleration? What flavor should I use?

This is an attempt of a canonical answer. My answers have the "official requirements", the recommended are a mix of official sources and opinion based (along with the answer it's told the source). You can comment or edit if you feel that the information is obsolete or incomplete.

It is a good rule of thumb that any system capable of running Windows Vista, 7, 8, x86 (Intel) OS X will almost always be a lot faster with any Ubuntu flavor even if they are lower-spec than described below.

55

Ubuntu Desktop

The main flavour of Ubuntu using Unity (16.04) or GNOME Shell (17.10 and newer).

Minimum

  • Xenial Xerus (16.04)

    • 700 MHz processor (Intel Celeron or better)
    • 384 MB of system memory (RAM) for 32-bit
    • 512 MB of system memory (RAM) for 64-bit
    • 8 GB of free disk space
    • VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution
    • Either a DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media
  • Bionic Beaver (18.04)

The minimum requirements were last mentioned in 12.04 release note, and has since not found in release note of newer releases. The minimum requirements for newer releases are unofficial and subject to testing on real hardware or in a virtual machine.

Recommended

For latest recommended requirements, visit download page of Ubuntu Desktop.

  • 29
    It is my personal experience that 1Gb RAM is too small for a smooth experience with Ubuntu. Therefore, I recommend using Lubuntu for under 2Gb, and Ubuntu for 2Gb or more. If you have under 512Mb RAM, consider even smaller distros such as Bodhi, which is Ubuntu-based, but not an official Canonical distribution. – Paddy Landau Aug 21 '13 at 13:20
  • 2
    I would say, It depends on what you do. Xubuntu runs fine on 500 MiBi RAM, but you cannot run Firefox on it. – user877329 May 13 '16 at 14:26
26

Lubuntu and Xubuntu

The lightweight flavors of Ubuntu using LXDE (Lubuntu) or XFCE (Xubuntu).

The following are minimum requirements for Xubuntu:

  • 512 MiB of system memory (RAM)
  • 5 GB of disk space
  • Graphics card and monitor capable of 800x600 resolution
  • 700 MHz Processor

Recommended for Xubuntu 16.04.3 64-bit or later:

  • 1~2+ GiB of system memory (RAM)
  • 8~16+ GB of disk space
  • Graphics card and monitor capable of 1024x768 resolution
  • Dual Core processor

Is reported that Lubuntu can run with even less:

Lubuntu Minimum requirements:

  • Pentium II
  • 128 MiB RAM
  • PAE supported CPU

For non-PAE see this page

(These settings are for system fully installed and running, not counting before the installation nor text-based versions)

  • 2
    Are you sure that this is correct? I'd guess that Xubuntu requires less resources than ubuntu? Maybe these are recommended values? – jb. Aug 17 '13 at 18:39
  • 1
    That's what is said in the official wiki page that I linked, it also reports that 512 MB and 500MHz processor is too slow for xubuntu. – Braiam Aug 17 '13 at 18:43
  • the xubuntu home page says 64mb. I run xububtu on my netbook with 512 mb ram and there are no speed issues at all – exussum Aug 18 '13 at 8:13
  • 2
    @user1281385 that's the alternative cd memory requirement, before installation. The page also says: Once installed, it is strongly recommended to have at least 512 MB of memory. – Braiam Aug 18 '13 at 11:24
  • 1
    Soulsource, may I recommend Midori midori-browser.org or Qupzilla qupzilla.com as ligter browsers than Firefox? – K7AAY Nov 5 '13 at 23:14
14

Kubuntu

The official flavour of Ubuntu using KDE. The default desktop environment is KDE Plasma Desktop.

