Awooga my children!
I know many of you are on Linux yourself, and you are excused for closing Orcablog and surf to something more worthwile now, no hard feelings. But the rest of you, you irredeemable Microslaves and MacIdiots, YOU STAY RIGHT HERE! Don’t you dare look away or close this blog. 😐
As you’ve read in Renard’s reblogged post about his Linux journey and my comment on it, we both completely ignored how exactly we started our respective journeys. Yes, we told you what our first distros were and how we’ve progressed from then on … but about THE HOW we didn’t say anything. But that’s already the first and biggest hurdle on your way into Linux: First you must get that shit installed on your computer before you can start your journey and run into trubbelz in all earnesty. And that’s already the point where most hopefulls are throwing in the towel. 😦 Even Becca, in her excellent writeup about her first Linux installation, more or less just glanced over this very important part.
Today we gonna change that! This article won’t be about how to compute on your brandnew Linux, this will be about putting Linux onto your hardware. So grab a tea or a beer or a coffee and join us in this super important task. It’s the first and most important part of every Linux journey! We all have been through it. And believe me, after the first time everything else will be really easy peasy compared to this first step:
What you need:
1 spare computer (if possible a better one than Orca’s craptop)
1 USB thumbdrive and USB port or rewritable CD/DVD, depending on how your computer is equipped
Working internet connection! <– Kinda very important!
Now you surf to a site from where you can download a so-called ISO file, the installation file of your Linux distro. Since Linux Mint is much recommended as a beginner friendly allround system we now surf to https://linuxmint.com/ and from there we go to the download section and choose the most beloved Cinnamon version (more about Cinnamon you find in countless posts in this blog). Then you choose the nearest download server to you. The list is long so you shouldn’t have too many problems finding a mirror that is physically close to you. University servers are always good mirrors since they are maintained by geeks.
Now it’s time to clear up an old misunderstanding. It’s not enough to just copy the downloaded ISO file onto your medium, USB stick or DVD, you must make your medium bootable!
Fortunately in these modern times we have uncomplicated, fun programs to do that for us. Even with graphical user interfaces so there is no need to issue geeky command lines in a Hollywood-like screen anymore. My recommendation is Etcher by Balena. This handy little tool works on Windows, MacOS and Linux. Download it and the hardest part is done!
The few instructions are self-explanatory. Put your USB-stick into an open port and have your Linux Mint ISO file in download folder … or anywhere you want. Etcher will ask you to select them both. Once you married the ISO, and the stick you can just click on Flash!
Once you done that and Etcher tells you it finished the flashing, you can remove the stick from your computer and insert it into the USB port of your newly chosen Linux machine.
Now comes a little itsy bitsy complicated part: You must teach your future Linux ‘puter to boot not from its hard drive but from the USB port. We do that in the BIOS. This is a bit fidgety because you must interrupt the system start by pressing the right key. In most BIOSes this is F1, F2, F10 or Delete; you gotta experiment a bit until you get it right. Or look it up on the internet or read in the user manual that you still keep around after 10 years or so. 😉
I really cannot tell you how to exactly change the settings in your specific bios, mostly it’s kinda self-explanatory. But even the great Orca fiddled for about half an hour or longer until she got everything right on her new Gigabyte motherboard. These things happen and fortunately you have your tea, cookies and enough ciggies, or whatever you use to de-stress yourself. 😉 In any way will your BIOS tell you what your USB stick is and how to get it on position #1 in the menu.
Okay, enough for today. I guess I made some blogposts about the installation of Linux Mint already a while ago. We can talk about that later. For now you’ve done enough to make me proud. And even prouder if you’re taking the next step without me. I can promise you the installation of Linux Mint is a baby easy affair, goes fast and doesn’t need you to scramble for hard to find licence numbers and all that shit.
Comments and questions? Write them down below in the comment section. Thankyouverymuch. 😉