Installing Linux Mint ‘next to’ Windows 10 (without data loss!). Step-by-step instructions for beginners

If you have never used Linux, but periodically heard something good about it, and were eager to try it - then this note is for you! ⚡

What I’m going to do here: install Linux on a disk that already has Windows 10 (of course, without losing or deleting data from it). And of course it will be done so that when you turn on the computer, you can choose the desired OS. I will warn you in advance that this is all ‘not difficult’, and everything about everything will take min. 15-20 time (on a modern PC).

And so, shall we begin?!

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Note: in order for nothing to disappear from the disk, it is necessary to repeat all my steps in the same order (without improvisation

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The content of the article

  • 1-Step installation of Linux Mint
    • 1.1STEP 1: Download the installation ISO from Linux Mint
    • 1.2STEP 2: creating an installation flash drive
    • 1.3STEP 3: preparing the disk for the new OS
    • 1.4STEP 4: Start the installation (start)
    • 1.5STEP 5: Splitting the disk (key point ⚡)
    • 1.6STEP 6: completing the installation (a few words about the first settings)
      • 1.6.1Setting parameters (screen, Wi-Fi connection etc.)
      • 1.6.2Installing applications
    • 1.7STEP 7: How to choose which system to boot - Windows or Linux

Step-by-step installation of Linux Mint

STEP 1: Download the installation ISO from Linux Mint

Probably, many have already heard that there are actually many versions of Linux… In today’s note, I will focus on Linux Mint. Why?

Linux Mint (20.1) - desktop (which will be visible immediately after booting the OS)

  1. this OS works immediately ‘out of the box’ - everything you need is available: multimedia programs, office, browser, email client, etc.,
  2. it is quite popular and there are many instructions for it on the web,
  3. its interface is graphical. the shell is very similar to Windows (getting used to it happens quickly
  4. low system requirements: x64 processor, 1 GB RAM (I recommend at least 4 GB!), 20 GB on disk,
  5. safe and reliable.

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You can download Linux Mint from the following link:

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Note: Please note that there are three versions available on the site: Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce. In my example, I will use the Cinnamon version (Xfce is a more ‘light’ edition, recommended for weak machines).

Choosing the ‘Cinnamon’ version to start with… // Cinnamon

By the way, it is better to download using torrent distribution (to help:programs for downloading torrents).

Downloading an ISO image via torrent

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step 2: creating an installation flash drive

We will assume that we have an installation ISO image with Linux Mint (downloaded from the official. site, the link was above☝).

Now we need to write the ISO to the USB stick correctly so that there are no questions when installing …

I will consider how to do this as simply as possible in Windows:

  1. first download the program 
  2. then connect the USB stick to the USB port and run Ventoy
  3. in the utility settings, specify the markup ‘GPT’ and ‘Secure Boot Support’ (on modern PCs/laptops it will be like this*). Click ‘Install’

    Ventoy - preparing the flash drive

  4. next, just copy the Linux Mint ISO image to a USB stick (without extracting it!). You can click on the PCM on the ISO file and select’Send to Ventoy’ directly in the explorer (see the example below
  5. That’s it! The flash drive is ready!

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STEP 3: Preparing the disk for the new OS

Now to the main thing…

I will proceed from the fact that your PC has one disk on which the current Windows 10 OS is installed. There is also a on this disk. freeat least 50-60 GB

And so that we do not delete anything from this disk, we need a special. how to prepare a place for a new OS…

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To do this, you will need diskmgmt.msc

After its launch, click ‘C:’‘Compress volume’

Compressing the Windows system partition (there is a lot of free space on it)

Next, specify the size of the compressed space (i.e. we will allocate this disk space for the new Linux Mint OS). In my example, ∼50 GB (50,000 MB).

I do not recommend allocating less (because there will be little space left for installing additional applications and files in Linux itself - are you planning to work with it?

50,000 MB is approximately equal to 50 GB - this is enough for Linux Mint

After that you should see what’s on the disk besides volume ‘C:’ with Windows, appeared. not a distributed location

Nothing else to do in ‘Disk Management’no need for

A Linux partition has been created (not distributed!)

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STEP 4: Start the installation (start)

Turn off the PC / laptop, connect our prepared USB flash drive to the USB port, and boot from there Boot Menu (/BIOS settings). If you don’t know how to do it, see the link below to help!

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How to boot from the installation USB flash drive or external HDD

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Downloading from a prepared USB flash drive to Ventoy

If you created an installation flash drive using Ventoy (as I recommended above)- a menu will appear in front of you with a suggestion to select the desired ISO image (in my case there are several of them - of course, I specify Linux Mint and press Enter …).

Image selection (this menu will be if you have prepared a USB flash drive using the Ventoy utility)

Next, you will see a menu with a suggestion to choose a download option. For our case, you need to choose the first one - ‘Start Linux Mint…’.

Start Linux Mint (first line)

After 1-2 minutes, a desktop will appear in front of you - you can already start getting acquainted with Linux Mint! 

To start the installation, click on the ‘Install Linux Mint’ icon (it will be on the desktop).

Install Linux Mint

Then select the language, keyboard layout (see a couple of screenshots below

There is support for Russian - we choose it!

Choosing a layout

You can skip the wireless network setup at this stage (so as not to waste time).

You can skip the Wi-Fi connection

You can agree to install codecs.

Multimedia codecs

If a message about mounted partitions appears, click ‘No’.

