I’ve decided to install a new flavour of Linux, as mentioned in my earlier post. Even choosing Mint ahead of Fedora and Bodhi hasn’t narrowed down the choices sufficiently – I then had to choose between the KDE, Xfce and vanilla versions. Then for the vanilla, you have to choose MATE or Cinnamon!
Having opted for the vanilla, Cinnamon version, I downloaded the ISO file and burned it to a DVD. Now the fun part – my Sony Vaio does not have an optical drive, but I have an external one so wired it up. Then, I had to boot up the laptop, press F2 to edit the BIOS and a) enable booting from external device b) put external device before the hard disk in the boot order. But I still couldn’t install from the Boot disk – it just wasn’t recognized when booting.
Instead, I used MagicISO CD/DVD manager, which virtually mounts an ISO as a CD/DVD drive. That took me to an option to install Linux Mint as part of Windows. Unfortunately, it forced me to uninstall the Wubi Kubuntu that I’d previously installed, but since that was broken anyway, I went ahead. I had to manually re-run mint4win.exe due to the kubuntu uninstall, then I could start the installation onto my local c:\.
This installation only took a couple of minutes(*), then a mandatory re-boot, then voila. If I’d just run the installation directly from the ISO image instead of trying to burn a DVD and boot from it, this would have taken 10 minutes rather than 2 hours.
The Linux Mint desktop started without any manual editing in blacklist files (unlike when I installed Kubuntu last year). I didn’t have any trouble hooking up to Wifi either, just worked out of the box. My laptop is now dual-boot with Linux Mint v Windows 7 – not bad.
(*)Except – looks like that was only to run in Live mode (as if from the DVD). The give away was that it forgot my Wifi settings when I next booted into Linux. To actually install, I clicked on the “Install Linux Mint” desktop icon. The instructions were well explained in the handy user guide and only took about 15 minutes.