On Jan. 14, 2020, Windows 7’s chargeless abutment ride ends. According to the Federal Digital Analytics Affairs (DAP), 20% of you are still active Windows 7. I get it. Windows 7 works. But Windows 7 is abutting to dead. It’s time for a change. Linux Mint, an aberrant open-source desktop, ability be appropriate for you.
Here are your added choices: If you appetite to stick with Windows, you can either accumulate active Windows 7 afterwards basic aegis patches, which would be stupid, or you can pay a lot for Windows 7 Extended Aegis Updates (ESUs) on a per-device basis.
How abundant is a lot? ESUs for Windows Enterprise users alpha at $25 per accessory in year one to $100 per accessory for year three. For Pro users, ESU appraisement goes from $50 per accessory in year one and all-overs to $200 per accessory in year three. Windows 7 Home? So sorry, you’re not accurate at all. I ability additionally add that, if you’re a small-to-medium business owner, you’re activity to accept a lot of agitation award a VAR or MSP who’s accommodating to advertise you ESU.
Or, you can drift to Windows 10. And, yes, for now, you can still amend to Windows 10 for chargeless from Windows 7. But, aback Windows 10 came out in July 2015, if you haven’t upgraded by now, it’s appealing bright you don’t appetite any allotment of Windows 10.
So, why not accede Linux Mint instead?
The alone absolute acumen to break on Windows is its applications. Say you charge Microsoft Office. Fine. Run the chargeless Appointment Online, which comes with bound versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Charge Teams? It’s now accessible on Microsoft’s aboriginal Linux Appointment app. Skype has continued been accessible on Linux. There you go. Welcome to 2020, aback you don’t accept to be active Windows to run “Windows” programs.
At this point, you can’t calmly run Appointment 365 on Linux. That may be changing. Rumor is Microsoft’s exploring bringing its accepted cloud-based desktop appointment apartment to Linux.
You can run abounding added built-in Windows programs on Linux appliance Wine. This can be difficult to set up, so I acclaim appliance its bartering implementation, CodeWeaver’s Crossover Linux.
If that doesn’t assignment for your Windows-only application, you can consistently accumulate active Windows 7, afterwards any alarming arrangement connections, in a basic apparatus on Linux. For this purpose, I acclaim Oracle’s accomplished and chargeless VirtualBox.
For all your added desktop software needs, there’s usually a free, open-source affairs that can do aloof as acceptable a job. Gimp, for example, instead of Photoshop. Or Evolution instead of Outlook. LibreOffice is a full-featured appointment suite.
Another added for desktop Linux is it’s far added defended than Windows. Oh, you can run into trouble, but it’s not like Windows, area every day is an befalling to get zapped by the latest malware.
You may accept heard it’s a aristocratic affliction in the aback to install applications on Linux. That’s nonsense. With Mint’s Software Manager, installing software is as accessible as bang and run.
There are abounding acceptable Linux desktops, and I’ve acclimated abounding of them. I acclaim Mint, but there are abundant others you can consider, such as openSUSE, Manjaro, Debian, and Fedora. I accept one big acumen to anticipate Mint is a acceptable fit for Windows 7 users: Mint’s absence Cinnamon interface looks and works a lot like Windows 7’s Aero interface. Yes, there’s a acquirements curve, but it’s annihilation like the one you’ll face if you move to Windows 10 or MacOS.
Another advantage, which Mint allotment with added Linux distros, is it rests agilely on your system. Mint can run on any of your Windows 7 PCs. All Linux Mint needs to run is an x86 processor, 1GB of RAM (albeit, you’ll be happier with 2GB), 15GB of deejay space, a cartoon agenda that can handle 1024×768 resolution, and a CD/DVD drive or USB port. That’s it.
Mint is ideal if you accept a low-powered apparatus that would asphyxiate on Windows 10. With Mint, you can still get advantageous assignment out of a arrangement that would contrarily be branch to the debris can.
Mint, like the added Linux desktops, won’t amount you a distinct red cent. You additionally don’t accept to accomplish to it. You can try it first, and if you don’t like it, reboot aback to Windows, and you’re done. No fuss. No muss.
Ready? Let’s go.
1. Download the Mint ISO file.
First, download the Mint ISO file. This is about 2GB, so it may booty a while to download.
2. Bake the Mint ISO book to a USB stick.
Once you accept it, you charge bake it to a USB stick. While you can still install it on earlier systems with optical drives from a DVD, I acclaim appliance a USB stick — aback that makes it easier to accord a balloon run. Active it from a DVD can be absolutely slow.
If you don’t accept an ISO burner program, download one. I acclaim freeware programs ImgBurn (for optical drives) and Yumi for Windows (for USB sticks). Added acceptable choices are the LinuxLive USB Creator and UNetbootin. These are all chargeless programs.
Once you’ve installed the burner affairs and accept the latest Linux Mint ISO book in hand, bake the ISO angel to your disc or USB stick. If you’re appliance a DVD, analysis your anew austere disc for errors. Over the years, I’ve had added problems with active Linux and installing Linux from bad discs than all added causes combined.
It’s bigger to use a USB stick with assiduous storage. There are two affidavit for this: First, you can afresh accord Mint a balloon run on your PC afterwards installing a thing. If you don’t like it, you’ll accept absent annihilation but some time. In addition, installing Mint from a USB stick is abundant faster than accomplishing it from a DVD.
Another accessible affair about appliance a USB stick with assiduous storage: You can additionally abundance your own programs, files, and desktop bureaucracy on the stick. This way, you can backpack Mint with you and use it as a walk-around operating arrangement at a hotel, conference, and library PC. I’ve begin this to be absolute handy, and there’s consistently at atomic one Linux stick in my laptop bag.
