3. Preparing to Install Linux Mint
Testing Your System With Linux Live
It is time for some fun. We are going to test your system using Linux Live to make sure that it supports your hardware. Then we will explore the default Linux Mint Desktop and learn a little more about Linux Mint. First, running Linux Live.
N.B.: The images are large intentionally so that you can see more detail on the desktop images.
To run Linux Mint Live, we will need either the bootable USB Flash Drive, or the DVD you created using http://spywarehammer.com/index.php?topic=15982.0
. Next, plug in the USB Flash Drive, or insert the DVD, and reboot your system. If your hardware supports booting from a USB Flash Drive automatically, or alternatively you see a message to press any key to boot from the DVD if that is what you are using, then you can boot directly into Linux Live. Otherwise, when you reboot your system, immediately start tapping <F8> repeatedly. That should cause your system to display a list of hard drives, plus the USB Flash Drive or optical drive. Scroll down to either that you are using, select it and then press <ENTER> to continue the boot. Some systems may now display a second menu listing five choices. Select the first one at the top of the list to boot into Linux Mint Live. You will now see a lot of lines of code scroll rapidly on your monitor, that's normal. Next, you should see the Linux Mint Desktop, which will look like this:
If you do not see the Linux Mint Desktop, or your system fails to boot, please post a topic describing exactly what you did, and either I, or another Staff Member at SpywareHammer, will help you out. If you see the Linux Desktop, congratulations, you have successfully booted Linux Mint, and it supports your system.
One important note, in order to support the widest range of computer monitors, and video cards, Linux Mint Live defaults to generic screen size settings. If you have a HD monitor, those settings may not look very good; but, don't worry, the Linux Mint installer will use your monitor's default screen settings, and install proper video drivers for your system's video card.
Another important note, I find the default desktop to be, well, boring and somewhat ugly. Not to worry about this either, there are loads of ways to easily customize your desktop, and the fourth screenshot below is what my desktop looks like, fully customized to my needs and taste.
At this point, the layout of the desktop should look very familiar. It uses the well recognized Start Menu and Taskbar layout, as well as some desktop icons/links. Start by clicking on the Menu Button in the left hand lower corner. That will bring us another familiar looking panel, a Start Menu just like you are accustomed to see:
The following screenshot will briefly describe the other items on the desktop and taskbar. We will cover each of these items in much greater detail later on in the tutorials.
For the moment, you should explore the wide range of software that Linux Mint installs by default in each of the software categories in the Start Menu, which I will now call Menu for short. You can play with them without fear of hurting your system, as long as you do not do something incredibly rash, like trying to delete your Windows folder. Otherwise, when you reboot, your system will function normally. I should also mention, that there are thousands of additional completely free software programs that you can install later, after we install Linux Mint on your system, for every need and taste.
Earlier, I promised you to post a screenshot of my desktop setup, so this is it:
Quite a bit different from the default, yet customizing your desktop will be easy to do once you understand how to customize the various elements of the desktop.