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Mint "Live" Installation Resources


Background

Some distributions of Linux are released in the form of ISO discs images that can be used to create bootable installation discs (CD's or DVD's) that can be used in a subsequent step to install Linux on the hard disk of a computer system. The installation discs created from those ISO files cannot be used to run Linux directly, but only to install it on hard drives or other media. Other distributions are released in the form of ISO discs images that can be used to create "Live" discs capable of loading the Linux operating system directly from the disc (or from a USB memory stick) and running it without requiring installation on other media. The Mint distribution that we use in this course is distributed in the latter manner. Conveniently, the live version of Mint also contains an installation utility that can allow the operating system to be installed on a hard disk if that is desired. This document describes a variety of resources available to create a Live DVD or Live USB version of Linux Mint. These include:

WARNING: Do not attempt to install a Live version of Linux on any media that is being used for other purposes! For a Live USB stick, use a bare minimum of a blank (or FAT32 formatted) 2GB stick.

Preparation

Before attempting to install a Live DVD or USB device, read or review the following web pages:

Resources

The articles referenced above involve the following resources, all freely available online:

Tutorials

The following tutorial videos demonstrate how to use the resources above. They were prepared assuming that students would be familiar with Windows and typical web browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome) but can be easily adapted to work from any operating system and web browser. They were prepared based on installing Mint versions 13-17, but should still apply to later versions of Mint. Just pay attention to the version number if you attempt to perform the steps shown with a later distrubution.

If you are not familiar with how Windows uses filename extensions to control access to data files, you should first read the web page entitled File Association - The Untold Ways of Windows® and then view the first video in the list below. The other videos can be viewed in any order, but the sequence below is reasonable. Each video file is large and can take a few minutes to download before it starts playing. Be patient. Also, remember to click on your browser's Back button after viewing each video in order to return to this page.

  1. How to see the truth about filename extensions in Windows
  2. How to download a Linux Mint ISO
  3. How to verify an ISO
  4. How to burn a Live DVD with Windows 7
  5. How to burn a Live DVD with InfraRecorder
  6. How to use Linux Live USB Creator to create a Live USB Key with Linux Mint 17.2 (Note: there are later distributions, but Mint 17.2 is recognized by this utility, making installation fast and easy).

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