Installing Linux Mint 17.1

Installing Linux on my PCs always feels easier than installing Windows, mainly because most of the times, I’m logged in a productive environment moments after installation is complete. Recently I decided to find a distribution to stick with, my choice – for reasons I have stated in older posts – is Linux Mint Ubuntu edition with the Cinnamon desktop.

Linux Mint’s 64bit Cinnamon can be downloaded from here and be used as a live system running from USB, from which it can be installed on a HDD. The installation process is very straightforward and blazingly fast.

After booting on the live session, a welcome screen appears with various links on the Linux Mint site, forum and documentation pages. On the desktop, alongside the Computer and Trash icons, there is an Installation icon which opens the Linux Mint installer. The installer is identical to the Ubuntu official installer, tweaked to Mint’s specific software and principles. Most of the steps are about configuring your custom system, language – location – keyboard layout – username & password. The only step worth mentioning is the partitioner. Most people (not dual booting) should use the “Use entire disk” option which auto-partitions your disk. It is worth mentioning that Linux Mint has the ability to boot an EFI system, just adds a small efi partition.

My setup, on a system with a 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, is :

Device           Type   Mount Point   Size

/dev/sda1    efi         /efiboot           512MB

/dev/sda2   ext4      /                        125GB

/dev/sda3   swap     swap                 2GB

I decided to use a unified root and home directory due to storage restrictions, if  I play games a 40GB root partition may not be enough. Also after reading various articles for swap on Linux systems I found that 2GBs of swap space are enough (maybe overkill for some).

Afterward all the procedure is just waiting for the installer to finish copying the files, which on my system lasted under 20 minutes and voila I was ready to be productive. No hassle, no drivers, all my hardware was detected, Lenovo’s function keys worked out of the box, as well as brightness control, microphone, suspend etc.

So after 30′-45′ I had a system with everything I needed for every day use. But no system comes tailored to everyone’s needs, it needs some minor (or major) tweaking. That leads us to…

Next : Tweaking Linux Mint