Want to try linux

Brigham

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I have been a win10 user for some time. I thought that I would like to have a dual boot with Linux. I am not very savvy with computers so I contacted an on line help forum. This turned out to be much too complicated for me, so I wondered if there was a simple way to do it.
 


atanere

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When you've done it a lot or become familiar with Linux, dual booting is pretty easy. But it is not easy when you're brand new. It's hard to even understand all the terminology you've never heard before.

The absolute simplest way to get started is to install a free program in Windows, like Rufus or Universal USB Installer, download a Linux .iso file (usually about 2 GB)... and "burn the Linux image" onto the USB. With that done properly, you can boot the Linux USB and run it in "live mode" and make no changes at all to your Windows computer, except to install the burning software. You can re-use the USB to download and burn other Linux "distributions" to try out different ones. The USB needs to be about between 8 - 32 GB, something very cheap. Burning Linux onto it will erase it completely each time.

The second simplest way is to install a free program in Windows called VirtualBox. This is "virtualization" software. Then you download the Linux.iso file and use VirtualBox to make a "virtual machine" that actually runs Linux inside Windows while Windows still runs too. When using the USB method above, you boot on that and so Windows is not running.

Both of these descriptions are a bit over simplified... there's a little more detail that you may need to know, but these are the basic scenarios. Google searching can give you explicit details or step-by-step instructions, but again, it is still hard in the beginning to grasp the terminology. Take your time, and enjoy the learning experience.

Good luck!

[EDIT: Another method, if possible for you, is to use another computer and make it Linux-only. Sometimes folks have old computers in a closet, or you can get them cheap at a yard sale, or maybe a friend will give you an old computer. Linux can give new life to many old computers. :D]
 
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D

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Here's a good way to try out different Linux distros without installing them on to your computer.

Although written for Linux Mint it will work with most other mainstream Linux distros.


Have a read and reread as much as needed.
 

Brigham

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I have downloaded Mint 19.2 on to a DVD. I don't know what ISO means I did manage to get into the strange menu by pressing F2. There was even a start menu, the DVD was third in the list I then got into (I don't know how) a page for repairing windows. There was something about uninstalling windows so I got out quickly, and managed to restart windows. I think I would like to try Mint without installing until I get used to it.
 

atanere

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I don't know what ISO means
The .iso is a type of file, like .txt or .doc or .jpg. For Linux, it is a really BIG file, because the entire operating system is contained inside it.

I have downloaded Mint 19.2 on to a DVD.
From this, and the rest of your description, it doesn't sound like you had the option to boot on your DVD. You have to take special steps to "burn the DVD" with the Linux .iso file, just as I described for USB. With Windows 10, you should have the ability to "burn the DVD" or "burn an image"... and then you would tell it where to find the .iso file... stored in your Downloads folder, or wherever you put it.

If you "download the .iso to DVD" directly, it will not boot. If you "copied" the .iso to your DVD, it will not boot. You must "burn" it to the DVD so that it will boot. If using a DVD, I would stress not to use DVD-RW disks... only use DVD-R or DVD+R.

But I'd really suggest you use USB instead of DVD.... it will run much faster when you do get it to boot and run. DVD is quite slow, but it will work.
 
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Granny Sue

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I have been a win10 user for some time. I thought that I would like to have a dual boot with Linux. I am not very savvy with computers so I contacted an on line help forum. This turned out to be much too complicated for me, so I wondered if there was a simple way to do it.
I am so very new to all of those that I could be no help to you whatsoever. But, stay tuned, because the people on this site are awesome! They will get you up and running if anybody can do it and they will stick with you until you’re done. They’re wonderful people I can’t say enough for them. Welcome!
 

atanere

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I have got a SanDisk Cruzer force 32GB. Will that do?
Sure, that's more than enough. Because you will want to use this over and over again for awhile, when you "burn the USB" with Linux, you will want to enable a feature called "persistence." This means that the USB will remember (persist) things like your wireless network password, so you don't have to enter it in every time you boot on the USB. You can actually install programs on the persistence space too.... but a caution: Do not "update" the Linux USB or try to install drivers (video, sound, wireless, etc). The is one of the limitations of using persistence, but otherwise it is very handy.

