Create Linux Mint Bootable Flash Drive on Windows

Linux Mint Flash Drive

A USB flash drive of capacity 2 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) follow the below steps:

Step 1: Download Linux Mint latest version ISO File

Open a web browser and navigate to  Linux Mint official website. Now navigate to Download page on Linux Mint website. On the download page, download links would be available for downloading any of the three editions of Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa viz. Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. If you are not sure about which one is right for you, you can choose “Cinnamon” edition, which is the most popular Linux Mint Edition. Likewise, you may just download and use all other editions in order to find out the features of all editions and which best suites you or you find most comfortable. All editions are best, its just a matter of taste which you like. Some have more features than other and some uses less resources and run faster than others.

Once, you make up your mind for the edition, select 32-bit or 64-bit Architecture as per the configuration of System on which Linux Mint would be installed. In present world, most modern systems are built on 64-bit architecture. If you have an older machine or a smaller one, it may be 32-bit architecture. If you are not sure about the architecture type of your computer, contact your system provider to check it out or refer user manual of the machine.

Next, choose and click on the download mirror nearest to your geographical location for faster download and save the ISO file to your computer. Wait for download to finish.

Step 2: Install Balena Etcher Flashing Software

While the Linux Mint ISO file is downloading, in the meantime navigate to official web site of Balena Etchera to download Balena’s Etcher Software to create a bootable Flash Drive. The etcher web page will automatically detect your native Operating System to choose the suitable download file for your system. In case automatic detection does not work, you can choose the native operating system by clicking on the dropdown arrow in right corner of 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 for both ISO file and Balena Etcher software you can close the browser. Now, go to the download location and run the downloaded executable setup file to install Balena Etcher Software. Proceed with default installation options during installation process.

Step 3: Flash USB Flash Drive

After successful installation, the Balena Etcher software will run automatically for the first time. Or else, you can open Etcher software by executing the shortcut created for the software during installation. Balena Etcher works in three steps as following:

  1. Select Image
  2. Select Drive
  3. Flash

Click on “Select Image”, browse to the download location and select the Linux Mint ISO image file from the download location. Now, insert a Flash Drive in USB Slot of the computer. 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. Click on “Flash” when ready and wait for Flashing to Finish. Upon complete flashing, the flashed drive would be validated by Etcher for any error. If there is no error displayed at the end of flashing, the flash drive would be successfully flashed. If some error is displayed by Balena Etcher software, repeat the above process. The successfully flashed flash drive could be used to install Linux Mint on any computer. Remove the flash drive and close Etcher software.

Watch the practical demonstration of the above process in following video:

Note: After flashing with etcher the flash drive may become unusable on Windows due to Linux file system, 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.

If  you want to install Linux Mint using the created Flash Drive, read complete process at Install Linux Mint by creating bootable flash drive on Windows 10

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