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How to Install Linux Mint
There are many reasons why you might consider installing Linux. With regular updates (including kernel updates), Linux is very secure. It also comes at zero cost to the user. It is completely free and open source.
There are a number of distributions for users to choose from, so there is an option for everyone. If you've made it to this article, you're probably already convinced, so let's get started with the installation.
This guide will show you how to install Linux Mint, a Linux distribution with a reputation for being very user friendly.
Before beginning, you'll need a few things. If you have important files saved on your computer, make sure to back them up, so you don't lose them. You'll also need a copy of Linux Mint saved as an ISO. If you're going to run Mint on a virtual machine, you can just save the iso on your computer. If you're going to do a complete format, you'll want to burn an image of Mint.
Let's get started!
Booting into Linux for the First Time
To get your installation started, insert the Mint disc into your CD/DVD drive and restart your computer. When your computer starts, it'll automatically boot into Mint.
When it boots, it will ask for your username and password and have a countdown timer that says "User mint will login in x seconds." Since you don't yet have a username and password, wait until the countdown hits zero. Do not click on anything. Clicking things will make the timer start over. Once the countdown hits zero, you will automatically be logged in under "mint."
Once you're logged into Linux, you should see an icon on the desktop that says "Install Linux Mint." Double click it. This will start the installation process. Once the install menu loads, do the following:
- The first window to open will be the language menu. Select your language and click "Continue."
- "Preparing to Install Linux Mint" - This window will contain a small checklist for installation. You'll want to make sure the computer has enough space and is connected to the Internet. You're not required to be connected to the Internet, but in my experience, it makes everything much easier.Click "Continue."
- "Installation Type" - In this tutorial, I am doing a full format, so I selected "Erase disk and Install Linux Mint." If you want to have multiple partitions, select "Something else" and it'll take you to a menu where you can create and resize partitions.
- "Erase Disk & Install Linux" - Select the drive you would like to erase. Then, click "Install Now."
The actual installation process can take quite a while. Fortunately, you can enjoy a little bit of in-flight entertainment while it's installing. Okay, maybe it's not entertainment, but it will ask for your location (time zone), keyboard preferences, and ask you to name your computer and create login credentials.
After you complete all the preferences menus, you will be greeted with slides containing tidbits of information regarding the latest features of Linux Mint. This will last until the end of the install. It can take a while and the feature slides aren't particularly gripping, so you might want to go grab yourself a snack or something while you wait. It can take quite a while!
Once it's done installing, it'll ask you to restart the computer. Before hitting the restart button, pop the CD out of the CD tray (otherwise it'll boot off your CD again.) Once you restart, you're all ready to go with Linux!