How Do I Install Linux (A General Guide)

Today, I will try to answer one of the most common questions asked by the newcomer to Linux; “How do I install Linux” To answer this I have prepared a step-by-step guide of how to install Linux with the minimum of technobabble. So, I hope you will find it simple enough to follow.

This is a guest article by one Brickwizard, who describes himself as thus:

I am Brian the Brickwizard. My interest in modern computers goes back to the days of the 8-bit IBM compatible. As a hobby, I have been repairing, upgrading, and building from-scratch computers for friends and family. I have done so since the late 80s/ early 90s. I have been a Linux user for over 20 years! Brickwizard is an upstanding member of Linux.org. This is my first contribution to Linux-Tips.us.

This is a guide to most distros, a generic guide that’s useful for the most popular distros that have handy GUI installers. This isn’t a guide to things like Arch, Slackware, or Gentoo! It will work for Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, MX-Linux, and many more!

This also serves as a place people can link to, rather than clutter the forum up with long posts that really don’t get much formatting options. This is meant to be a time-saver, among other things. As a living document, it is also subject to change.

How Do I Install Linux:

What do I need?

Depending on the age of your machine you will need an installation medium, this is usually a clean pen-drive of 4 GB minimum (try not to exceed 16 GB), make sure it is of good quality and formatted to FAT32 or exFAT.

On older machines that are not USB boot-able, you will need a clean new DVD-R. You will also need courage, patience, and time. This is just the start of your journey, the step where you learn how to install Linux.

Make your ISO installation medium [pen-drive or DVD-r]

  • Choose your distribution and go to the official download page.

     

  • On the download page you will find an SHA sum, make a note of it.

     

  • Download your chosen distribution.

     

  • Burn a bootable installation medium.

For a USB pen-drive to do this, we recommend Balena Etcher.
Or for optical disc, select “burn as ISO image” in your burning software.

  • Whichever you use, now is the time to check the SHA sum (if you are unsure how, then see this article). 

To Install:

For best results, ensure your computer is either hard-wired to your router, or has a Wi-Fi card installed.

  • Connect the computer to mains power.

     

  • Insert USB into drive (or optical disc into drive).

     

  • Switch the device on and open the temporary boot menu (method will depend on the make and model of your computer).

Look down the list and find USB (or Optical Drive) click on it and enter, after a few seconds (depending on your choice of distribution) it will load a “live” session to RAM.

NOTE: You actually do not need a hard-drive installed at this stage if you only wish to check to see if Linux will work on your machine

  • When the live instance of your chosen distro has loaded, your desktop will appear. Now is the time to ensure everything works okay, such as Wi-Fi, sound, and graphics. The easiest way to do this is click on the wireless icon find your router and enter the password. When you’re connected, go to your favorite music video site and pick something you are familiar with. If the video plays okay, the picture looks good, and the sound works, you can then decide if you wish to continue the installation.

     

  • To start full installation, double-click the installation button on the desktop (this may vary based on the distribution). The installer will then check the components of your machine. This may take several seconds or a couple of minutes, depending on how fast your computer is. If all goes well, the installation will begin shortly, asking you to input certain information – such as your username and password. Watch it install. When it asks about partitioning, this is your final chance to decide if you want to dual boot with your existing system (select installation alongside) or wipe the system and just install Linux.

     

  • During install, most distributions will ask if you wish to install non-free/proprietary drivers, tick the box for yes and enter. Non-free does not mean it will cost money to use. It just means that it’s supplied by the manufacturer and not FOSS (Free Open-Source Software). You can choose to not install proprietary drivers, but that will make your life more difficult and is beyond the scope of this article.

     

  • You may need to continually enter information as it installs, so keep an eye on it. A typical Linux installation can take from 10 to 20 minutes.

     

  • When it has installed you will get a message do you wish to re-start now, accept and enter. When prompted, be sure to remove the installation media.

Sit back whilst it reboots, then it will take a couple more minutes to clean up the installation and get rid of the installation files. Then if all goes well we will have a working Linux box

When your system has rebooted to your new Linux system, open the update manager and run a full update.

NOTE: When you have successfully installed your Linux distribution, we strongly recommend you install and activate some backup software, such as Timeshift

Being new to Linux, there will be learning curve. As I often say, “Relax, kick off your shoes, grab a beer, and enjoy the ride.”

