Hey, this is the continuation and companion piece to my Trying to Find Out post from yesterday. So today we get hands-on and doing it.
We are DOING IT!
First you need hardware to install Linux on. Logical no? I recommend you get some computer, laptops are great, that you can sacrifice to the Linux deities. You don’t wanna harm, or even compromise your existing Windows stuff. Come on, cheap used laptops are a dime a dozen at your local goodwill store at the next corner. Assuming there are some corners where you live. 😉 So you really don’t need to make a huge investment. Every laptop built after, let’s say 2010, should be 64-bit enabled and be a suiting candidate for what we’re gonna do.
Secondly check your new hardware, see if it boots up with what’s on it right now, presumably Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10. If it’s a Windows XP machine, I’d not buy it. They are often still old 32-bit machines … not good for us.
Oh! See, you’re in luck. Even if you only have a old 32-bit processor, Mint still have versions for that available to download. Pheeew, lucky you. 😉
But we wanna get the real deal, Mint 64-bit with its own Cinnamon desktop environment. Why? Because everybody’s using it! You can get other distros and other desktops later, once you made your home in this rendition.
Whoa! A long list with international download servers pops right up. Be a darling and klicker on the one closest to your physical location. If you’re lazy just klik on World and see where it takes you.
See, now I can’t really help you much more since I dunno how savvy you are on your own system but the download should start automatically and/or only demand minimal input by yourself. Anyway, your computer will tell you what it needs you to do.
5 mins up to 5 days later – depending on your innerwebz konnexion – you should find a file named linuxmint-19.3-cinnamon-64bit.iso in your downloads folder. Pheew, first big step is done. The Linux installation file is yours and yours alone. Nobody will ever ask you for your licence code and other inconveniences, like, ever again!
Next problem: How to get the .iso file onto an install medium (DVD or USB-thumbdrive)? Simply copying the file over won’t help since your medium must be bootable! Easy solution: Get Etcher. It’s available for Windows, MacOS and Linux and best of all, abolutely free. Just follow the instructions. It’s super duper easy, pretty much self-explanatory and barely an inconvenience. But be careful! Etcher will delete everything on your stick and format it as it puts the Mint .iso on your stick, so make sure there are no important files on it!
Okayyyy, that wasn’t half bad, was it? Let’s check your status:
You should now be in possession of a
brandspanking new very old laptop or sumfink and a USB thumbdrive with a freshly put on Linux installation .ISO file. You checked the laptop for functionality?
Good. There is no need to format the harddrive on that thing, as Linux will do that by itself during the installation.
BUT! Now we get geeky, sorry.
We must make sure your new laptop will use the USB as first boot drive! For that we must get into the BIOS / UEFI of your new pride and joy. This can be as easy as eating pancake or it can be regular pita. Switch the computer on and repeatedly hit the F1 or sometimes F2 key until something like this will appear on your screen:
While you’re there switch it to UEFI. All modern Linuxes can handle UEFI. But more important, try to find a section that says Boot Order or something similar. I can’t be more specific since there are many BIOS/UEFIs out there and every manufacturer uses their own spin. Doesn’t matter you’re looking for a page that let’s you choose between HDD, CD/DVD, USB and similar options.
You activate USB!
That’s important because we need your new lappy to start up from your Minty thumbdrive, not the HDD.
Don’t panic. You can’t really break anything here. Try it until your compi will fire up on the USB thingy and will show you …
… what we’ll discuss in the next installment, which shall be online laterz today …
If you’ve made it this far I’m more than proud of you, my children. You’ve earned yourself a brownies and milk break, while Orcsi will prepare her lame old netbook for installation of Mint 19.3 Cinnamon, so I can show you exactly the very few steps we still have to go through. You’ll see, compared to installation of Windows this is merely a walk in the park.