Linux Mint is widely regarded as the easiest way to step away from Windows and Mac and into the wonderful world of open source operating systems. With a simple installation process, a great interface, and plenty of easy-to-use features, there’s nothing stopping you from trying out this excellent version of Linux, especially if you want to avoid Windows 11. We’ll show you how it works. . Linux Mint Guide.
Please note that this is a guide to installing Mint from scratch. If you’re already a Mint user, we have a guide to reinstalling Mint without losing any of your preferences.
How to Install Linux Mint
To get started with Linux Mint, you must first download the installer file and transfer it to a USB flash drive or other form of removable storage.
- Visit linuxmint.com and click on the To download which looks towards the top half of the screen. The file is around 2 GB, although Mint needs around 12 GB to install.
- The next screen allows you to choose between three editions of Mint. It might sound confusing, but it’s basically a choice between what type of interface you get. If you’re coming from Windows, choose Cinnamon (the one above). If you’re coming from Ubuntu, MATE is probably the right choice. The last choice, Xfce, is probably left to Linux veterans as it heavily depends on terminal usage.
- The next screen gives you a summary of what you are about to download, but without a download button. FOR To downloadscroll down a bit to the list of mirrors and choose location nearest to you, or a country near to you. Once you have chosen a location, wait for the file to download.
A quick note on Linux Mint releases
If you follow the above route, you will always get the latest version of Linux Mint. In our case, at the beginning of October 2021, it is version 20.2, called Uma: each version of Linux receives a feminine name. It’s a handy way to remember it.
In some cases, however, the new version may be too recent and have booting issues, or it may not work very well with your hardware. If this happens, you may want to download an older version. To do this, click on the To download tab at the top right of the screen and select all versions.
This will take you to a new screen with all available versions of Linux Mint. If you’re having trouble with Mint, just roll back a build or two and that should fix any issues you may be having.
Installing Linux Mint
- To install Mint, you must first grab the .iso file you downloaded and place it on a removable storage device, such as a USB flash drive. For Windows, we have a handy tutorial on creating bootable USB drives. If you are already on Linux, you can use a Linux program called USB Image Burner For this task.
- Once that’s sorted, you need to change the bios boot order (we have a guide for that). Once done, insert the USB key and then restart your computer. If you set the USB drive as the first boot option, Mint will start automatically. If you only want to install Mint, choose the top option
- You will then be redirected to the Mint desktop. It is important to understand that this does not mean that Mint was installed, it was only launched live from the USB key. It’s like a test to get to know Mint a bit before deciding to install it. If you decided to continue, just click on the disc icon called install linux mint.
- If you’ve ever installed Windows or even Mac, the following screens should at least be familiar to you: You choose the language and keyboard layout.
- Once you are done with these two, the third screen will ask you to choose whether or not to install media codecs. We recommend check the box, because all this will save you from working later; you will need these codecs in most cases anyway. Only leave it unchecked if you are very picky about codecs.
- The next step is a little more complicated: you can choose to clean your current installation (appears empty in the image below because we are using a virtual machine) or create your own partitions etc. We’re going with the top option here, see our guide on how to boot into Windows and Linux Mint for more information on the second option.
6a. If you want additional performance, we recommend clicking advanced features and select Use Linux Logical Volume Management (LVM). It’s easier to play around with the sheet music later if you like. As an added option, you can also add a password to your hard drive if you like the extra security; it’s a smart thing to do, especially on laptops.
- With all that done, just select Install now.
- Next, you need to select your time zone.
- The last step before installation begins is to choose a username and password. The password cannot be recovered once you set it, so be sure to remember it or write it down where no one else can find it. Alternatively, you can configure Linux to automatically connect, although we don’t recommend it for laptops. If you select Encrypt my home folderyou will be prompted for your password each time you access the file system, which adds some security, but also an annoyance.
- With that you are done: just select To follow and Linux Mint will be installed on your computer. Almost everything works on its own from here, so sit back and enjoy the slideshow for a bit (about 10-15 minutes depending on your system). do what you do Do NOT press the Skip button.
- When Linux has done its magic, you’ll be returned to your desktop and given the option to continue with the test session or reboot into Linux Mint proper. To choose Restart now and let the computer restart. You’ve finished installing, it’s time to see what your new operating system can do.
Getting Familiar with Linux Mint
Once Linux has restarted, you will see the desktop, this time without the install option, and the welcome mint the program will run.
We strongly recommend that you visit the first steps as described in this program and also review the documentation and other resources provided. Indeed, Linux Mint requires you to authorize certain steps for its proper functioning, unlike Windows, which often executes many steps automatically without your permission.
You can open these apps through the home screen or through the menu, which works like the Windows Start button of yesteryear. Simply click the Linux system button at the bottom left of the screen by default, or the Windows key on your keyboard if you have one.
Most of the programs you will need can be found under the Management but you can also find them by entering their name in the search bar at the top of the menu. We will go over the most important ones here.
Please note that when playing with these advanced systems, you will be prompted to enter your password again and again. This is how Linux ensures that no one tampers with the system unless they know what they are doing.
mint update manager
One of the weirdest experiences if you’re coming from Windows is the update manager, which gives you a list of apps, programs, and parts of the operating system that have updates available, and lets you decide whether to update them or not. With Linux, the days of system updates shoving you down your throat are over.
That said, unless you know what you’re doing, we recommend checking everything off and selecting Install updates. This counts double for any Linux kernel update, as it often contains important system-level updates.
Installing Software on Linux Mint
Installing or removing new programs is done through the software manager. This is a large collection of applications and programs designed to run on Linux Mint. All you have to do is click once to install them. It’s a pretty good collection and we recommend exploring it a bit to see what’s available.
For example, most major browsers are available, as are many open-source alternatives to popular programs, like GIMP for Adobe Photoshop. There are even some really good games to play. Here, everything is free, so there is nothing wrong with trying.
However, many programs do not have an entry in this database. In this case, there are several ways to obtain them. The easiest, and the one we’ll cover here, is to simply go to the website of the program you want and download it from there. The only tip here is to make sure you download the Debian package (with the .deb file extension), as it works well with Mint.
Once downloaded, go to your downloads folder, which you can access through the computer on your desktop – and click on the file there. A dialog box will open; to click installation package and the installer should continue from there. However, if you need additional files to install the program, called “dependencies”, you will have to accept them.
The other way to install files is when the going gets tough, which we’ll talk about next.
the linux terminal
Linux has a reputation for being difficult to use and, well, it deserves it, or at least most distros other than Mint and Ubuntu do. That’s because they relied on the terminal, which is how most computers worked until the mid-1990s.
However, once you learn how to use the terminal, it won’t be too bad. It just takes a little getting used to. However, Mint is a great way to get started with Linux, as you’ll probably never need to use the terminal except to troubleshoot a few issues.
Luckily, there’s a good way to get around the terminal. Your fellow linux users are very helpful and most of the problems you are having should have been solved before, all you have to do is google the problem.
Once you find a solution, you just need to copy the necessary code from the webpage with CTRL+Cthen paste it in the terminal with Ctrl+Shift+V. Let the program run, and that should be the end of your troubles.
A Beginner’s Guide to Mint
I hope this guide will help you get started with Linux Mint, a free and easy-to-use alternative to Microsoft. Although it’s not perfect, you’ll soon love its versatility, speed, and power.