How to try Ubuntu without installing it on your PC

1. Getting started with Ubuntu

Try Ubuntu directly from either a USB stick or a DVD is a quick and easy way to experience how Ubuntu works for you, and how it works with your hardware. Most importantly, it doesn’t alter your computer’s configuration in any way, and a simple restart without the USB stick or DVD is all that’s needed to restore your machine to its previous state.

With a live Ubuntu, you can do almost anything you can from an installed Ubuntu:

  • Safely browse the internet without storing any history or cookie data
  • Access files and edit files stored on your computer or USB stick
  • Create new office suite documents and save them remotely
  • Fix broken configurations to get a computer running again

Requirements to try Ubuntu

To try Ubuntu all you need is either a USB stick or DVD with Ubuntu pre-installed. For instructions on how to create these, take a look at one of the following tutorials:

2. Boot from DVD

It’s easy to boot Ubuntu from a DVD. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Put the Ubuntu DVD into your optical/DVD drive.
  2. Restart your computer.

A few moments later you’ll see the language selection menu followed by Ubuntu’s boot options. Select the top entry, Try Ubuntu without installing, and press return.

If you don’t get this menu, take a look at the community DVD guide for help.Try Ubuntu before you install it

3. Try Ubuntu by Booting from USB flash drive

Most computers will boot from USB automatically:

  1. Insert the USB flash drive
  2. Restart your computer

You should see the same language selection menu and boot options we saw in the previous ‘Boot from DVD’ step. Select the top entry, Try Ubuntu without installing, and press return.

If your computer doesn’t automatically boot from USB, try holding F12 when your computer first starts. With most machines, this will allow you to select the USB device from a system-specific boot menu.

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