Installing Linux Mint 13 with KDE

LinuxMintInstalling Linux Mint 13 with KDE is actually a very simple process. I’m going to install it to dual boot with another operating system (in this case Windows 7) since it is the more complicated of the installs. I’ll also manually mess with the partitions so you can see how to handle it if you need to do that. This install will work even if it’s the only operating system on the hard drive, you’ll simply skip resizing a partition to hold windows (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you will when we get to that point).

First you’ll need to download the Linux Mint 13 with KDE DVD Image and burn it to CD. You will need to decide if you want the 32 bit, or 64 bit version of Linux. If you have Windows 7 installed, you can click Start, then right click on Computer and select Properties from the drop down list. A window similar to the one below will show up, and you can determine if your current Operating System is 32 bit or 64 bit by looking under the section labeled System.Windows_Properties

If for some reason you do not know, and have no ability to find out if you are running either 32 bit or 64 bit, you should download and use the 32 bit version.


Once you download and burn the DVD, you will want the DVD in the computer’s DVD drive while you boot. You may have to force the computer to boot from the DVD drive if it does not do so automatically. Consult your hardware documentation if needed. As the DVD begins to boot you’ll get a picture like the one below.WaitingToBoot

If you simply wait the 10 seconds the computer will begin to boot the operating system from the DVD drive. When the booting is complete you will be sitting at the KDE desktop, and you can take some time to examine the desktop environment. The Kickoff Application Launcher is in the lower left corner where the Windows Start menu typically is.

When you’re ready to install the operating system to your computer, simply double click the Install Linux Mint 13 icon on the desktop. At the first screen, shown below, select your Language from the drop down box and click Continue.SelectLanguage

Linux will make sure you have at least 5.9 GB of Available drive space, your computer is plugged into power, and that you have an Internet connection. You want check marks by all of these. Then click Continue.PreparingToInstallLinux


This next screen is where the install gets complicated for a few moments. I think it goes without saying, but if you have not done so, Back your hard drive up before going beyond this point. We’re going to resize, delete, or overwrite partitions here and if something goes wrong, you could lose all the data on your hard drive. So if you have not backed up, please cancel the install now, go back up your data, and then start following these directions at the beginning again. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!InstallationType


We’re going to select Manual and click Continue so that we can manipulate the partitions on the drive ourselves.


The next screen will show the current partition setup of your hard drive.


The first thing we’re going to do is resize the large NTFS partition to make room for Linux. What size you make partitions can depend on a lot of things. But remember Linux requires a minimum of about 6 Gig. You will also need room for a swap file which is commonly recommended at twice the size of the amount of RAM that you have. In this case, I’m going to use about half my available hard drive space for Linux. I have 128,742 MB total – 11,334 MB used = 117,408 MB / 2 = 58, 704 MB. I’ll round my partition for windows to 55 Gig and use the rest for Linux. You could easily favor Windows with space, but I tend to use Linux way more often so I’ll give it the little bit of extra room.

If you look at the picture above, you notice that the larger partition is labeled as device /dev/sda2. We need to select that partition, then click the Change button. We’ll get the following screen.


I’ll change the number to 55,000, giving Windows 55 GB of space as I said. Under Use as: Select ntfs from the drop down list. Make sure the Mount point: is set to /dos. DO NOT CHECK FORMAT THE PARTITION. When you click OK you will be faced with a warning. Click Continue. It can take a while to resize your partition so be patient.


Choosing these options, resizes the partition, and sets it up so that it will be accessible from Linux. In other words, while you’re in Linux, you’ll have access to your files in Windows by navigating to the /dos folder.

Once the resize is complete, you will be back at the main window with a resized partition which now has /dos under the Mount Point column. You will also notice you have free space available. Now we’re going to select the free space and click Add…

You’ll be faced with the Create Partition Window. First we’re going to create the swap partition. So in the partition size box, type in an amount that is twice the size of your RAM. For example: I have 3 GB of RAM in this computer, so I will make my swap space 6 GB by typing in 6000 to the box.

Then from the Use as: drop down box select Swap area. Your window should look similar to the one below.


Click the OK button to continue.

Once again select the free space and click Add…

This time we’ll leave the number at it’s default, which should be the rest of the available space. From the Use as: drop down box we’ll pick Ext4 journaling file system. And make sure the Mount Point: is set to /. Your screen should look similar to the one below.

NOTE: / is called root and is the most shallow place you can get in your file system.


Click the OK button.

Back at the main Prepare partitions page, make sure the drop down list under Boot loader has /dev/sda selected. Your finished work should look something similar to this:


NOTE: The only difference if you are not dual booting your machine is that you will skip the resize steps, and instead only create the swap, and root partitions. More advanced partitioning can be done, but is not necessary.

Click the Install Now button.

On the next screen simply select your time zone and click Continue. On the following screen the default keyboard is usually fine, if you need to select something different, do so and click Continue.

On the user info screen you can fill in all the information required. Your name: can be your full name if you’d like. The box titled Pick a username should be in all lower case. Choose a good password that you won’t forget and enter it in both boxes. Then name your computer what you would like it to be. Keep Require my password to log in selected. You give up security by not using this option.


Click Continue.

Now you relax for a bit. Smoke them if you got them. The installer will take care of downloading and installing the default packages, and setting up your computer. When Linux is done installing you will be prompted to restart your computer.


Go ahead and click Restart Now.

The computer will shut down, and ask you to remove your DVD, and press ENTER.


Now upon booting your computer you will get the following menu.


If you do nothing, it will automatically boot to Linux (the first option) after waiting 10 seconds. You can press Enter in order to select that option and continue to Linux without waiting 10 seconds. To boot to Windows 7 you will simply need to use your arrow keys on the keyboard to move down and select Windows 7 from the menu and press the Enter key.

At the login screen simply type in your user name and password and hit Enter.

Once KDE (the desktop) is loaded completely close the welcome screen (Do not uncheck the box and it will display the next time you load so you can have a closer look at it). you’ll noticed at the bottom right of the screen there is a shield, with a blue circle, with a white i in it. That is where you do system updates. Go ahead and left click on that icon.


You will be prompted to put in your password. This is because you are required to authenticate in order to make system changes. Use the password you selected at install. The Update Manager will read, and load the available packages. You will click the Install Updates button when it is finished.

The Update Manager may minimize to the icon, and mousing over it will show a pop-up that says, “installing updates.” You can continue to use KDE like normal. Surf the web, write documents, whatever you’d like to do. The only thing you can not do while updates are installing is install or remove new programs.

I recommend fully updating your system. Once you’re finished, Use your computer as normal. Welcome to Linux Mint 13 LTS using the KDE Desktop!

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