How to install Linux on a laptop

Linux has been around for decades and has a well-deserved reputation for being an inexpensive and reliable alternative to Windows. For many laptop users, the Linux operating system satisfies all of their computing needs and more!

What’s more, Linux has long been the perfect solution to squeeze a little more life out of an old machine. It typically requires fewer system resources to run than Windows, and can be configured as an ultra-light operating system that consumes battery power while still providing you with all the power you need.

Installing Linux on your laptop has never been easier! Whether you want to reuse an old machine, or just want to try a different way of using your computer than Windows, this guide will get you started using Linux quickly and easily!

Requirements

One of the best things about Linux is that it works really well on older hardware. This makes it a great operating system to try out on almost any computer or laptop, as it’s rare to find a computer that’s not powerful enough to do this.

Even Linux operating systems usually run with fewer system resources than Windows and can always be configured to run even more compactly.

Linux is so lightweight that it can be run even on a tiny computer like Raspberry Pi Zero ! So, in terms of performance – if your laptop is already running Windows, it will be fast enough to run Linux well.

You will need an internet connection to download the version of Linux you will be using. And you will also need a USB stick large enough to hold all the installation files. This is what you will use to install the operating system on your computer!

A 16GB stick is enough to hold all the installation files and give you storage space. It’s not much, but enough to give it a try. This is in case you decide to run the operating system from a USB stick rather than install it – if that’s the long-term option for you, then you probably want a much larger USB stick!

Finally, you need a little patience and a little time! If you’ve never done this before, then some of these steps may be new to you. Don’t worry – just follow the tutorial and it should get easier!

Which Linux?

This is probably the hardest part of installing Linux on your laptop! There are hundreds of Linux distributions out there. They are each built around the same core component – the Linux kernel.

However, they all have their own unique features and characteristics. Some of them are more suitable for Linux novice users – for example, Linux Mint and Ubuntu have been among the most popular options for Linux newbies for many years.

Others like Arch Linux and Gentoo, are intended for more advanced users and are definitely not recommended for those who just want to try Linux.

This is because Linux is so flexible that there can be distributions for both beginners and very advanced users – and yet both types of users will have access to a fully functional modern operating system!

There are even highly specialized Linux distributions designed exclusively for extremely serious security work, such as Kali Linux for penetration testing!

For most users new to Linux, Linux Mint or Ubuntu is recommended. They are generally the easiest to install and configure, and they both have huge user communities.

This makes them great for learning Linux, as there are many people to ask questions. This article will help you learn how to download and install them on your laptop so you can try them out!

Download

The first thing to do is download the files that will be used to create the installation disc!

For this tutorial, we’ll be using Linux Mint or Ubuntu. To download Linux Mint, click this link and go to the download page. For Ubuntu use this link… The file that you download from any of these links will have an .iso at the end.

This will be a large file – usually several gigabytes – so it may take a while to download. We’ll use another program called Rufus to take this iso file and create an installer with it on a USB stick. You can get here Rufus.

Once you’ve done that, you have the .iso file you want and a program to make the installation media. So, let’s start creating an installation disc!

Installation

Now that you have your .iso file and Rufus, everything else should be pretty simple. First of all, plug the USB drive you want to use into a port on your computer.

Everything on this disk will be erased during the creation of this installation media, so make sure to keep all important files! Wait a few seconds for Windows to recognize it and read from it.

Now just run the Rufus .exe file and you will see a window with several options. First of all, make sure you have the correct USB drive selected.

Then, under Select Boot, make sure Disc or ISO Image (select) is displayed. Then press the button on the right labeled “SELECT”. A window will open where you can select the .iso file you just downloaded.

Select the correct file and click “Open”. This will take you back to the main Rufus window. Everything else can be left with the default settings – you’re done!

Now just click on the button labeled START at the bottom of the Rufus window. This will start the process of turning the USB drive into a Linux installation disc!

After that, restart the laptop with the USB drive connected. You may have to press a key to get to the BIOS or boot menu – usually F2 or DEL, but check your particular laptop to be sure. This will allow you to choose to boot from a USB stick rather than the laptop’s internal storage.

You are now almost done! Just boot from the USB stick and the installation process will begin! Just follow the onscreen instructions and Linux will be installed in no time!

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