Closure:

There you have it, it’s another article – and this time it’s a great article from Brickwizard. This one will tell you how to install Linux. It’s a basic guide, which is fine, because it can always be more complex and this is just to get you started. If you have any questions, you can ask below or head over to the Linux.org forum and ask questions there. Even better, it stands as a static page that can be linked to, saving time, effort, and space.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Smash a button!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Use ‘apt-cache’ To Find An Application’s Homepage

It can come in pretty handy to know an application’s homepage. You can find an applications’s homepage with ‘apt-cache’. I’ll show you how. This is a pretty easy article to follow and just another tool to add to your toolbox.

NOTE: This is only valid for systems that use apt. As the title indicates, it requires ‘apt-cache’. Without apt-cache, this page will do you no good. None good! That’s how much it will do you. None!

Why would you want to know the homepage – and, more so, the preferred homepage? For starters, in the days of GitHub and everyone forking, and awkward application names that aren’t easily searched for, it’s hard to know which site is the correct one.

Maybe you want to report a bug? Maybe you want to request a feature? Perhaps you want to make a donation? Maybe you just want to thank the author for writing such awesome software? Maybe you want to know where the homepage is because you need support and you’re not sure where to turn to?

There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to know the homepage of a piece of software. It’s actually something that’s important. It’s also something your system already knows and will happily show you if you know the proper magical incantation.

Find Application’s Homepage: 

Like many other articles, you’re gonna want the terminal for this. Let’s go ahead and get that opened by using your keyboard and pressing CTRL + ALT + T

Got your terminal emulator open? Good! Let’s start with the command.

If you do not have ‘inxi’ installed, feel free to use a different application. Note that you do not need to use sudo for this. Not all apt commands require sudo. You only need sudo when you’re actually doing administrative tasks. See? I saved you some typing!

Anyhow, in the text output from the above command you’ll see a line that starts with “Homepage:”. If you hadn’t already guessed it, that’s the line that tells you the authors homepage. You’ll also sometimes find the URL where they want you to report bugs, but that’s a topic for another day.

So, let’s go ahead and make the command a little more precise. We’ll pipe the output through grep and get rid of the cruft we don’t actually need. In that same terminal, go ahead and enter:

NOTE: The command contains a capitalized letter H because Linux is often case-sensitive and is certainly case-sensitive in this case. If you don’t believe me, try it with a lowercase h!

But wait, there’s more!

Not only is there homepage information in there, there’s sometimes some useful nuggets of information in there. If you have LibreOffice installed, go ahead and check (skip the pipe and grepping) to see what the output is. Inside, it has a ton of additional information, including listing ways that you can extend LibreOffice by installing more software.

Closure:

And there you have it. You can now easily find the application’s homepage for the applications you have installed or want to install. Should you need to contact the author, check for information, or just see if they did anything else, you now know how to do that. It’s a little hidden nugget that most folks don’t seem to know. Well, now they do…

Yay! You made it all the way to the bottom. You deserve a treat. Seeing as you’ve already got the terminal open, and seeing as we’re dealing with apt-cache, let’s just get some pretty neat stats with:

A careful reader would remember that from a previous article, but no matter. Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Smash a button!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

How To: Show All Environment Variables

Today’s article is going to show you how to show all your environment variables in Linux. There are quite a few and some of them can be quite useful. If you don’t know what an environment variable is, we’ll cover that briefly as well.

So, what is an environment variable? It’s a static name for a dynamic value. In other words the system has information that varies, but using an environment variable will point to the dynamic information as though it was static.

As an example, we can use ‘echo $PWD‘ in the terminal and it will output the present working directory. If you change the directory and run that command again, it will output the new present working directory. You can do things like ‘echo $SHELL’ and it will tell you the shell you’re using, even if you’ve changed from the default shell. Things like that are the point of having environment variables.

These things really shine when used for things like scripting. They’re useful when you’re not certain of the architecture they’ll be used on and still want the script to work predictably wherever it is used. You’ll also see environment variables put to work in programming. They’re pretty handy, as I said!

If you’d like to see an example, read my article about clearing EXIF data for privacy’s sake. Scroll down to find the alias example I included and you’ll see the $PWD environment variable at work. See? It’s pretty easy and effective. So, let’s see a few ways to show all environment variables.

Show All Environment Variables:

Like most articles, you’re gonna need an open terminal. You can do that with your keyboard, by pressing CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Now that you have your terminal open, we’ll start with the first way to show all the environment variables:

You can also use:

You can also use the following command, but I don’t recommend doing so. It’s here for the sake of completeness and the command will output a lot of gibberish that’s really of no value to the average user.

