Are you tired of using Mac OS or Windows 10 as the operating system of your computer? If you are feeling a little adventurous, you can go for Linux. It has a tonne of interesting features to offer. They let you save an immense amount of time and make working a little less dull than before. To top it off, it comes with a Live Installation which enables you to test the waters before wiping off your entire hard drive.
Linux comes in a multitude of flavours known as distros (distributions), and you can choose any one of them according to your convenience. For a lot of people, Ubuntu is the one. This is primarily because it is the most popular Linux distro in use right now. It is pretty convenient for first-time users, and once they start, they tend to stick with it. But you can take some time to explore the others and see for yourself their pros and cons. We are sure you will see more pros than cons.
So let’s get it started. Follow these steps to install the newest Linux (Mint) on your computer:
First off, download Mint. As we have mentioned, you have the option to test the software before making the switch.
To do this, download a copy of Linux Mint which comes with three different awesome desktops: Xfce, MATE, and its default desktop, Cinnamon. In case your PC is from 2012 or newer, we would advise you to download the 64-bit version of Mint with Cinnamon and multi-media support.
Getting Ready with Your Tools
If you do not already have an ISO burner, you can download one. We recommend freeware programmes like Yumi for USB sticks, ImgBurn for optical drives, LinuxLive USB Creator or UNetbootin.
You won’t be required to boot from a USB stick unless you are stuck with an older PC. We strongly advise you to use USB flash drive. You also have the choice to boot from a DVD. But that takes a long time. At 1.5GB Mint, your download might take a while, so be ready with a bowl of popcorn while you wait for the boot to complete.
Testing the Waters
You now have installed the burner program and the latest Linux Mint ISO file. Next, make use of the burner to park the ISO image to your disc or USB stick. In case you are using a DVD, Mint will be too large to fit on a CD. You also might want to check your newly burned disc for errors, if any. There have been cases when people had more problems with running and installing Linux from DVDs from lousy discs.
The next step is to place your disc or USB stick into your computer and reboot. During this process, stop the boot-up process and get to your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings. The steps to do this varies across systems.
You will be prompted with a message as your machine starts up. This message will you which key or keys you will need to press to get to the UEFI or BIOS. Its likely candidates are one of the function keys or the “delete” or “Esc” keys. If you are unable to spot it the first time, you can always reboot and try again. You shouldn’t be sweating about it.
After the completion, you will be prompted with a menu choice labelled Boot Order or Boot Options or Boot. In case you do not see anything with the word “boot” in it, try checking other menu options such as the Advanced BIOS Features, Advanced Options, or Other Options. When you find it, set the boot order so that instead of straight away booting from the hard drive first, you boot from either the USB drive or a CD/DVD drive.
Now that your computer is ready to try to boot first from the alternative drive, insert your USB stick or DVD and reboot. Next, select Start Linux Mint from the first menu. From here on, you will be running the splendiferous Linux Mint.
So far, you haven’t installed anything on your computer. But you will be running Mint at this point. Use this opportunity to test Mint to see if you really like it (We know you will love it!).
Mint will run slowly if you are using a DVD drive, but it will run quickly enough to give you a real-time idea of what it is like to use the renowned Linux Mint. If you are using a USB stick, it will run fast enough to give you a fair notion of what working with Mint would be like.
If you like what you see, go ahead with the installation process.
Before you do so, we would like to recommend you to back up your hard drive. There are hardly any chances of any of your Windows setup getting affected, but it is safer to not take any chances. Just for the sake of peace of mind, you know!
It is quite hassle-free to boot and install Ubuntu and Mint with a Secure Boot system.
Starting the Linux Mint Installation
Make sure your computer is plugged in. Running out of battery is the last thing you would want during an operating system installation process. That said, also make sure that you have a working internet connection and 8GB of free drive space available. This will ensure a smooth ride.
The next step is to reboot Linux again. You will now have your Mint display and you will see an icon on the left which will allow you to continue further with the installation process. Simply double-click it.
Now you will be prompted with a few menu choices where you will have to choose your language preferences and time zone. These are relatively easy and personalized according to your needs. So you won’t be needing us to walk you through these menus.
After this, you will be required to give your system a name. Set a username and password for yourself. You can also choose to encrypt your home directory to keep your files safe. However, an encrypted home directory will slow down your system. It is rather faster to encrypt the entire drive after you have the Linux Mint up and running.
However, unlike Windows, when you update Mint, you are updating not just your operating system but all the other programs. This would mean the default web browser, Firefox; office-suite, LibreOffice; and all other programs you have installed from the Mint’s Software Manager.
If you want to do this manually, click on the shield icon you will see in the menu bar. In the Cinnamon desktop, by default, the bar will be available on the bottom part of the screen and the icon will be on the right.
Next, it will prompt you for your password and ask if you really want to update your system. Click Yes, and you will be ready to give your new Mint system a real trial.
The setup process also offers to let you check out system settings and find new programs within the Software Manager. However, since you are probably a new user, you can skip this job for now.
Congratulations! You now have the most brilliant operating system on your computer. Go ahead and make the most out of it. And while you are at it, do not forget to try out the other distros that Linux has to offer. They are as fun to work with.