• Linux Mint 21 install on Dell Inspiron

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    So now I want to proceed by installing Linux Mint 21 on my Dell with Windows 7.  A couple of questions….I have 260GB free space on my Dell hdd. Is it easy to resize this so I can install Linux on the free space? As for Linux partitions I am thinking of / , /home and /swap. Is there anything I am missing? One thing I noticed with the Linux installation instructions, there was nothing about setting a root password. Maybe I just missed it?

    I think the Mint installation instructions are easy to follow but hopefully don’t run into any snags like with creating the Linux bootable USB.



    Viewing 8 reply threads
    • #2502528

      I think the Mint installation instructions are easy to follow but hopefully don’t run into any snags like with creating the Linux bootable USB.

      It’s important to check both *integrity* AND *authenticity* of the ISO file you download. Just be aware that the instructions for Windows are incomplete.

      You are pointed to the following webpage – How to verify the ISO image on Windows – and told to download/install the ‘Simple installer for the current GnuPG’.

      What the instructions fail to mention is that after installation of GnuPG you need to add the location of GnuPG to the OS’ PATH environment variable… otherwise when you check the *authenticity* of the ISO file you will get the following error:

      'gpg' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

      To add the path, follow the instructions for checking the ISO file’s *integrity* then, before carrying out the *authenticity* check, enter the following in the command console:

      SET PATH=%PATH%;C:\Program Files (x86)\GnuPG\bin

      This will amend the PATH variable and take effect immediately, i.e. without the need to reboot.

      After this you can carry on with the authentication check then, if successful, create a bootable USB installer using Etcher.

      Hope this helps…

    • #2502541

      You need to boot from the Linux USB and run the installer. This will allow you to shrink the Windows partition to create space for Linux.
      Don’t worry about what partitions you need, the installer will take care of that.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2502562

      If you know how to partition drives and are familiar with the Linux file system in general and the Mint file system in particular, then fine, go for it. Otherwise let the Mint installer do the work for you.

      If the installer detects another operating system on the HDD/SSD, it will tell you and ask if you want to install Mint alongside that OS, or replace that OS with Mint (in which case the old OS will be obliterated – you will lose everything you had on the drive before installing Mint), or do something else. If you choose the last option, you will be presented with a graphical interface that will allow you to mess with the partitions. If you choose the first option, Mint will decide for you how to allocate the free space on the drive and will give some of it to the existing OS and some to Mint.

      I’ve installed Mint alongside Win 7 and also all by itself; no problems either way. You may be surprised at how small the Mint partition(s) are if you keep another OS, but keep in mind that Mint is much leaner than Windows. My daily driver has a 500 GB HDD with about 300 GB allocated to Win 7 and 200 GB to Mint.

      In your Topic about creating the bootable usb drive you wondered about a firewall. The firewall is disabled by default, so after your installation is complete open “Firewall Configuration”, select a profile – Home works for most people, make sure Status is ‘ON’, and set “incoming” to Deny and “outgoing” to Allow. That will keep you safe and you can add rules and tweaks if you want.

      As for AV, if you find a good free one, let me know! You can install Clamtk using the Software Manager. It’s slow and primarily intended for scanning downloaded files. It’s gotten better over the years, but still nothing to write home about.

      Disclaimer: My Mint experience is with Mint 19 and 20, which are quite similar to one another. I assume Mint 21 isn’t that much different than 20, so I think everything I’ve said above is accurate, but I can’t guarantee it.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2502795

      Thank you Paul T and DrBonzo for your advice about Linux partitions. So from what I gather, the Mint installation will automatically create the partitions I need? In my case I have 260GB free on my Windows partition, which is the only partition right now, how does the Mint installer know how much to “shrink” the Windows partition or do I do that manually?

      • #2502807

        Answer to your first question is “yes”. I’m assuming you want to keep Win 7 and install Mint along side it so that you have dual boot capability (able to boot into your choice of Win 7 or Mint when the computer starts up).

        The Mint installer will probably allocate some of the free 260GB to Win 7 and the rest to Mint (that’s probably not technically quite correct; I think there may be one or 2 other partitions the installer will make but they will be quite small). I don’t know the algorithm the Mint installer uses to determine the partition size. I don’t know much about creating or sizing partitions so I won’t say more except that in roughly 10 Ubuntu and/or Mint installations – most of which have been Mint and dual boot – I’ve never had an issue with partition size. I just let the installer do it’s thing.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2502844

      Fire up the Mint installer and see what it offers. You don’t have to accept anything if you are not sure.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2503983


      I finally had some time to try to install Linux Mint but got confused. My objective is to have dual boot, Windows 7 and Linux Mint as well as partitions / (root), /home (data ), /swap.  On the Installation Type if I choose “something else” how do I resize the Windows partition and will it give me an option to dual boot.

      If on the Installation Type if I choose “Install Linux Mint alongside ” will it give me the partitions I am looking for?

      Maybe I am being to picky and should just let Mint do its thing.

      • #2504000

        Just let Mint do it’s thing. When it installs next to Win 7 it will determine the partition sizes needed for both operating systems. When you boot the computer you will get what’s called a grub menu which will boot to Mint if you do nothing, and will boot to W7 if you ask it to.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2504037

      Install alongside is the correct answer.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2504306

      Is it okay to resize the free space during “install along side”. It seems to give a lot of free space to Windows, I thought I’d give more room to Mint.

      • #2504323

        If you understand how partitions work, then go for it. Otherwise if this is your first installation of Mint I’d let Mint do it’s thing. If you need to you can always change things later. I don’t feel qualified to give advice about changing partitions, but I’ve never felt the need to change what Mint did when installing itself along side another OS.

    • #2509068

      Short story…I finally got Linux Mint installed and working. It dual boots into Linux Mint 21 as well as Windows 7!

      Long story…when installing Linux Mint I chose “Install alongside Windows 7”. It only gave me 140GB to my Linux partition so I used the “slider” between the Linux and Windows partition to increase the Linux partition to 220GB (according to Windows 7 I had 260GB free). I clicked on install and it took a good hour to get to the next steps. Finally I got to the point where it told me to remove my USB drive and restart my laptop. When it restarted I got the grub menu and Linux Mint Cinnamon was the first choice! It then booted and got the login screen. Entered my password and was given the LM desktop. Unfortunately I couldn’t connect to my wifi network.  I was stumped and shut down to sleep on it.

      I thought I would try to see if I had wifi on my Windows 7 partition to determine if I had a hardware issue or software issue.  So I restarted my laptop and chose Windows 7 from the grub menu. Somehow it got into running chkdsk and 3 steps…verifying files, verifying indexes and verifying security descriptors. After about 1/2 hour it rebooted and I was able to login to Windows 7. Low and behold I didn’t have wifi access in Windows either! I was stumped until I remembered the last time I used my laptop, 2 years ago, I shut off the wifi “card” by clicking <fn><F2>. So I reclicked that key combination and voila I was back in business.  I had wifi!  I was anxious to see if this success would work in Linux and it did.

      So I am currently running Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon on a dual boot with Windows 7. Thanks to all for the advice and encouragement. I have more questions but will start a new thread, or two.


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