So till now we got some idea about Linux, so without getting impatient let’s try installing it.
Installing Linux is bit different from installing Windows, and for Windows user’s it can seem to be little bit complicated also. So it is advisable to get help of experienced professional to install Linux on your HDD, but if you think you can install it yourself, it is up to you. Now a days Windows also follows Linux installation strategies, so you may not face much issues in multiple boot.
Since we are starting with Linux Mint the first thing to is to download the latest ISO file of Linux Mint version with (LTS – Long Term Support). Click here to see the latest Linux Mint versions…
While downloading the ISO file just keep in mind your system resources.
RAM – A 32 bit system can be installed in any low or high system configuration with minimum of 512 MB of RAM, but since it is 32 bit system it can use max of 3.5 GB RAM approx. And a 64 bit system requires minimum 2 GB RAM and can utilize beyond 4 GB of RAM.
CPU (Processor) – (For installing 64 bit operating system you must have a system hardware of 64 bit architecture). In common words if you are using processors prior to dual core probably you are using 32 bit system and from dual core 64 bit system started coming in, so all new computers are 64 bit processors. It means that in the older systems there is a limit of installing only 32 bit operating system whereas in newer systems you can install either 32 bit operating system or 64 bit operating system. Now a days computer’s CPU speed are generally minimum 1.2 Ghz hence you do not have to bother about that. Relax there is not much difference between 32 bit and 64 bit for a general user, except that you will not be able to use beyond approx 3.5 GB of RAM.
HDD Space – Although Linux Mint can work on 5 GB HDD space, but I recommend to use minimum 40 GB for smooth working.
Desktop Environment – About the Desktop environment since Cinnamon is the default desktop environment I prefer going with that. But do not worry you can install other desktop environments also once the Operating System is installed in your HDD. It is easy just like installing a software on Windows. You do not have to install everything from scratch or formatting.
After downloading the ISO file either you have to burn it in a DVD or have to install it in a pen drive. To know how to install it in a pen drive Click here… and for installing it in a DVD Click here…., the only thing you have to remember is that there are many videos which shows installation of Windows OS or other operating systems, whereas you have to select your downloaded Linux Mint ISO here.
Once your installation pen drive or DVD is ready, boot your system with the Pen drive or DVD. Linux has a beautiful facility of installation, which is called Live installation, that means you can use Linux operating system for as long as you want from your pen drive or DVD before installing it on your HDD. Of course the speed will be bit less in comparison to installation in HDD. And all your settings are not saved as soon you switch off he PC. Running live session also ensures that all your hardware are supported. If any of your hardware is not supported in live session, look for other ways of installing it or may be your particular hardware will not work on that Linux version.
Once you are booted with pen drive or DVD the entire system will load and you be able to see the desktop which has an icon which says install to HDD. If you are satisfied using Linux Mint virtually through pen drive or DVD, just click on the icon to install it to HDD, and the system will start installing Linux Mint on your HDD.
Since you are very new to Linux environment, according to me you must install it in multi boot mode along with your main operating system which you use now. For that you have to select option Boot along side of Windows while installation. Follow few videos if necessary in youtube before installation. There are many videos which says to use GPARTED software for making extra partition prior to installation, please do not do it or use Gparted unless you are experienced of using it. It can literally scrap your HDD. Gparted is a very strong partition manager. Just simply select install along side of windows, and assign 40 GB hdd space, and it will do the rest. Just follow the instructions shown while installation (it is much like Windows installation only). It is always secure to take backup of your important data while doing anything like this.
Since you are migrating from Windows environment, I prefer you should keep your data drives in NTFS format which is windows default, so that if required in case of emergency, you can access your data from other windows systems as well. For Linux the default is EXT4 and EXT3. (Linux can read and write all windows partition formats including NTFS but windows is not capable of accessing Linux partitions, and that is pity.)
I hope you are able to install it successfully. Start using the system, it is just like Win 7 and Win XP. There are few difference in the looks but it works almost the same. We will discuss about it further in next lesson.
If you are not able to install it in your HDD or you are not confident enough to install in your HDD, prefer using it with pen drive or DVD instantly in Live Mode, till you learn Linux thoroughly. Of course you will not be able to save any of the settings while using it, but you will be able to operate it effectively, and that is LINUX. Or take some professional help to install it in your HDD.
Linux Mint is a powerful system and can read your previous data which uses NTFS, FAT or other file partition system used by Windows or MAC. Whereas Windows does not recognizes Linux partitions (it’s pity).
I think we had enough for today. Happy surfing Linux Mint until next session.