I mentioned "Rufus" earlier as a possible Windows program, but it does not support persistence very well yet. There are several others that will work though. The Universal USB Installer is very simple, and very small. You just run the .exe file, and it does not need to "install" itself into Windows. Using "UUI" is just 4 steps. The persistence (final) step takes a little while to finish, and it looks like it stalls... but it's working, so be patient and wait for it. Drag the "slider bar" in the persistence step to make it the maximum... about 4 GB.

It's best to download the Linux .iso file you want first. The .iso and the UUI program can both stay in your Downloads folder, and UUI will find the .iso easily in Step #2 when you click the Browse button to find the file.

Remember that this process will erase your USB. If anything important is on it, save it somewhere else first.
 

atanere

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I have plugged in the SanDisk and nothing has happened. What should I do now?
Sorry, but you're really going to need to communicate more than that. Just "plugging it in" does not make anything happen magically. What have you done? Where are you stuck?

1. Did you download the Linux .iso? You said you wanted Linux Mint earlier, but which one? 64-bit or 32-bit? (You should get 64-bit, if any doubt.) How big is it? Do you have a fast, reliable internet connection (like cable)? If your connection is slow and/or unreliable, there is another step we should run to test your download to be sure that it is complete and not corrupted. But I would skip this step if it seems you have got the complete file.

2. Did you "burn the image" to the USB with the UUI program? No errors or problems? I think UUI will download the Linux file for you, but I've never trusted it to do that. I prefer to download the .iso file myself to be more sure of its integrity.

3. If you did the above, did you try to boot on the USB? You need to plug in the USB and reboot... then "interrupt" the boot before Windows starts and get to a "Boot Menu" screen... it sounded above like F2 is the key you need to do that, but I'm not sure. At the Boot Menu, you choose the USB... the UEFI version of the USB, if you see that. What is the brand and model of your computer? All we know is Windows 10... is it laptop or desktop?

I'm heading into my Sunday evening dinner and drinks with friends, so I may not be back until tomorrow sometime. Maybe others will jump in to help if you provide any more information to go on.

Cheers
 

Brigham

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I downloaded Linux Mint cinnamon 19.2 64 bit. This has appeared on file explorer. I was unable to burn the download as I couldn't download the universal USB installer. I get as far as Pendrivelinux.com and I press the download, and nothing happens. I couldn't find how to burn to the USB. Thanks for your help anyway.
 

atanere

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I downloaded Linux Mint cinnamon 19.2 64 bit
That's a good one, a very good choice. Right-click on that file and choose Properties. Tell us the "Size on Disk"... it's a very big number in parentheses. Give us the exact number with all the digits. I will compare the file size on a Windows 10 computer. They should be the same.

Try to click this link below. It is the same file from PendriveLinux:
https://www.pendrivelinux.com/downloads/Universal-USB-Installer/Universal-USB-Installer-1.9.8.9.exe

With the Linux file, and the burning program, we can try to make your USB work next.
 

atanere

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set up your Selections page. step 1 selected go to step 2. Step 2 is greyed out.
Before you begin with Universal USB Installer, plug in your USB drive and be sure you know the drive letter that Windows assigns to it. You'll need it.

If Step 2 is greyed out, then Step 1 was not done correctly. Click in the Step 1 box again, and click on "Linux Mint" (not Linux Mint 32/64 Bit). Then Step 2 should be ready for action.

In Step 2, click on the Browse button... you will probably see the Linux .iso file you downloaded. Double click on that file.

Step 3. Be sure you have the correct drive letter for the USB.

Step 4. Drag the slider bar all the way to the right. It will show a number over 4000 (so, about 4 GB).

Then click the Create button at the bottom.

This may take 5-10 minutes to finish, maybe even longer. It will seem to stall and you won't see anything happening.... just wait for it. It will finally say that it is Completed.

If all goes well, you will need to boot your computer on the USB after this "burn" process.
 

Brigham

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I've got as far as selection page. Step 1 OK. Step 2 OK step 3 can't find drive E. What I have got is 3 little boxes All drives shown
NTFS format Drive (D) and FAT32 Format Drive (D)
The E drive is not showing.
 

atanere

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Start again, if necessary. Be sure of your drive letter (mine is D).

Since you see D as the one it wants... what are the details it shows in the selection box? For example, mine shows, "D:\ (Disk 1) 29GB FAT32 FDD".
 


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