Have you been searching for ways to install a flavour of Linux on your computer ? Your search ends here. Today I’ll explain to you, how you can install Linux Mint, Kali Linux or any other Linux distribution that you may have wanted to try or permanently install on your computer.
There are basically three ways in which you can boot Linux on your computer :
- Install Linux in a virtual machine on your computer (using hypervisors like VMware or VirtualBox).
- Install a Linux distro on a USB Flash Drive (usually it is used to try it or install it permanently).
- Dual Boot Linux with Windows or any other OS on your computer.
If you have never tried going into your computer’s BIOS setup, then I recommend you go with the first method, because it is the safest of the three (though to get a better performance, you might have to go into your BIOS settings once). For better performance, it is recommended that your computer have at least 4 GB of RAM.
The second method is actually a crucial intermediate step to the 3rd method. While the third method, I would recommend to people who need to use Linux on frequent basis; who wish get a better performance on their Linux systems and who are ready to take a bit of risk.
Install Linux in a Virtual Machine
One of the most popular VM softwares is VirtualBox. And it is free and open source. So in this tutorial we will use VirtualBox, which will act like a virtual computer within the Windows environment. Before or after installing VirtualBox, make sure you enable the ‘Virtualization‘ feature from the BIOS. It will be marked as Intel VT-x or AMD-V depending on your processor (This will increase the performance of your Android OS, once you get it running).
Also, we will be using Linux Mint which is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu and is currently the most popular of all, due to its friendliness with users who have been accustomed to Windows.
Steps to install Linux Mint in a VM
1) First of all, download and install VirtualBox from here. Select the appropriate setup file.
2) Now download Linux Mint from here. Cinnamon is the most popular version, but if you want more customization features, along with a Windows like GUI, I suggest you go with the KDE version.
3) Once you download and install VirtualBox you need to create a VM. Click on New.
4) Now type any name for your VM, select the type as Linux and select the version as Ubuntu 64-bit or Debian 64-bit or Other Linux 64-bit. Then click on Next.
5) In memory size, set the memory as 2 GB if you can spare it, or 1 GB if you have a less memory.
6) Next, you need to create a hard disk. Select Create a virtual hard disk now.
7) Select, the hard disk file type as VHD (Virtual Harddisk) for best compatibility with other VM softwares or keep it as it is.
8) Next, select storage as dynamic or fixed as per your preference.
9) Next select the location and size of your virtual hard disk file.
10) After preparing VirtualBox, you will see the box below. Now start the VM.
11) Once started, select your iso file to load. Then you should see the screen as below. Then click on the first option as below.
13) Now you should be able to boot into Linux Mint.
14) Click on the start button type menu, and click on the option as below.
15) Use the entire disk.
Don’t worry, the partitions will be made to your VHD; not the real partitions on your HDD.
16) Set your username and password
17) After installing, reboot and remove the iso from the list of optical drives.
18) Voila ! Linux Mint has been successfully installed.
The above method can also be used to install Kali Linux or any other Linux distro, though there will be little changes in the above steps, depending on the type of distro. Read my article on how to install Android OS in VirtualBox (Android is based on the Linux kernel).
If you would like to go with the 2nd or the 3rd method i.e. dual booting, read my next article.