Now that you know how to show them, here are a few handy examples that further demonstrate what an environment variable does.

Show home with:

Find the system language with:

Or find the desktop environment in use with:

Those are just a few of the environment variables available to you as a Linux user. If you make use of these on a regular basis, please leave a comment explaining how you use them.

Closure:

Yup… Another article. Another step closer to the anniversary of this site. I still have some content to move over from the original site, but writing completely new stuff is pretty fun. Seriously, it’s pretty fun. Please feel encouraged to write an article or two, considering I normally take the whole month of January off!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

 

Smash a button!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

How To: String Commands Together In The Terminal

Today’s article is about how you can string commands together in the terminal. You can do so in a few different ways, for a few different reasons. This article will explain some of those to you, hopefully making your life easier.

There are a number of reasons why you’d want to string commands together. I find it easier to just run certain commands together. I also find it easier for some aliases. (Speaking of which, I really need to do an article about aliases!)

For example, you might want to run change to the Foo directory and then list the files inside it. Well, one way to write that command would be cd Foo && ls -la. In that case, you’d change the directory to Foo and then you’d list all the files within that directory. As I said, there are a number of ways to do this and a number of reasons why.

This article won’t be all that long – or even all that difficult. But, this is a pretty basic skill you’d want to have if you’re working in the terminal. It’s one of those tools you’ll (maybe) find yourself using more often once you’re used to it. I, for one, use it with some frequency. You can string commands together and then go make coffee!

String Commands Together:

Obviously, you’re going to need an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, you’ll want one of the following operators:

; run the next command no matter what.
&& run the next command only if the first one succeeds.
|| run the next command only if the first one failed to run.

The ; operator can be used something like this:

Them the && operator can be used something like this:

Finally, the || operator can be used something like this:

You could string them along something like:

See? It’s not all that complicated. You can also swap the ; operator for a single ampersand. It’ll do the same thing, run the following command regardless of the results of the first. So, cd Downloads ; touch foo and cd Downloads & touch foo are functionally the same.

Closure:

Yup, another article – said and done. This one is, as promised, not all that difficult or even all that long. Still, I hope you’ve learned something and know now how to string commands together in the terminal. It’s a pretty useful skill to have. Feel free to leave a comment explaining how you already use these operators to string commands together.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Smash a button!
[Total: 2 Average: 4.5]

How To: Mount An .iso In Linux

Today’s article will teach you how to mount an .iso in Linux, a task undertaken seldom but worth knowing. This isn’t something I use often but it’s something you may want. It promises to be a quick and easy article, so read on!

I’m pretty sure the ‘unmount’ is incorrect English and that it’d be ‘dismount’ if you had mounted something like a horse or gym equipment. But, when I look around the web I see ‘unmount’ used with greater frequency. So, I’ll be saying ‘unmount’, even though that seems wrong.

Why would you want to mount an .iso? Well, there’s software that’s meant to be run from CD/DVD. You could burn your .iso to optical media or you can just mount the .iso and use it from there. Rather than wasting time burning the disk, you might just as well mount it.

You might want to verify that the image works before you burn a copy or upload it to share it. You might want to make edits to an .iso image and mounting the .iso will help with that, as you’d obviously unmount the image between changes.

So, you have a few reasons as to why you might want to mount an .iso. This article will explain how. It might not be a skill you need to day, but it’s one you may want eventually. We might as well get it written down now.

Mount An .iso In Linux:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

The first command you need to run is to set up the mount’s directory:

With that done, you can navigate to the directory where your .iso is stored or just use the full path. Your command should look a little something like this:

When you’ve done that, the .iso should be mounted and remain mounted until you unmount it or reboot. This is not a permanent mount, so you’ll not have any permanent changes to your system because of this. For permanency, you’d need fstab.

By the way, just cd /mnt/iso to navigate to your newly mounted iso and that should work just fine. If you want to unmount the .iso on your own, you’d just use this command:

You can verify that you mounted and unmounted it with the lsblk. The output from that command should first show the .iso mounted and then show it when it’s unmounted.

Closure:

That’s about it. There’s not much more to say about how you mount an .iso in Linux. It’s a pretty simple activity and one easy to master. In my case, I just do it so infrequently that I never actually remember all the commands. So, it ended up in my notes – which means it turned into an article.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Smash a button!
[Total: 2 Average: 5]
Linux Tips
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Zoom to top!