How to install Linux Mint: After reading my class guide very carefully best Linux distro, you were fascinated by Linux Mint and you decided to try this operating system firsthand. Let me tell you: you really made a great choice. Linux Mint, in fact, is certainly one of the best distributions for those who want to enter the world of the “penguin”, full of features and extremely simple to use and configure even for beginners.
The problem, however, is that you have never tried to change the operating system before, so you have no idea how to install Linux Mint and you are looking for a method to do this in the most possible way painless possible, without doing mess and without irreparably destroying the contents of the hard disk of your PC. That’s it? Perfect, then I have to tell you that you have come to the right place at the right time: in the lines to come, in fact, I intend to explain by thread and by sign how to reach the goal you have set yourself with a simple and proof-of-procedure disasters.
Before you even go on, it is good that you are aware that Linux Mint can coexist comfortably next to Windows, therefore you will not have the need to delete the entire contents of the disk in your possession or to give up the Microsoft home operating system : if necessary, you can choose which of the two operating systems to start simply by selecting it from a practical menu displayed when the computer starts. How do you say? I really convinced you and now you can’t wait to leave? OK, let’s get started right away!
Before even getting to the heart of the matter and concretely understanding how to properly run a copy of Linux Mint on your computer, even next to Windows, you have to get the necessary material and configure the computer so that everything can run smoothly and without a hitch. In the following paragraphs I intend to provide you with this information in detail.
Get what you need
The first thing you need to install Linux Mint on your computer is theISO image of the operating system itself, which you can get from This Page. For your information, there are several versions of Linux Mint, each featuring a different desktop environment (version a 32 is 64 bit): Cinnamon, which is the “characteristic” desktop of Linux Mint; MATE, which is a “lightened” version of the same, and Xfcewhich, on the other hand, is a desktop optimized for running on older machines. In later parts of this guide, I will refer to Linux Mint Cinnamon 64-bit.
Note: For optimal use of Linux Mint, your computer should have at least 2 GB of RAM (1 GB is the bare minimum), 20 GB of disk space (15 GB are strictly necessary) and a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.
Secondly, you need to decide which media to use to install the operating system on your computer: you can proceed using a classic DVD, either through a USB pendrive to be created specifically for the purpose. In the first case, you need to get yourself a Blank DVD from 4.7 GB; if you intend to perform an installation from USB, make sure you have one stick from at least 4 GB, keeping in mind that the data already present inside it will be destroyed.
Finally, I recommend that you keep a external hard disk large enough to hold the backup of the personal data already present on your computer, so that you can restore it at any time in case something goes wrong (I’ll talk about it later in this guide).
Partition the disk
If you intend to support Linux Mint with Windows, thus making both operating systems coexist in a configuration dual boot, you must reserve the necessary space for the operating system you are about to install. In the case of Linux Mint, this space corresponds to at least 20 GB.
In reality, the Linux Mint installation program provides for the possibility of automatically resizing the disk during the setup phase, however I recommend that you carry out this operation manually in order to avoid errors of any kind, such as the involuntary deletion of the data contained on the entire hard disk. I explained all the techniques you can apply to do this in my guide on how partition hard disk.
Disable the quick start of Windows
In case I had opted for a solution dual boot and want to support Linux Mint a Windows 10 or a Windows 8.x, you must consider the idea of disabling the functionality of quick Launch (or fastboot) Associated with both operating systems, in particular if you plan to access the Windows system partition or any other NTFS partition: if you did not do so, these partitions would remain in a “locked” state and would be inaccessible by other operating systems.
Disabling fastboot isn’t difficult at all: first of all, you have to click on the button Start of Windows (the one with the icon in the shape of badierina located at the bottom left), then type the entry “control panel” in the menu that opens and click on the first result received, marked with the wording Desktop app.
After that, go to the section Hardware and Sound> Power Options> Change Behavior of Power Buttons, click on the item Change the options that are not currently available and remove the check mark from the box next to the entry Enable quick start. Finally, save everything by pressing the button Save the changes.
Create a backup of your data
As I mentioned earlier, Linux Mint can safely coexist with Windows and work alongside it on the same disk, therefore no formatting is necessary, nor is data loss expected in this sense.
However, before carrying out operations that require “profound” changes to the structure of the disk, it is always advisable to carry out a backup important data. by copying them to a storage medium large enough to hold them. If you have never done this before and you need help in this regard, I urge you to read my specific tutorial on the subject, which I made especially for you.
Prepare the installation support
Now that you’ve downloaded and configured everything you need, it’s time to get to the heart of the matter and get ready to actually install Linux Mint on your computer. First, you need to make the physical support (DVD or USB pendrive) You intend to use to start Linux: if you have opted for DVD, simply burn the ISO image previously downloaded onto it, using the program you prefer. In this regard, if you need it, you can consult my guide on how to burn ISO files, which I have prepared especially for you.
If, on the other hand, you wish to install the operating system via USB pendrive, you must “unpack” and copy the ISO image through a special program designed for the purpose. In this regard, you can use software like Rufus (Windows) or Unetbootin (Windows is MacOS): I explained how to best use them in the appropriate section of mine guide on installing Linux from USB.
Disable Secure Boot
As a last step of pre-configuring your computer, you may need to disable the system Secure Boot in order to allow the correct start of the installation support chosen for install Linux Mint.
For your information, Secure Boot is a security measure introduced with UEFI, that is, the new generation “BIOS” present on all recent computers: this functionality prevents unsigned operating systems from starting, thus preserving the integrity of the computer and the data saved in it.
