Install Linux Mint on a USB Flash Drive
Edited by Jay, Maria Quinney, skyhermit
If you're a Windows user who is toying with the idea of running Linux Mint, you can create a bootable USB drive and test it out on your Windows PC first. If you like what you see, you can take it further and install Linux on its own partition down the road.
Linux offers a wealth of options for a Windows power user seeking to escape the ever-changing landscape that is Windows 10. Maybe you're fed up with the spying, the user interface, or the fact that Windows has transitioned to a service rather than an all-in-one OS like it used to be. Whatever the reason, Linux is an excellent alternative for those looking for something different than Windows.
In the following VisiHow tutorial, we're going to go through the steps on how to create a bootable Linux Mint USB flash drive. We recommend using a USB drive for testing out Linux Mint as it's quick enough to get a feel for how the OS will function.
Download Linux Mint
For this guide, we went with Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Cinnamon desktop), but you're free to choose and desktop you wish (MATE, KDE, Xfce, etc.).
- 1Visit the following link, scroll down the page and click on the download link (32 or 64 bit) depending on your system.Advertisement
Format USB Drive
Download YUMI for Windows
Although we used YUMI - Multiboot USB creator for this tutorial, there are other free options available; ImgBurn, UNetbootin, and LinuxLive USB Creator to name a few.
- 1Visit the following link, scroll down the page and click on the "Download YUMI button (not the beta version).
Use YUMI to Create a Bootable Linux Mint USB Drive
Now that you have YUMI (or a similar program) downloaded, it's time to create your bootable USB drive.
Change the Boot Order on your Computer
To be able to boot from your USB drive, you'll have to change the boot order within the BIOS settings on your system. This process differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the basic premise is the same.
- 4in our example, that is the F4 key.When you've changed the boot order with the USB drive first, use the keys designated to "Save and Reset".
** Please Note** If you can't boot from your USB drive, go back and try a different Flash drive. For whatever reason, Some USB drive manufacturers don't work well when creating bootable drives.
Questions and Answers
Making the correct file choice in EFI Boot Selection?
I have a San Disk 16GB USB flash drive which I have installed a Mint ISO using YUMI. . I want to boot from the USB to try it live before installing it on my old computer. The computer is a Dell XPS 13 9343 (I think this was the first XPS 13, about 4 years old).. In order to set the boot sequence, I press F2 during the startup and get into the BIOS setup. There I have made sure that POST Fastboot is set to "Thorough". Next I made sure that "Secure Boot" was Disabled. Then under System Config I checked that "Enable Boot Support" and "Enable External USB Port" were both checked.. Finally I went to the Boot Sequence (which now has only "Windows Boot Manager" and the "UEFI: Samsung SSD") and am trying to "Add Boot Option".. Under this option I first give my option the name "USB Drive". Then I must give the file name for the boot. This is where I need your help.. I open the EFI Boot Selection and the USB drive lists "multiboot" which is what YUMI created. Clicking on that multiboot directory, I must chose which file to boot from. There are many files in the main multiboot directory (such as syslinux.cfg) and also other folders (menu, ISOS, and linuxmint-19-cinnamon). If I chose the linuxmint-19-cinnamon folder I can chose from "casper-rw", "linuxmint-19-cinnamon-64bit-v2.ISO". Please tell me which file to chose for the Boot Option.. Sorry to make such a long story out of such an easy question.. Any advice you can give (also for when I want to actually do the install in order to replace Dell's Win8.1 OS with the LinuxMint on the internal SSD) will be greatly appreciated.. Thanks for your help. The Dell Boot sequence, at least for my 4 year old XPS 13, is more complicated than I have had with other laptops. I didn't have enough experience to know which file to chose from the USB flash drive LinuxMint installation. I have tried: I have read every article I could find and this one was the most detailed but even it didn't tell me this one detail about the proper choice of files for the Boot Selection. I have tried choosing various files to boot from but none of them worked. Now I am having trouble because this questionnaire keeps asking for more detail and refusing to accept the question even though I have given all of the information I have. I think it was caused by: Inexperience and personal cluelessness. Maybe the Dell computer is more problematic than lots of other laptops.
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