How to replace Windows with Linux Mint on your PC

You’ll also be required to give your system a name, pick out a username for yourself, and create a password. You can also choose to encrypt your home directory to keep files relatively safe from prying eyes. However, an encrypted home directory slows systems down. It’s faster, albeit counterintuitive, to encrypt the entire drive after you have Mint up and running.

Mint’s setup menu enables you to automatically create a system snapshot with Timeshift. This way, if something goes wrong later, you can restore your system files and get back to a working system. This approach, however, does not save your documents and the like. It just saves the system files needed to run Mint. While you’re here, set up a regular Timeshift schedule. Timeshift can save your bacon if something goes awry. 

Also: How to install Linux on your Raspberry Pi

Next, you can have Mint check to see if your computer needs any additional drivers. I highly recommend you run this check. Afterwards, you can choose to install proprietary multimedia codecs, such as drivers to watch DVDs. I think you should do this task, as well.

You should then update your system to the latest software. Unlike Windows patches, when you update Mint, you’re updating not just your operating system but all the other programs, such as: the default web browser, Firefox; office-suite, LibreOffice; and any other programs you’ve installed from Mint’s Software Manager. 

To do this update manually, click on the shield icon in the menu bar. By default in the Cinnamon desktop, the bar will be on the bottom part of the screen and the icon will be on the right. You will then be prompted for your password and you’ll be asked if you really want to update your system. Say ‘yes’, and you’ll be ready to give your new Mint system a real tryout.

The setup routine also lets you look at system settings and find new programs with the Software Manager. But since you’re probably a new user, you can skip those elements for now.

That’s all there is to it. I’ve installed Linux hundreds of times, and it usually takes me about an hour from starting my download — the blessings of a gigabit fiber internet connection — to moving from booting up and onto customizing my new Mint PC. If you’ve never done an installation before, allow yourself an afternoon or morning for the job.

Have fun, get work done, and enjoy.

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