Although Linux Mint has obtained the Secure Boot compatible digital signature, it may not start correctly, for example, if the computer in your possession has been marketed before that the distribution was digitally signed. Furthermore, Secure Boot would not allow Linux to boot in case you chose to fully encrypt the system disk.
Therefore, if you fall into one of these cases or you are not sure what to do, I advise you to proceed with the deactivation of the aforementioned safety system, following the steps that I am going to indicate below.
- Windows 10 – access the menu Start by clicking on the relevant button, press the button ⚙ and went to the section Update and security of the window that appears on the screen. At this point, select the card Restoration, click on the button Restart now attached to the box Advanced startup and, having reached the next screen, access the section Troubleshooting> Advanced Options> UEFI Firmware Settings. Finally, click on the button Restart.
- Windows 8.1 – recall the Settings charm by pressing the keys on the keyboard Win + I, click on the button PC settings, then on the section Update and Restore and then on the button Restart now corresponding to the box Advanced startup. To conclude, follow the same instructions provided in the previous point to access UEFI.
Once you get to the configuration panel, go to the section Security) and set the option Secure Boot on the state Off (Disabled) or remove the check mark from the item of the same name. To exit UEFI by saving the setting you just changed, simply choose the item Save and exit (or Save changes and exit).
Note: the UEFI management panel is not the same on all computers, so the items and menus available to you may be slightly different than the ones I mentioned earlier. If you need additional assistance, you can refer to my guide on how to enter the BIOS or, alternatively, search Google for a specific tutorial for the computer model you have available.
Install Linux Mint on the computer
Now that you have completed the pre-configuration of your computer, the time has finally come to actually install Linux Mint! Remember that, as I explained to you in the previous bars of this guide, at this stage I will explicitly refer to Linux Mint with desktop Cinnamonhowever, you can repeat the same steps on other versions of the operating system as well.
To get started, insert the installation media you prepared earlier (the DVD or the USB pendrive) and reboot the system: if everything went as expected, the machine should start from the connected device and, after a few minutes, show you the desktop (or the Desk) Of Linux Mint.
If this does not happen and, on the contrary, Windows starts normally, it is likely that you have to enter BIOS / UEFI computer and configure the DVD player or the USB drive as the first boot device: I explained how to do it in my guide on how to set up the BIOS.
After loading the operating system correctly, do double click icon Install Linux Mint present on the desktop: once the installation program has started, choose theItalian from the list of languages that appears on the screen, press the button Forward, Then set the keyboard layout in use by you, click again on the button Forward, Indicate if you mean install third-party software and drivers by ticking the relevant box (which I recommend you do if you have an Internet connection immediately active) and press the button again Forward.
Next, indicate if install Linux Mint next to Windows, self erase the disc and install Linux Mint (bearing in mind that this procedure will delete all the data and operating systems already present) or if proceed to manual partitioning (option Other), by placing a check mark next to the most appropriate item for your case, and clicking the button again Forward. If you don’t know what to do, I recommend installing Linux Mint next to the operating system that already exists on the computer
At this point, you should access the most appropriate partitioning options depending on the case you choose: for example, if you have selected the option to install Linux Mint next to Windows, you can set the space to dedicate to it by acting on the appropriate operating systems bar proposed in the next screen.
Once you have made the necessary changes to the hard disk partitions and made sure that you have made the configuration in accordance with your needs, you can start the partitioning and the contextual installation of Linux Mint by pressing the buttons Install is Forward.
Once this phase is complete, the setup of the new operating system is actually started and, in the meantime, you should be offered two further configuration windows for the creation of your personal profile.
So, specify yours time zone membership, click on the button Forward and fill in the next form indicating yours first name, the computer name, the username and the administrative password to access the system and specifying if log in automatically or request your personal password to access.
After that, click on the button Forward and wait patiently for the procedure to be completed. When this happens, a dialog should appear asking you to remove the installation media from the computer and restart the machine: you’re done!
If everything went in the right direction, at the next reboot you should be able to access Linux Mint through a choice menu (if you have selected the installation next to another operating system) or completely automatically.
Virtualize Linux Mint
If you’ve come this far, it means you’ve learned all the steps you need to take to perfection install Linux Mint on your computer and fully enjoy the features offered by the operating system. The problem is that, being the first time you plan on doing this, you are afraid of mess up with the disc and to erase, in spite of yourself, the personal files that you have kept over time, perhaps because of a moment of distraction.
How do you say? Did I hit the spot? Don’t worry, I really think I can help you: an excellent remedy for this little headache is to virtualize Linux Mint on the operating system you already have. In other words, you can act through one virtual machine created through a special program, such as VirtualBox.
Through this program, it is possible install Linux Mint on a “computer in the computer“, With the ability to perform the experiments you want in complete safety: all the components of a virtual machine, including the disk, are simple filestherefore the operations you are going to perform will be confined to the virtual machine itself and will have no effect on your original operating system, nor on the disk or on any other physical component of the computer.
If this solution is to your liking, do not delay any longer and get to work immediately: after having downloaded and VirtualBox is installed on the computer, start the program, press the button Create and, following the practical tutorial shown on the screen, build a virtual machine with them minimum requirements needed on a physical computer (at least 2 GB virtual RAM e 20 GB of virtual disk space).
Once this is done, start the virtual machine and, at the appearance of the first boot screen, press the shaped button folder and select theISO of Linux Mint previously downloaded and you’re done. If everything went smoothly, you should see the Linux Mint welcome screen appear after a few minutes: starting from this moment, you can follow the steps explained above to complete the installation of the “guest” operating system.
For more detailed instructions on installing VirtualBox and on the procedures for creating and managing virtual machines, you can refer to my guide on how to use VirtualBox, where I got to deal with this topic in detail.