Linux Mint - Getting Started - Transition From Windows Today For Free!

Discussion in 'GNU/Linux' started by Brokor, May 4, 2017.

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  1. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member


    Are you a Windows user? Why haven't you transitioned to Linux yet?

    Maybe you are decent with a computer and do not want to change, or you've only just recently been able to navigate a Windows PC and feel like the change to a new operating system would be too difficult. Well, I have news for you --it can be very easy and free. There are a multitude of Linux operating systems available, but for this instructional I would like to stick with Linux Mint since I have found it offers the easiest, most complete package (especially for new users) to use, and it's totally free.

    Getting started:

    1. Download the latest version (or earlier build with long term support) of Linux Mint.
    Although it is not necessary, check the MD5 sum to ensure your download is intact. How?
    • For old Win users (2000-XP any version) download from Microsoft here.
    • If you're using a newer version of Windows, you can install a free tool here.
    • Or you can search online for alternative MD5 tools for Windows.
    Can I just install it onto my hard drive?

    Certainly. You can either install along side Windows, or make a fresh install over your existing OS. Linux will reformat your drive and walk you through the process.

    --That's it! Now, go to step 3.

    - O R -
    2. Make a bootable USB (thumb drive): UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads
    • You may also choose to make a bootable CD/DVD instead of a thumb drive.
    • Whatever you use, be certain to make the device which reads it first on your boot menu located in the BIOS setup for your computer.
    How do I access the BIOS?

    Just hit the 'DEL' key on startup (or restart), or it may also be an alternative key such as F1, F2, or F10. Be certain you are pressing it before you boot into your operating system. Some systems will momentarily display a message or load/boot screen instructing you which button to press to enter your setup and BIOS. You may also turn this feature on from the BIOS if it does not currently display. Be sure to save and exit when you are finished.

    3. Set up your new Linux Mint install and enjoy.

    You will find Linux Mint to be very user friendly, and the functionality is in some ways much like a "Windows" experience, with navigation bar and a menu. If you cannot decide which version of Linux Mint to install, just try a bootable version for a week to find out if it suits you. If you are wondering about the difference between "Cinnamon" and "MATE" versions, it's no big deal. The Cinnamon version is the fancier one which can use more memory. If you're on an older PC or do not have much RAM, just go with Mate. You may also install the KDE or XFCE versions, and they each have their attraction. You will need to try them out to see if any of these will suit you. If you do not know which release of Mint you should install, go with any (LTS) long term supported release. Honestly, any version and any release will serve you better than Windows.

    mint. Latest build currently -- Linux Mint 18.1 "Serena" -- Download: Editions for Linux Mint 18.1 "Serena" - Linux Mint

    "Breaking in your new install" will be the next post, where I briefly try to explain the update process, how to download free software, and integration ideas for you to familiarize yourself with Linux Mint.
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    It's time to start breaking in your new Linux Mint install.

    Install New Programs - Navigate to your Software Manager.
    Menu -> Administration -> Software Manager
    Screenshot121. Screenshot122.
    You may now navigate your software manager for programs you wish to install that may not come with the initial Linux Mint download. You will find by double clicking any software item in the listing, it will display images of the program and a description as well as relevant user reviews. Every software item will also list the impact it will have on your system, that means what it may affect when you install it. I suggest just sticking with the "FEATURED" category until you are more comfortable.

    Free, open source software really is impressive, isn't it?

    Update Your System - Navigate to your Update Manager.
    Menu -> Administration -> Update Manager
    You may also find your update manager in the bottom task bar. This update manager is really easy to use and optional --that's something Microsoft will never be able to say. Also, Linux Mint is much safer than Windows in so many ways it would require a thread of its own. I guess you're just going to have to try it for yourself and see. It is a good idea to update your system with the latest updates, just to keep everything working at optimum. Remember, you have the control with this operating system. You decide what to install. I recommend always installing all priority 1 and 2 updates, and you can pass on the priority 3 updates if you wish to make a bold statement. Read the description of the update by clicking on it once. You may choose to ignore the update (right click), or ignore all updates from that particular package. You will not be bothered to update. Keep in mind, if you wish to upgrade to a newer version of Mint in the future, you should install the high priority updates. Long term support (LTS) releases provide an easy way to upgrade. Simply navigate to your Update Manager, then select "Edit" from the menu and choose "Upgrade..." from the listing to upgrade to the latest (or next new version).

    What kind of programs are there?

    So many, I couldn't possibly count, and more every day. Actually 76,247 at the time of this post. Here's a list of just some of the most popular programs, and all of these are capable of running in Windows, too. There's a utility or program for just about anything in Linux Mint. Try using your new Mint install, have fun knowing you are not contributing to Fascism and oppression.

    If you like your Linux Mint operating system, consider donating to support the open source community.
  3. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Ultimately I'm only keeping one Windows workstation and only because I have engineering $oftware that won't run on anything else. Everything else is going to Linux. Not only am I tired of M$ making your OS obsolete so they can force you into an expensive upgrade, I don't like how they snoop on you "to enhance your experience". I'm also tired of having to pay for anti-virus. That sole Windows box will be limited to my internal network so I can say bye-bye to that as well.
  4. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    Been using Linux Mint for several years, Blame it on this forum especially, blame it on Melbo! :whistle:

    I do keep win7 on a laptop, but only use it to make power point stuff. Linux Mint is also on it and what I use if I'm going to go online.

    Switched over the wife's computer last fall. Her hard drive bit the dust. I had an old one that worked and seen it was large enough for her computer needs, I never changed it out and only once in a while do I have to check something for her. When she had windows, I was all the time having to fix something for her.
  5. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

  6. Thanks for the encouragement regarding Linux, Brokor. Switched to Linux Mint years ago and never looked back. Billy Gates can go... well...

    Folks, this is very important to realize, IMO: Mac OS and Windows version <whatever> are NOT designed to help you get done the things you need to get done. They are designed to help Apple and Microsoft get done the things they want to get done, such as own you. You're cattle to these empires, and the corral gate gets more and more narrow with each released version. Linux Mint does not spy on me. I feel no pressure to start storing my files and data on someone else's server. OneDrive, GoogleDrive, etc., have no real purpose other than to collect your stuff and potentially use that stuff against you. The threat alone - even if it seems far-fetched - is all it takes to modify your behavior.

    Think about it: how stoutly are you going to resist and fight for some social issue if you realize that you've been indiscreet in some of the musings you've put down in digital form in Word, and that these indiscretions are all in the hands of The Company because you foolishly entrusted their storage to OneDrive, etc?

    Aside from these issues, I personally find Linux SO much more tuned to the way my brain operates. Window$ 10 and Microsoft apps make my brain hurt...
    Tempstar, Wild Trapper and Brokor like this.
  7. aardbewoner

    aardbewoner judge a human on how he act,not on look and talk.

    I solved that by using virtualbox .No more disk space for windows and you can disable the networking for that machine.Remove the virus scanner and be surprised how much resources that uses!
    3M-TA3 likes this.
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