3. Admit your USB and reboot.
Next, reboot your system, but stop the boot-up action afore Windows comes up, and get to your PC’s UEFI or BIOS settings. How you do this varies according to your system.
You should attending for a bulletin as the apparatus starts up that tells which key or keys you’ll charge to columnist to get to the BIOS or UEFI. You can additionally do a Google chase for your specific PC or PC cast and “UEFI” (or, with earlier PCs, your computer cast and “BIOS”). For example, with Dell PCs, you tap the F2 key to access arrangement setup; with HP, you tap on the escape key already a second; and on Lenovo systems, you tap (Fn ) F2 or (Fn ) F1 key bristles to 10 times afterwards the power-on button is apprenticed to get to arrangement setup.
Once you get to the BIOS or UEFI, attending for a card best labeled “Boot,” “Boot Options,” or “Boot Order.” If you don’t see annihilation with the chat “boot” in it, analysis added card choices, such as “Advanced Options,” “Advanced BIOS Features,” or “Other Options.” Already you acquisition it, set the cossack adjustment so that, instead of booting from the adamantine drive first, you cossack from either the optical drive or from a USB drive.
After your PC is set to cossack aboriginal from the another drive, admit your DVD or USB stick, reboot, and baddest “Start Linux Mint” from the aboriginal menu. In a minute or so, you’ll be active Linux Mint.
4. Now, comedy with it for a while.
Take a few canicule if you like. Windows is still there. Anytime you reboot afterwards the drive or stick in, it will go appropriate aback to it. Like what you see? Afresh let’s install Mint on your PC.
Like any austere upgrade, you’ll alpha with authoritative a complete advancement of your Windows system. Installing Linux in the way I’m anecdotic shouldn’t aching your Windows bureaucracy at all, but why booty chances?
It acclimated to be that installing Linux on Windows PCs with UEFI and Defended Cossack was a above pain. It can still be annoying, but Ubuntu and Mint accept fabricated booting and installing with the Defended Cossack arrangement a non-issue. All pre-built binaries advised to be loaded as allotment of the cossack process, except the initrd image, are active by Canonical’s UEFI certificate, which is around trusted by actuality anchored in the Microsoft active bushing loader.
If for some reason, you can’t install Mint with Defended Cossack active on your PC, you can consistently about-face off Defended Boot. There are abounding means to about-face Defended Cossack off. All absorb activity to the UEFI ascendancy console during the cossack action and switching it off.
Now, let’s get on with the absolute installation.
1. Make abiding your PC is acquainted in.
The aftermost affair you appetite is to run out of array ability during an operating arrangement install! You’ll additionally charge an internet affiliation and about 8GB of chargeless drive space.
2. Reboot into Linux again.
Once you accept the Mint affectation up, one of your figure choices on the larboard will be to install Mint. Double-click it, and you’ll be on your way.
3. Allotment your adamantine drive.
Next, you charge airing your way through several card choices. Most of these decisions will be easy. For example, the accent you appetite Mint to use and your time zone. The one analytical advantage will be how to allotment your adamantine drive.
Partitioning a adamantine drive can be a absolute pain, but it doesn’t accept to be for our purposes. We’ll set your PC up so you can dual-boot both Windows and Mint. To do this with the allotment command, aces the aboriginal advantage on the Accession Type menu: “Install Linux Mint alongside them.”
This action will install Linux Mint abutting to your absolute Windows arrangement and leave it untouched. Aback I do this, I usually accord bisected my PC’s actual drive amplitude to Mint. You’ll be asked to accept which operating arrangement you appetite to cossack by default. No amount which one you pick, you’ll get a few abnormal to about-face to the added operating system.
4. Name your system.
You’ll additionally be appropriate to accord your arrangement a name; aces out a username for yourself, and appear up with a password. You can additionally accept to encrypt your home agenda to accumulate files almost safe from prying eyes. However, an encrypted home agenda slows systems down. It’s faster, admitting counterintuitive, to encrypt the absolute drive afterwards you accept Mint up and running.
5. Set up a arrangement snapshot.
Mint 19.3’s bureaucracy card enables you to set up a arrangement snapshot with Timeshift. This way, if article goes amiss later, you can restore your arrangement files and get aback to a alive system. I awful acclaim accomplishing this. While you’re at it, set up a approved Timeshift schedule.
6. Analysis for added drivers.
Next, you can accept it analysis to see if your computer needs any added drivers. You should do this. You can additionally install proprietary multimedia codecs such as drivers to watch DVDs. That’s a acceptable idea, as well.
7. Set it to update.
You should additionally set it to amend your arrangement to the latest software. Unlike Windows, aback you amend Mint, you’re afterlight not aloof your operating arrangement but all your added programs such as the web browser, appointment suite, and any added programs you installed after from Mint’s Software Manager.
To do this manually, bang on the absorber figure in the card bar. By default, you’ll acquisition this on the card bar on the basal allotment of the screen, and the figure will be on the right. Already clicked, it will alert for your countersign and ask if you absolutely appetite to amend your system. Say yes, and you’ll be accessible to accord your new Mint arrangement a absolute try.
The bureaucracy accepted additionally offers to let you attending at arrangement settings and acquisition new programs with the Software Manager, but aback you’re apparently a new user, you can skip those for now.
8. That’s all there is to it.
I’ve installed Linux hundreds of times, and it usually takes me about an hour from starting my download — the blessings of a 400Mbps internet affiliation — to affective from booting up to customizing my new Mint PC. If you’ve never done it before, acquiesce yourself an afternoon or morning for the job.
You’ll still absence Windows 7 at first, but soon, you’ll acknowledge how abundant Mint can do for you. Me? I run both operating systems –and a host of others — but for every hour I spent on Windows 7, I’ve spent 50 on Mint. It’s that good.
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