Minimum

  • Xenial Xerus (16.04)

    • 1 GHz processor
    • 512 MB of system memory (RAM)
    • 5 GB of free disk space
    • VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution
  • Bionic Beaver (18.04)

    • 8 GB of free disk space
    • other requirements are similar to earlier releases

The minimum requirements were last mentioned in Kubuntu 8.04 news announcement, then merely copied from Ubuntu 12.04 release note and has since deprecated, and not found at elsewhere. The minimum requirements for newer release is unofficial and subject to testing on real hardware or in a virtual machine. Kubuntu has varying requirements on VM.

Xenial Xerus (16.04) on VM: Requires at least 1 GB RAM, 10 GB fixed-size Virtual Disk Image, 128 MB video memory. Selecting "Try Kubuntu" or "Install Kubuntu" does not matter. Live session will takes time to load; If virtual machine has stopped responding, do reset and start again. Installation may take longer time. User will see "low disk space warning" during installation but will succeed.

Bionic Beaver (18.04) on VM: Requires VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration, otherwise will not proceed further than boot menu. Other requirements need further clarification.

Recommended

  • 1 GHz dual core processor or better
  • 2 GB of system memory (RAM)
  • 10 GB of free disk space (the more hard disk capacity, the better)
  • VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution. If desktop effects are desired, a supported GPU is required.

The recommended requirement is based on this article with poorly cited source on Wikipedia and partially copied from Ubuntu 16.04. The amount of system memory and free disk space are found similarly in the release note of KDE Neon User Edition 5.6.

There is no official system requirements for Kubuntu being documented to this revised date. Related discussions are found in this 2014 thread and this 2016 thread on Kubuntu Forums.

  • @clearkimura well, it's a community wiki, why don't you search for sources and add it? – Braiam Apr 14 '17 at 15:42
  • I have posted relevant question on Unix.SE, since similar questions were asked on AU and SU, but had no credible answers to this date. I may update this community wiki sometime later, if I manage to figure out from my side. – clearkimura Apr 15 '17 at 18:21
7

Ubuntu Mate

Ubuntu Mate is a recently(02-2015) official derivative of Ubuntu, based on gnome2. Designed to run on modern desktops and laptops, micro computers and older hardware alike.

Ubuntu Mate Image from Wikipedia

Hardware Requirements:

Minimum:

  • Pentium III 750-megahertz
  • 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM
  • 8 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk -Bootable DVD-ROM drive
  • Keyboard and Mouse (or other pointing device)
  • Video adapter and monitor with 1024 x 768 or higher resolution
  • Sound card
  • Speakers or headphones

Recommended:

  • Core 2 Duo 1.6-gigahertz
  • 2 gigabytes (GB) RAM
  • 16 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk
  • Bootable USB flash drive
  • Keyboard and Mouse (or other pointing device)
  • 3D capable video adapter and wide screen monitor with 1366 x 768 or higher resolution
  • Sound card
  • Speakers or headphones

Reference:

7

Ubuntu Kylin

Ubuntu variant for Chinese users.

Minimum

  • Trusty Tahr (14.04)

    • 1 GHz processor (for example Intel Celeron or better)
    • 1 GiB RAM (system memory)
    • 8 GB of free hard drive space for installation
    • Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media
    • Internet access is helpful (for installing updates during the installation process).
  • Zesty Zapus (17.04)

2

Ubuntu Budgie (formerly Budgie-Remix)

The official flavour of Ubuntu using Budgie desktop environment, since 9 November 2016. 17.04 is the first official release under the new name, Ubuntu Budgie.

Minimum

The minimum specified hardware for flawless experience.

  • 1.5 GHz processor
  • 2 GB of system memory (RAM)
  • 60 GB of disk space

In 90% of cases you are good to go with those and specs above. However, some machines have specific hardware that requires you to check the driver before installation which is usually related to Broadcom Network cards found in laptops.

Recommended

The recommended download details for 18.04 and newer:

  • 4GB or more of RAM
  • 64-bit capable Intel and AMD processors
  • UEFI PCs booting in CSM mode.
  • Modern Intel-based Apple Macs

See "Installation Guide" in download page of Ubuntu Budgie.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.