Operating the server installer

This document explains how to use the installer in general terms. For a step-by-step guide through the screens of the installer, use the screen-by-screen guide.

Get the installer

Installer images are created (approximately) daily and are available from the Ubuntu release page. These images are not tested as extensively as the images from release days, but they contain the latest packages and installer. Therefore, fewer updates are required during or after installation.

Download the server installer for amd64 from the Ubuntu Server page and other architectures from the release directory.

Installer UI navigation

Use the and arrows, as well as the Space or Enter keys to navigate the installer.

Tab and Shift + Tab move the focus down and up respectively. Use Home, End, PgUp and PgDn to navigate through long lists quickly.

Running the installer over a serial port

By default, the installer runs on the first virtual terminal, tty1. This is what is displayed on any connected monitor by default. On systems without a monitor or a remote virtual terminal, you can run the installer on the serial port. To do this, specify an appropriate console on the kernel command line. A common value is console=ttyS0.

When running on a serial port, the installer starts in a basic mode that uses only the ASCII character set and black and white colours. If you are connecting from a terminal emulator, such as gnome-terminal, that supports Unicode and rich colours, you can switch to “rich mode”, which uses Unicode and colours, and supports many languages.

Connecting to the installer over SSH

An alternative to basic terminals is to connect via SSH. If the network is up by the time the installer starts, instructions are offered on the initial screen in basic mode. Otherwise, instructions are available from the help menu once networking is configured.

In addition, connecting via SSH is capable of displaying all Unicode characters, which enables the use of more translations than can be displayed on a virtual terminal.

Help menu

The help menu is in the top right of the screen. It contains help – both general and for the currently displayed screen – and some general actions.

Switching to a shell prompt

To switch to a shell at any time, select Enter shell from the help menu, or press Control + Z or F2.

If you are accessing the installer via tty1, you can also access a shell by switching to a different virtual terminal (Control + Alt + arrow, or Control + Alt + number keys, to move between virtual terminals).

Global keys

The following global keys work at any time:




Go back


Open help menu

Control + Z, F2

Switch to shell

Control + L, F3

Redraw screen

Control + T, F4

Toggle rich mode (colour, Unicode) on and off