Alright, you probably heard about Linux before, but what is it?
Linux (LEE-nuuks) is a family of open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution. The most popular linux distributions are, based on data from Linux Enthusiasts Group: Arch Linux, Ubuntu (which some people consider inferior to the alternatives), Manjaro, Debian, Pop!_OS, Elementary OS, and Gentoo.
Now, that was a lot of words. To make it easier to understand, Linux is “an operating software” just like Windows and Mac OS. These “distros” (short for distributions) are sometimes based on other, parent distros, such as Arch, Debian, and Fedora. Most people find the beginner Linux distros intuitive, while there are more customizable and complex offerings for the experienced users.
Now, you decided to install Linux. But HOW? Here’s what you’re going to need.
- A functioning Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS or GNU/Linux computer.
- A USB Drive bigger than 4GB, more than 8 for some distros.
- An active internet connection with the ability of downloading 4-8 Gigabytes of data.
- A flashing software such as Balena Etcher, which is free.
- Linux distribution ISO (also free)
Let’s say you decided on a distro. Good job! Download the ISO for it, pretty straight forward. Next, download balena etcher from here: https://www.balena.io/etcher/ and install it. Now, open balena etcher, select the downloaded ISO, select your USB, and hit flash. This process might take from 1 minute to 30 minutes, depending on the transfer speed of your USB Drive.
Now, get ready to say bye bye to your current OS, since Dualbooting is far out of scope for this article. Make sure you back up all important data before proceeding. Now, turn off your computer. When booting it back up again, enter BIOS or boot menu. Key combinations should be:
Acer: F2 or DEL
ASUS: F2 for all PCs, F2 or DEL for motherboards
Dell: F2 or F12
HP: ESC or F10
Lenovo: F2 or Fn + F2
Lenovo (Desktops): F1
Lenovo (ThinkPads): Enter + F1.
MSI: DEL for motherboards and PCs
Microsoft Surface Tablets: Press and hold volume up button.
Origin PC: F2
Sony: F1, F2, or F3
When you’re in BIOS, head to boot order and put your USB Drive on number 1 priority. Save changes and reboot. Your computer will now boot to Linux 🥳
At this stage, before installing, make sure all your hardware and software work with Linux properly, if not, try to find a workaround on the interwebs.
Continue with the installation. If you can’t figure it out I’ll link some tutorials below:
Great job! Now you got Linux fired up on your system. Now, install your stuff, and run a system update. If you would like to make your Linux installation “look better”, feel free to search up a tutorial on your search engine similar to “INSERT_DESKTOP_ENV ricing tutorial”, example: “Gnome ricing tutorial”.
You can obviously make yours do what you need and look how you want it to, and that’s what we love about it. Look up tutorials, wiki’s, just have fun learning. And don’t forget, happy Linuxing!
Co-authored by Jonte