Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 23:07

This is our tutorial on installing Ubuntu Desktop 21.04 on a computer with UEFI/GPT, dualboot, and external disk instructions with pictures included. Finally, by following this tutorial you can have Ubuntu Hirsute on your PC, laptop, or virtual machine or even an external hard disk drive. Let's go!

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green highlights are instructions for EXTERNAL installation. 

yellow highlights are instructions for DUALBOOT one.


Download Ubuntu Hirsute

We already collected full links of Ubuntu 21.04 all flavors (click here). 


Create Bootable Medium

We also published a way to create easy, cheap, useful bootable media for Ubuntu (and other operating systems too) you can learn here. We will use a USB flash disk in this tutorial but if you use DVD instead it is okay as the instructions are all the same. After you have a bootable medium, you can install.


You should either create a blank partition or supply a blank disk drive (HDD, SSD, or even USB flash drive) with at least 30GB disk space. We will create required disk partitions later.

For external install: by this, we really mean we can install Ubuntu from a USB (the installer) to another USB disk drives (the storages) -- the benefit is, you can do computing everywhere by bringing only one USB.

For dualboot user: you must make backup of your files especially the most important ones among them before proceeding otherwise a mistake in the installation may deletes everything and all thing stored in your hard disk.


  • Plug the bootable medium into the USB port.
  • Turn on your computer.
  • Enter UEFI interface (formerly called BIOS) by pressing either F1, F2, Del or any key designated by your computer brand).
  • Make sure UEFI boots your USB first. 
  • Save your UEFI configuration by pressing F10 (most brands) or any other proper key.
  • Now your computer displays Ubuntu from the flash drive.


Enter Live Mode

Once booted up properly, Ubuntu will appear on your screen with two choices "Try" and "Install". Click Try and now Ubuntu Desktop will appear and you can play with it a little before installation takes place.

To proceed to the installation below...

First Step

Select English and continue. Don't worry, you can switch system language later.

Second Step

Select EN-US keyboard layout and continue. However, you can switch to other layout later (e.g. to Japanese, Arabic, Russian or anything else). 

Third Step

Select Normal Installation and unselect Download updates. However, you can update after the installation finished anyway. 

Fourth Step

Select Something else. For dualboot user, it is important not to choose Automatic partitioning as you may mistakenly destroy all your data in hard disk. 


Fifth Step

This is the most important step. In this fifth step we will find five things to do:

- Create a new partition table.

- Create an EFI partition. 

- Create a SWAP partition.

- Create a ROOT partition. 

- Address the bootloader and begin installing. 


For external install: now plug your USB/Hard disk drive intended as the storage of Ubuntu installation.

For dualboot install: make sure you never touch disk partitions which are not prepared for Ubuntu installation. 



Carefully, select the free disk space from the prepared disk storage and not else > click New Partition Table  > a new partition tabel (GPT) will be created > the disk will be ready to install Ubuntu 21.04.

1) Create EFI partition:

Under the prepared disk storage: select the free disk space > click plus (+) button > adjust the size to be 200MB > adjust the file system to be EFI SYSTEM PARTITION > OK > an EFI partition will be created > now there are 2 items, one partition and one free space available. 

2) Create SWAP partition:

Select the free space available > click plus (+) button > adjust the size to be 1000MB or 1GB > adjust the file system to be SWAP > OK > a SWAP partition will be created > now there's 3 items, two partitions and one free space. 


Note: for experienced user, if you desire you can adjust it to be 2GB or more. 

3) Create ROOT partition: 

Select the remaining free space > click plus (+) button > let the size to be the remaining size e.g. about 30,000 or 28,000MB (30 or 28GB) if you followed this guide > adjust the file system to be EXT4 (for hard disk user) or EXT2 (for installation into external USB flash drive) > OK > adjust the mount point to be slash sign ( / ) > a ROOT partition will be created > now there's 3 partitions and no more free space under the disk storage. 

4) Address the bootloader:

Lastly in this section: select the correct address of the disk storage where ROOT partition located. For example, in this tutorial ROOT is /dev/sda3 hence the bootloader address is /dev/sda. This will install the GRUB bootloader, the program that sees the whole disk drive to find where your operating system is.

For external install: simply choose the address of your external USB/Hard disk drive where the ROOT partition is located.

For dualboot install: if you have two internal hard disk drives (or more), simply choose the disk where the ROOT partition is located as bootloader address. Later, your computer will be able to tell all operating systems available in your computer if existent.

Click Install Now and accept any further questions with OK.

Sixth Step

Choose your location on the world map and continue. It is to set your timezone, number format, & currency.

Seventh Step

What username and password you wish? Type them into the boxes and continue. The password will be your administrator (sudo) password later.


Eighth Step

Once you finished making a pair of username & password, you only need to wait. Ubuntu 21.04 in normal condition requires about 10 minutes to finish the installation. You do not need additional "Driver CD" installation.

Finally, Ubuntu will tell you Installation Finished and you just need to click Restart. 

As a result, Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo is installed on your computer. 



This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.