No (about mounting)

After that, the window should appear. ‘Installation type’

The installation type is another option

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STEP 5: Disk partitioning (key moment ⚡)

Linux Mint offers several installation types to choose from.

I recommend choosing

Important

The installation type is another option

And sofind thatprepared50 GB

We find this free space, select it and click on the ‘plus sign’, see the screenshot below.

Free space - click on the plus sign

Next, create a section with the following parameters:

  • size:512 MB,
  • type of new section:primary,
  • location of the new partition:the beginning of this space,
  • use as:the EFI system partition.

Creating an EFI system partition

Now we find ‘our free place’ again(from which we have already taken 512 MB), select it and click on the ‘plus sign’.

Free space - again on the plus sign

Next, create a root partition with the parameters:

  • size: 15 GB (or more),
  • type of new section: primary,
  • location of the new partition: the beginning of this space,
  • use as:journaled Ext4 file system,

I highlighted everything I needed in yellow.

Note: the system will be installed on this section!

Creating a root partition

Again, we find ‘our’ remaining free space - in my case ~ 35 GB (because 50 GB - 512 MB - 15 GB), allocate it and click on the ‘plus sign’.

Creating a home section

We set the following:

  • size:do not touch (how much is left - so much is left. In my case, about 35 GB),
  • type of new section: primary,
  • location of the new partition: the beginning of this space,
  • use as: journaled Ext4 file system,

Note: this section will store all user data (movies, pictures, etc.). When reinstalling the OS later, this section can be left untouched, which is very convenient.

Creating a home partition - 2

After ‘these’ preparations, you can press the button’Install now’. See the example below.

However, if you have several disks in the system, you need to select the one that comes first in the BIOS boot list (i.e., usually the one on which the current Windows is running).

Install now

Write changes to disk

Next, you will need to specify your time zone (nothing complicated here

Where you are

In the next step, the admin name is set to the password (I recommend using the Latin alphabet! With Russian characters in the future, questions may arise …).

Administrator name and password

Then we wait for the end of the installation… As a rule, copying files is fast enough: 5-10 min…

Installing Linux Mint

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STEP 6: completing the installation (a few words about the first settings)

Upon completion of copying all files to disk, you will see a message that the installation is complete and a restart of the computer is required.

At this stage, you can disconnect the bootable USB flash drive from the USB port, and agree to reboot…

Installation is complete - restart

After restarting, you should see a window with a suggestion to choose an OS: both the newly installed Linux Mint and the ‘old’ Windows will be available. Of course, while we choose the first option.

OS selection when the PC is turned on

In general, after that, you will see a regular desktop with a greeting from the OS developers.

Welcome to Linux Mint

Using the system is relatively easy - the interface is very similar to the classic one from Windows. By opening the START menu, you can find several dozen of the most popular programs for all typical tasks: a web browser, a media player, a text editor, etc.

The same desktop and START menu as in Windows 10

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Setting parameters (screen, Wi-Fi connection etc.)

Perhaps this is the first thing with which questions arise. Therefore, a few words below …

As for connecting to the Internet, usually in Linux Mint all drivers are installed automatically (including on the network adapter).

For example, to connect to Wi-Fi, you just need to click on the network icon next to the clock (on the right, at the bottom), select the desired network and enter the password…

That is, everything is the same as in Windows - almost no differences…

Connect to a wireless network

As for the resolution, scaling, etc. of the screen settings.

Click on the START menu, and open System Settings (Control Center).

System parameters - Control Center // Linux Mint

The window that opens will present hundreds of parameters that can be changed: fonts, themes, backgrounds, effects, auto-upload, date and time, etc. See the example below.

System parameters - Linux Mint

If we are talking about setting up an image, then we need a tab’Equipment / screen’.

Screen - OS parameters

Then you can manually specify the resolution, refresh rate, scaling, etc. parameters.

Resolution, refresh rate, scaling, etc.

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Installing applications

As for installing applications (programs), everything is also quite simple here…(and it’s not necessary to go to the command line at all for this).

Let’s say you need a new video player.

First you need to open the START menu and go to the’Program Manager’.

Program Manager

After opening the desired category (note: all the most popular applications are listed separately, and are displayed on top).

A large list of programs

From the list of audio and video applications, select the desired one and click the button’Install’. For security reasons, Linux Mint will ask you to enter the administrator password (which we set when installing the OS), and then install the application…

Select the desired application and click the install button!

The icon (shortcut) for launching the application will appear in the START menu…

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STEP 7: How to choose which system to boot - Windows or Linux

If you have done everything as in my example above, then before each time you turn on the computer, you have several. The GRUB menu will appear for a few seconds with a suggestion to select an OS.

To boot Windows (for example) Use the arrows to select Windows Boot Manager…’and press Enter.

OS selection when the PC is turned on

If suddenly this menu does not appear and Linux (or Windows) starts booting automatically, and you need another OS - go in

Boot Menu - OS selection

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PS

By the way, many other Linux distributions are installed similarly (at least based on Ubuntu).

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Additions to the topic, - of course, are welcome!

Good luck!

Useful software:

  • Video Editing
  • Excellent software for creating your first videos (all actions follow the steps!).
    Even a beginner will make a video!

  • Computer accelerator
  • A program for cleaning Windows from ‘garbage’ (removes temporary files, speeds up the system, optimizes the registry).

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