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FredLee

Installing Linux Mint on laptop

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Ordered a new laptop with Ubuntu already installed. Figured that was the easiest way, since shouldn't have any hardware issues. Laptop arrived today, and it had Windows 10 instead of Ubuntu. Not familiar with Windows since I have been using OSX for quite a few years. Don't really want Windows, but I suppose it could be useful. So I downloaded Linux Mint Cinnamon and imaged it to a USB. Booted up from the USB and it appears to be working ok. Checked the ethernet connection, wifi, and sound and they all work properly. I am trying to decide whether to make a dual boot system or just replace Windows with Linux. If I decide to do a dual boot, I am not sure of partitoning the 1TB hard drive. It is currently configured as Local DIsk (C:)  101 GB free of 149 GB,     Data (D:)  390 GB free of 390 GB,   Backup (E:) 390 GB free of 390 GB.  Looks like I should be able to install Linux in the D: or E: partition, but I'm not sure. Appreciate any advice.  

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A few things to consider.  If you do want to retain Windows then it makes good sense to keep the D: Drive for storing data as this keeps stuff separate from the OS, which will probably fall over at some stage and may need to be reinstalled.  The E: Drive - currently for Windows Backup  - is only needed if you are actually going to back stuff up - as you should do, of course.  Unfortunately, you are going to have to sacrifice something if you want to dual boot but E: is probably the best candidate.

 

So, you need to fit your Linux installation into the 390GB that will be available once you trash the Windows Backup partition.  This is perfectly possible to do, although you won't have a lot of space for your Linux Home partition.  What follows is an indication of how my Linux Mint 18.1 Serena is set up.  The latest release is 18.2 Sonya but the installation procedure is the same.

 

The best way to proceed, in my view, is to select the 'Something Else' option when installing from the 'live' desktop.  You basically need four partitions set up on what was the E: Drive but, before you start the installation, run GParted - from the Linux menu - and trash that partition.  Be very careful to select the correct partition - should be obvious but double check anyway.

 

Having done that, run the installer, select 'Something Else' and make partitions on the free space as follows:  

 

BOOT - 1GB - mount point is /BOOT

SWAP - 150% of your RAM. (It's debatable if you really need a SWAP partition at all - if you use the suspend option to put the machine to sleep you need one but otherwise  you can probably get away without one).  No mount point for SWAP.

ROOT - 40GB - mount point is /.  This should be plenty big enough for the installation of lots of software but you could make it smaller if necessary.  Needs to be at least 20GB though.

HOME - balance of the free space - mount point is /HOME.  This where your data and personal settings will live.

 

Use the ext4 format for these partitions - apart from SWAP,  where this is not relevant.

 

Linux uses a different scheme to Windows for identifying drives.  You won't see things like C: or D: but rather things like dev/sda1 and dev/sda2.  I'm not sure just what your existing Windows partitions will come out as but the new Linux installation will be dev/sdan, n+1, n+2, n+3 for the four partitions.  

 

The GRUB bootloader will take care of making the dual boot system.  Doesn't matter a lot where you install it to - you get the option during the installation - but installing to dev/sda should work.  On boot, you should get a GRUB menu that gives you the choice of booting into Linux or Windows - but you may possibly boot straight into Linux as default.  If the GRUB menu isn't visible you need to tweak the etc/default/grub file to comment out the line that says GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0 (just add a hash character to the start of this line).  You need to open this file as ROOT in order to edit it.

 

That should do it.  Enjoy Linux Mint - most people never revert to Windows after making the change.

 

 

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Be careful with the 'grub' install.  Most everything uses (U)EFI nowadays and overwriting that FAT partition that Windows uses can make that partition invisible to grub2...meaning you can't boot it!  Don't ask me how I know.  Also make sure you run the "sudo update-grub" command because Ubuntu doesn't trust you to use "su" properly (guess they never heard of "exit"...sorry just one of my rages).

 

doctormann gave some good advice; use the / and /home partitioning.  I don't recommend not having a swap partition; I never see my machines with 8+ GB of RAM use it; but some programs can expect it and you don't want to run into an OOM and have the kernel kill what you were working on.  Also forget the old 1.5-2x your RAM amount.  Set it small; 2GB is enough.  I also, being on Opensuse, make a partition for /var.  If you don't and you do a lot of installing/uninstalling, have a verbose system, you can quickly overwhelm a small / partition. However, I'm not sure what all Ubuntu crams into your /var (other than /var/www which you need for serving webpages).  With the same caveat about not knowing how Ubuntu does things; it's not a bad idea to have /tmp on its own partition as it can expand with frightening speed.  Seeing as I'm usually asleep at 03:30, I've got a cron job that cleans out the /tmp and /var/tmp partitions anyways.

 

If you're stuck on Cinnamon, look at Opensuse.  Yes you don't have the option during install to make it your environment, but you can add it and login with it after install (I use LXDE because I always have).  The snapper and BTRFS allows you to roll back and save a lot of fuss.  YAST is great; a nice control panel for a LOT of stuff other distros make you go to the CLI for.  One click install from their software.opensuse.org site (click on package search in the upper right corner) is great.  Using zypper is very similar to apt ("apt-get install" is "zypper in" for example means you type in 6 fewer strokes).  It consistently is at the top or upper middle of benchmark tests over on phoronix.com. ETC.

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Thanks guys.  I did do a dual boot. I decided to keep windows just in case my install didn't work. I don't think I will ever use it. I erased the D: and E: partitions in windows, and then did the linux install. I made the partitions as swap: 1 GB, root: 30 GB and home: the remaining free space. Everything seems to be working fine. It is set up to boot into linux first so I am happy with that. I am a little bit familiar with linux, I played around with Fedora a little bit about 10 years ago so I hope I can learn fast. I really appreciate you both taking the time to help me, thanks once again.

