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How To Get Early Access To Ubuntu 18.04

The newest long-term release of Ubuntu is just around the corner. Ubuntu 18.04 promises to bring some new features to the Linux desktop, including the second iteration of their custom Gnome 3 desktop environment, stability improvements, speed improvements, and more. If you absolutely can’t wait until April to try this new version of Ubuntu, daily builds are available. They’re usable (albeit a bit buggy), and a new image releases every day up until the latest version is ready to use. Keep in mind that if you choose to use Ubuntu 18.04 early, you’ll be participating in Ubuntu’s Alpha/Beta programs. It is important to update every single day, to get the latest fixes. In addition to this, be sure to use the bug-reporting tool to file any bugs that may occur, so that the developers can fix it.
SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.

Early Ubuntu 18.04 Build

During the development phase of each version of Ubuntu, there are different release versions, there is a new image of Ubuntu 18.04 put up every day for download through their build system. To get the most current version of 18.04, head over to this website and download an image.

When the image file finishes downloading, you’ll need to create an installable DVD or USB live disk.

Making A DVD

The best tool for burning a DVD ISO image on Linux is Brasero. Most likely, this tool is already installed on your Ubuntu PC. If not, open up the software center, search for Brasero, and click the install button to get the program.

Note: burning an Ubuntu live DVD on Windows or Mac? Download the image, and use the burning tool included with your operating system.

To create an 18.04 install DVD, open Brasero, and click “Data project”. Place a blank DVD in the disc drive, and then select the “Image File” button to browse for the 18.04 image file. Start the DVD burning process by clicking the “burn” button. Keep in mind that burning an Ubuntu data DVD isn’t instant and may take a while depending on your burner’s speed.

When the burning process is complete, reboot your computer and load into the BIOS. You’ll need to configure it to load the DVD drive first in the boot order.

Making A Live USB

Another way to install Ubuntu 18.04 is to make a live USB image. It’s the best way to install, as most modern PCs do not have optical image drives.

Start by downloading the latest build of Ubuntu 18.04. You’ll also need to download the Etcher USB image tool. When both are done downloading, open up a terminal, and use the CD command to enter the ~/Downloads directory.

cd ~/Downloads

Unzip the Etcher AppImage with the unzip command.

unzip etcher-*-linux-x86_64.zip

Running Unzip will deflate the Zip archive, and leave the Etcher AppImage in the ~/Download folder.

Use the chmod command to update the permissions for the AppImage file, so that it will run. Usually, the Etcher AppImage already has the correct permissions, but it’s a good idea to do this just in case.

sudo chmod +x etcher-*-x86_64.AppImage

Open the Etcher AppImage with:

./etcher-*-x86_64.AppImage

Follow these steps to flash Ubuntu 18.04 to a USB flash drive:

1: To start the USB flashing process, insert a USB flash drive into your Linux PC (at least 2GB in size).

2: Click the “select image” button to browse for the disk image.

3: Etcher should automatically select your USB flash drive. To start the flashing process, click the “flash” button to start the process. When the flashing process is complete, reboot your PC.

Boot into the BIOS and change the boot order so that it the USB loads first.

Installing Ubuntu 18.04

As Ubuntu loads up, you’ll see the startup screen. This startup screen gives the user two choices: try Ubuntu or Install Ubuntu. To start the upgrade to 18.04, click the “Install Ubuntu” button. On the next page, select a keyboard layout, language and click “next” to continue on.

Following language and keyboard settings come the “Installation Type” page. Installation type is where Ubuntu lets the user chose the type of installation to install. If you’re already running a version of Ubuntu, the first option on the list will be “Upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS”. Select this option, then “Install Now”.

Choosing to upgrade a version of Ubuntu will replace the core system, but keep your personal files in place. It’ll also try to keep as many programs installed during the upgrade, but some may be removed.

Note: Using Windows or another version of Linux? Select the “erase disk and install Ubuntu” option instead.

After selecting the type of installation, move on to the next page and configure a username, and continue the installation as normal. If you’re installing Ubuntu 18.04 fresh, all previous operating systems, as well as files will be gone.

The installation of Ubuntu takes about 20 minutes, so be patient and let it run. When the process completes, a pop-up will appear on the screen, letting you know that it’s done. Click the “reboot” button to reboot into Ubuntu 18.04.

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