How to Install Linux

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How to Install Linux

Linux is a Unix-inspired family of Open Source Operating Systems. It is one of the most user-friendly operating systems because it has malware and virus protection and can work for several years without booting. Moreover, it is fast enough to be used with various servers and, last but not least, it is easy-to-use software.

When it comes to installing Linux, it is not as tricky as you think it will be. For your ease, Linux gives you an option to try the software before installation. If you are not comfortable using Linux, you can reboot to get back to your original system. You can find several Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Manjaro on the Linux website itself. The website provides you with download options through an ISO file.

The following steps will take you through the whole process of booting, trying, and then installing the Linux system of your choice.

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Creating an Installation Media to Boot the Device With

To start with, you need to create a bootable installation media from the ISO file you downloaded from the Linux website.

Using a bootable Linux USB drive on your Windows PC is one of the easiest ways to create installation media. Ensure that your USB drive contains the ISO file for the Linux distribution of your choice and free Rufus Software, a faster and more reliable tool. All the contents of the USB drive will be erased after installation, so prepare accordingly by backing up your data or using a clean drive from the start that only contains the files you require for installation. Please make sure that the USB you use for the process has at least 4 GB of space in it.

Step 1: Download Rufus Software (free) on your PC and run it.

Step 2: Connect a USB drive having the desirable characters (mentioned above) to your Windows PC.

Step 3: Click on the box named “Device” on your Rufus Window and select the device you have inserted in the previous step.

Step 4: Under the “Format options,” click or tap on the “Create a bootable disk using” option. To the right of this option, select your chosen ISO file in the selection box.

Note: If you are not able to click the “Create a Bootable disk using” option under “Format options,” go to the “File System” box and select “FAT32” under that.

Step 5: When the “Ready” bar is fully green, click on the “Start” button on the bottom right to create your bootable device.

Note: If you encounter a few warnings during the process, proceed with the default or prompted answers.

There are other alternatives too, like using a writable DVD. You can do so by burning the ISO file to disc with the help of the Windows function named “Burn Disc Image.” However, using a USB drive is preferable because they are faster than DVDs and can be worked on almost any device.

Booting your Installation Media

When trying to use Linux, you have to make sure that the operating system is loaded from a different place than the general one by manipulating the computer’s BIOS. Here are some ways to do so:

1. By Changing Your Device’s Boot Order

If you use an old device with the BIOS, follow these steps:

Step 1: Restart your computer and press a specific key when the booting starts. In most cases, you can find the key on your screen’s display. Otherwise, you can search up your Computer’s Manual for the BIOS key.

Step 2: Go to the “Boot Menu.”

Step 3: Locate the “Boot Devices” menu using navigation arrows.

Step 4: Disable or Specify another bootable device. Change the priority order of devices to move the device you are currently using to boot to the top of the list.

Note: Only some computers display the USB Drive option when it isn’t connected. As a precaution, connect the device first and then start your computer.

Step 5: Find the “Save and Exit Screen” and select the “Save Changes and Reset” or “Save Changes and Exit” option.

Step 6: Press “Enter” to save your changes and restart your computer.

Most newer PCs (Windows 8 and ahead) have replaced the BIOS with a UEFI, so if you have such a device, proceed with these steps:

Step 1: Boot your device.

Step 2: Use the “Shift+Restart” either on the Sign-in Screen or the Start Menu.

Step 3: Under the “Special Boot Options” Menu, Click “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” > “UEFI Firmware Settings” to access your Computer’s UEFI screen.

Step 4: Go to the “Boot” Options Menu and change the priority of the boot devices to bring up the device you are currently using to the top, under the “Boot Order.”

NOTE: Only some computers display the USB Drive option when it isn’t connected. So, it is better to install the USB drive before starting your computer.

Step 5: Find the “Save and Exit Screen” and click on the “Save Changes and Exit” or “Save Changes and Reset” option.

Step 6: Press “Enter” to restart your computer after saving all the changes.

2. By Accessing your Device’s Boot Menu

NOTE: Only some computers have a Boot Menu.

Step 1: While Booting your computer, you can see a suggested key (most probably F11 or F12) to access your Boot menu. Press that key to continue.

Step 2: Use “Shift+Restart” on your Sign-in screen or the Start Menu to restart your PC into the “Boot Options” menu.

Step 3: Now, choose “Use a device.”

Step 4: Click on the name of the device you are using.

3. Secure Boot

On devices that use UEFI firmware (Windows 8 onwards), there is a feature known as “Secure boot” or “Trusted Boot.” By default, these devices are set only to boot the boot loaders signed previously by a key embedded inside the UEFI firmware, i.e., only letting trusted sources boot. So, the Secure boot blocks malicious or distrusted software from becoming a boot loader.

The issue here is that only a few Linux operating systems, like Ubuntu, are enabled for a secure boot. Hence, if you want to try or install a Linux distribution that does not go with Secure Boot, you will either have to disable it, add your own signing key (not possible in all systems), or simply disable the Secure Boot feature. If you have an advanced PC with UEFI firmware, most Linux distributions will advise you on which method to use.Still, when it is not specified (mainly in older systems), you should disable Secure Boot, the steps for which are provided below:

Step 1: Press the “Windows key+I” to open the “Settings Charm.”

Step 2: Click on the “Power” button and use “Shift+Restart” to restart your computer into the “Advanced Boot Options” screen.

Step 3: Tap on “Troubleshoot” > ”Advanced Options” > ”UEFI Settings”.

Step 4: Choose to “Disable Secure Boot,” or add your own key if you can.

Trying Linux

Once you have successfully booted the Linux into your system, if you are still not sure whether to install it or not, choose the “Try” option instead of the “Install” option under the “Welcome” window. There you go. You can explore the operating system now and make your decision. If you do not want to install the Operating System after this experience, just reboot your PC and remove the USB drive to boot back into Windows.

In this way, you can try a lot of Linux distributions before finalising on “the one.”

Installing Linux

Note: Before beginning the Installation Procedure, make a backup of all important files on your device. You can also use the hard drive partition to Dual-Boot Windows, but it is always better to proceed with caution because you never know when and how a mishap will occur.

When you are certain that you want to install the operating system, this section will come in handy.

There are several ways to Install another Software on a Windows Device, like the following:

  • You can just install Linux, which will, in turn, replace your Windows Operating System.
  • Using a Dual-Boot configuration that sits along with your Windows Operating System on your hard drive. Every time you start your device, you will have to choose which Operating system to work with.
  • You can use dual hard drives, one having Windows and the other having Linux. This would also be a Dual-Boot Scenario.

Let’s try to understand the Installation Procedure.

Step 1: Run the installer from the live Linux System, which generally lies on the default live desktop.

Step 2: Go through the installer and carefully choose the options after thoroughly checking everything. The Installation Wizard will guide you through installing the Linux Operating System in the way you want.

Step 3: Reboot your PC or device after the installation is done to remove your bootable installation media (USB Drive or DVD) from the device.

Take Away

Most of the time, downloading, trying, and installing a Linux distribution is not difficult, except for a few instances where you have to be cautious. But isn’t fast and virus-free software worth all these efforts? You can even create and edit software on this operating system with just the basics of computing. We wish you a safe Linux installation!

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