Guide: Install Linux on your PC

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You’re considering Linux as a replacement operating system, but there’s a problem: you don’t know how to install it. Switching to Linux can be pretty straightforward. Choose a Linux operating system (OS), write the installation media, and sit back and wait. But as simple as it is, there are complications. Here we show you how to install Linux on your PC with minimal effort.

Note about target device: You can use a desktop computer or a laptop to run Linux. Some versions of Linux are particularly suited to older hardware, such as low-end laptops and netbooks. If you are planning to do this, you should take the time to research your computer model to find the best Linux operating system for it. As a rule of thumb, when choosing a Linux distribution, first make sure that it will work with the hardware you plan to install it on.

How to install Linux on Windows 10

  • Linux is a family of open source operating systems. They are based on the Linux kernel and are free to download. They can be installed on a Mac or Windows computer. Here’s how to install Linux on a Windows 10 PC.
  • If you want to dual boot Linux and Windows, you will need to create space for your Linux operating system to live. To do this, you will need to partition your primary hard drive. Here’s how to do it:

How to partition a hard drive in Windows 10

  • Open the Windows search bar. It’s the magnifying glass icon in the lower left corner of the screen.
  • Then type “DISKMGMT.MSC” in the search bar and press Enter.
  • Right click on your primary hard drive and select Shrink Volume. If you have more than one drive, be sure to choose the one that says Primary Partition. Usually it will be labeled as C: drive.
  • Then choose how much you want to reduce your disk. It is recommended that you reserve at least 20 GB (20,000 MB) for Linux.
  • Finally, click Minimize.

How to make a bootable Linux USB drive

  • Download a Linux distribution in ISO format. An ISO file is a disk image. Some of the main options are Ubuntu, Mint, or Fedora. They can be downloaded for free from the main website of each distribution. For this article, we are using Ubuntu.
  • Insert the USB drive into your computer. You may be asked to format the drive. This will erase all data stored on your drive, so be sure to back up your files before you start.
  • Download Rufus. You can find the latest version of the app here.
  • Open Rufus and select your USB drive from the list of devices. If you don’t know which drive to use, eject all other drives until you have only one to choose from.
  • Under Boot Selection, click the Select button and choose the ISO file you downloaded earlier. Do not change other default settings.
  • Finally, click on Start. If you get a pop-up message asking you to select a mode you want to use to write the image to, choose ISO.

How to install Linux from USB

  • Insert a Linux bootable USB drive.
  • Click on the start menu. It’s the button in the lower left corner of the screen that looks like the Windows logo.
  • Then hold down the SHIFT key while clicking Restart. This will take you to the Windows recovery environment.
  • Then select Use device.
  • Find your device in the list. If you don’t see your drive, choose EFI USB Device, then choose your drive from the next screen.
  • Your computer will now start Linux. If your computer restarts Windows, there has been a problem with your drive or you may need to change your BIOS settings.
  • Select Install Linux. Some distributions also allow you to test the operating system before installing it here.
  • Follow the installation process. It will depend on the distribution you are trying to install. These details may include your WiFi network, language, time zone, keyboard layout, etc. You may also need to create an account with a username and password. Be sure to write down all the details, as you will likely need them in the future.
  • Most distributions will allow you to partition or erase your drive and perform a clean install during installation.
  • Restart your computer when prompted. If you have more than one operating system on your system, you will be taken to a GNU GRUB screen after restarting. This screen allows you to select the operating system you want to start.

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