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I stopped using Windows 10 over a year ago now

My recommendation would be Manjaro. Simple, fast and wine runs like a dream for any legacy Windows cr@p you might need....:shock1:

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I'm doing very well with Ubuntu Mate 16.04, which is a Mate desktop running on Ubuntu. Stable and familiar. I turned away from Linux Mint after a few years because the new releases were hard to install and very buggy.

 

I've been using Linux since 1994, when one still had to recompile the kernel to add a new device driver.

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On 8/31/2017 at 1:53 PM, driver52 said:

I stopped using Windows 10 over a year ago now

My recommendation would be Manjaro. Simple, fast and wine runs like a dream for any legacy Windows cr@p you might need....:shock1:

I have been using Linux for about 2 decades.  However, for work related purposes, I also need to use Windows (whether I like it or not).  Yesterday I updated my Windows 10 Virtual Machine that I host on my Kubuntu 16.04 laptop, and even installed Visual Studio 2017.

 

I rarely boot up the Windows 10 VM, but it is nice to have when the need arises to experiment with s/w development tools used by the "rest of the world".

 

Btw, regarding my laptop, it has an I5 processor (6th gen), 16 GB RAM, and a 500 GB SSD.  It cost me less than US$500.  The Windows OS was originally Windows 7 (which I downloaded from the M$ site), and then about a year or so ago, I upgraded it to Windows 10.  Windows still runs on the license key that came with my older Acer laptop, which I had bought over 5 years ago (and which I also use with Kubuntu 16.04).

 

I despise M$ and their products, but I deal with them because knowledge of such, and that of Linux, Solaris, OS X, etc. pays the bills in my household.

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Trying to install latest mint on laptop alongside 8.1. No option to do so appears in the install menu and select other can be clicked on but the next button is grayed out. I added a 20 gig partition to use but not accessible and the only way to install would be to wipe over the HD, which i'd rather not do.

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I've just got a new laptop which came with Endless Linux. I would like to install Mint (if i can). What would be best, to try Mint 19 or stick with 18. Is 19 a stable OS yet?

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On 8/19/2018 at 9:42 AM, Henryford said:

I've just got a new laptop which came with Endless Linux. I would like to install Mint (if i can). What would be best, to try Mint 19 or stick with 18. Is 19 a stable OS yet?

Hi

 

As you don't seem to have had any response to your query I'll just give you the benefit of my experience, such as it is.

 

I have a Lenovo Z370 Notebook on which I run Mint 18.1 Serena.  Absolutely no problems with that installation.

I tried an upgrade to 18.2, using the upgrade facility provided in the Update Manager.  That was not too successful - problems with desktop icons.  I also tried 18.3 - still had problems.  I think that a clean install may have been a better option.

 

I have also installed Mint 19 on an external USB drive, just for testing purposes.  Apart from running slowly, because of the USB2 limitations of the Lenovo this seems to work fine and the icon problem seems to have gone away.  Mint 19 is a stable Long Term Support release, by the way.

 

If you are not sure which flavour to go for I would advise trying a 'live' installation first - on the release of your choice - just to make sure that there are no hardware incompatibility problems.  I think that you might as well go for Mint 19 to be honest. 

 

Do a clean install from the downloaded ISO.  When installing, it's best to choose the 'something else' option and create boot, root and home partitions.  You should probably also create a 'swap' area, although opinions seem to vary as to how large this should be.  1.5X your RAM used to be the recommendation but this is probably excessive if you have a decent amount of RAM installed anyway.

 

Have fun!

 

 

 

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Thanks doctormann i got Mint 19 Tara installed OK on my laptop (after a few issues setting my BIOS).  Initial thoughts are that Mint users must have good eyesight. The size of the icons is very small. Is there an option to increase display size by 125% 150% 175% as in W10. All i can find for the moment is an option to increase 200% which is then too big.

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12 minutes ago, Henryford said:

Thanks doctormann i got Mint 19 Tara installed OK on my laptop (after a few issues setting my BIOS).  Initial thoughts are that Mint users must have good eyesight. The size of the icons is very small. Is there an option to increase display size by 125% 150% 175% as in W10. All i can find for the moment is an option to increase 200% which is then too big.

I'm not using Mint 9 at the moment but, when I was trying it out, I seem to remember that if you right click on the desktop you get a pop-up that gives you the option of small, medium or large icons.  I think that this is all you can do, unless you fancy delving into the code for the desktop theme that you are using. 

 

18.1 is better in this respect as you can size icons individually to be whatever you want, within reason.

 

You can, in principle, change any of the display parameters but it's not that straightforward.  If you want to try it then I strongly advise backing up your system, using Timeshift, or similar, so that when you cock it up you can easily get back to where you were.

 

You might find some help in the Mint Forum - https://forums.linuxmint.com/

 

 

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Hi again doctormann i found out to adjust the icon and panel sizes. My eyesight is saved. Mint takes a while to get used to but i am beginning to like it. Hope i can get rid of Windows eventually.

 

BTW anyone thinking of installing Mint look for the video by Christopher Barnet Understanding Computers on YouTube. Very helpful.

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1 hour ago, Henryford said:

Hi again doctormann i found out to adjust the icon and panel sizes. My eyesight is saved. Mint takes a while to get used to but i am beginning to like it. Hope i can get rid of Windows eventually.

 

BTW anyone thinking of installing Mint look for the video by Christopher Barnet Understanding Computers on YouTube. Very helpful.

 

Glad that you got things sorted out.

Stick with it - the learning curve is not too bad.

 

I sacked Windows about five years ago and have progressed through several Mint releases since then.  I can't say that I miss Windows at all!

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