OSOS Tutorial

elementary OS System Requirements and Install

Download elementary OS

If you haven’t already, you will need to download elementary OS from our home page. You will need to copy the downloaded ISO file to a USB flash drive using the instructions below.

Frequently-Asked Questions

See the frequently-asked questions for this release.

While we don’t have a strict set of minimum system requirements, we recommend at least the following specifications for the best experience:

  • Recent Intel i3 or comparable dual-core 64-bit processor
  • 4 GB of system memory (RAM)
  • Solid state drive (SSD) with at least 32 GB of free space
  • Internet access
  • Built-in or wired mouse/touchpad and keyboard
  • 1024×768 minimum resolution display

You will also need a spare USB flash drive with at least 4 GB of storage for installation.

We do not recommend virtual machines as they don’t perform as well as a full install. If you are attempting to install in a virtual machine, enable EFI if possible but understand you may encounter other issues.

Back Up Your Data

Make sure to back your important data up to an external location such as a cloud service or an external hard drive. Installing a new operating system may overwrite your existing data.

Step-by-step Guide

Follow the video above, or select the operating system you are currently using to view tailored installation instructions below.

Verify Your Download

Verifying your download is an important step: we generate a “checksum” for elementary OS images and recommend that you verify that your download matches that checksum before trying to install. This ensures that you’ve received the full, complete download and that it is not corrupted.

Assuming you downloaded elementary OS to your Windows Downloads folder, open the Command Prompt in Windows and run the following command:

CertUtil -hashfile Downloads\elementaryos-6.1-stable.20211218-rc.iso sha256

It should produce the output:

SHA256 hash of Downloads\elementaryos-6.1-stable.20211218-rc.iso:

If the checksum does not match, you may need to re-download your copy of elementary OS and ensure it completes downloading before re-verifying it.

Creating an Install Drive

To create an elementary OS install drive you’ll need a USB flash drive that is at least 4 GB in capacity and an app called “Etcher”.

Download Etcher

etcher steps

Open Etcher, then:

  1. Plug in your spare USB flash drive
  2. Select your downloaded .iso file using the “Select image” button
  3. Etcher should automatically detect your USB drive; if not, select the correct drive
  4. Click the “Flash!” button. It may take a moment to get started.

Once complete, continue to boot from the install drive.

Booting From the Install Drive

In order to start the installation process, you must boot your computer from the install drive.

  • Assuming that your computer is still on, start by inserting your install drive and restarting your computer.
  • Most computers will briefly allow you to change the boot order for this boot only by pressing a special key — usually F12, but sometimes Esc or another function key. Refer to the screen or your computer’s documentation to be sure.
  • Press F12 (or the appropriate key) and select the install drive—usually “USB-HDD” or something containing the word “USB”, but the wording may vary. If you choose the incorrect drive, your computer will likely continue to boot as normal. Just restart your computer and pick a different drive in that menu.
  • Shortly after selecting the appropriate boot drive, you should be presented with the elementary OS splash screen. You may now follow the on-screen instructions which will guide you through the rest of the process.

After Installation

Take this time to read the getting started guide to learn about your new operating system.

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