A USB flash drive of capacity 4 GB or more could be used to make it bootable and install latest version of Linux Mint Operating System on any computer. The latest Long Term Support (LTS) version of Linux Mint is Linux Mint 19.1 ‘Tessa’. To create a Linux Mint bootable Flash Drive (sometimes called Pen Drive or USB Drive) and install Linux Mint as a single host operating system follow the 6 easy steps below:
Step 1: Download Linux Mint latest version ISO File
Open a web browser and navigate to official website of Linux Mint Operating System. Click on the “Download” Tab to open Download page and scroll down to “Download Links”. There will be 3 editions of Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa viz. Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. If you are not sure about which one is right for you, choose “Cinnamon”, which is the most popular Linux Mint Edition. To download the ISO File, click on 34-bit or 64-bit Architecture as per your System. If you are not sure about the architecture type of your PC, you can check it from “System Information” as shown below:
Or else, contact your system provider to check it out. However, architecture type is 64-bit nowadays on almost all modern computers, if you have an old PC you can try 32-bit architecture as it will work on both 64-bit and 32-bit.
Next, choose and click on the download mirror nearest to your geographical location for faster download. Save the ISO file to your computer and wait for download to finish.
Step 2: Install Balena Etcher Flashing Software
While the Linux Mint ISO file is downloading, open a new tab or browser window and navigate to official site of Balena to download Balena’s Etcher Software for creating a Linux Mint bootable Flash Drive. The page will detect your Operating System automatically, or you can even choose from the drop down on download button. Choose the Operating System and click on the button to proceed with Download. Save the executable file on your computer. Once the download is complete, close the browser, go to the download location and run the downloaded executable setup file to install Etcher Software.
Step 3: Flash USB Flash Drive
Open Etcher software and it will display 3 steps viz. Select Image –> Select Drive –> Flash. Click on “Select Image”, browse to the download location and select Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa ISO image file (the downloaded Linux Mint ISO Image File). Now, insert a Flash Drive in USB Slot. The flash drive when ready would be automatically detected by Etcher and focus will shift to “Flash” button. Ensure that there is no useful data on the flash drive (as it will be wiped off) and click on “Flash”. Wait for Flashing to Finish. The flashed drive would be validated by Etcher for any error. If there is no error displayed at the end of flashing, the Drive is successfully flashed and could be used to install Linux Mint on any computer. Close Etcher software. If Linux Mint is to be installed on the same computer then Restart the System or if it is required to be installed on any other computer then insert the flash drive in that computer and turn on the computer.
Note: After flashing with etcher the flash drive may become unusable on Windows, it may display a flash drive with a capacity of merely few Mega Bytes. Read the article Repair Flash Drive to repair your flash drive for re-use on Windows.
Step 4: Set and Boot from bootable Flash Drive
On system boot press the key (F10, F12, F2, Del, Esc, F9) to enter BIOS Setup. It could be different on different make and model. Try other keys as per Make and Model of your computer. Search for the booting device settings and select USB Drive as a Booting Device. Save and Exit BIOS setup. The system will restart, while booting press the key (F9, F10, F12, F2, Del, Esc) to display Boot Menu. It will display the list of booting devices. Select USB Drive as Boot Device and Hit Enter. The Live Session of Linux Mint will Load from Flash Drive.
Step 5: Install latest version Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa
In the live session of Linux Mint, one can explore the features of Linux Mint, however, to make it persistent it should be installed on hard drive. Double Click on “Install Linux Mint” icon on desktop in the live session to begin installation process.
During the installation follow on-screen instructions to choose Language and Keyboard Layout as per requirement or proceed with default options if no specific requirements are there.
While preparing for installation, don’t forget to select the check box mentioning “Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware, Flash, MP3 and other media” otherwise you may need to install additional software manually for audio video, Wi-Fi and graphics.
While selecting Installation Type, choose the option to “Erase disk and install Linux Mint” to install Linux Mint as the Single Host System on the machine. Ensure there is no data on the system before selecting this option as it will delete all data on the System. If there is existing data, then ensure Data Backup Before Proceeding, if there is no useful data click “Install Now” to proceed. The installation process will give a warning to write the changes to disk. Proceed by clicking “Continue” if there is no data on the system disk or else if you have taken the backup.
Further, select your region on the World Map to set the time zone. Proceed ahead and choose your name, computer’s name, username and a strong password. Once, you click “Continue” the installation process will begin. Wait for the Installation Process to Finish. During installation one can have a look at the Features Offered in the Updated Version.
As soon as the message is displayed for “Installation complete” click on “Restart Now”. Remove the Flash drive and hit enter to restart the system.
Upon restart your System will be Ready for Use. Login with your password and customize the settings to best suit your requirements. You May need to Adjust your screen Resolution from “Display” Option. Choose the best suited Resolution.
Watch the practical demonstration of the above process in following video:
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