Windows XP has reached the end of life and pretty soon it won’t be supported anymore by Microsoft. This means that there won’t be any updates released you you’ll be left with vulnerable software. If your computer runs Windows XP just fine but it may not be capable of running Windows 7 and you don’t want to upgrade your hardware, maybe it’s time to think about moving on to Linux.
Besides XP support ending, here are a few reasons:
- The operating system and its software are free
- Linux is less likely to get viruses
- For every Windows application, there’s a Linux substitute
- Software is supported and updated constantly, for free
- Large online community available for help
- It’s fun!
It may be a good idea, at first, to dual-boot Windows XP and Linux for a while, just until you get the hang of it. This means that both Windows and Linux will be installed on your computer and you will be prompted during boot which operating system to load.
There are a lot of distributions out there to chose from but there’s one in particular that is low on system resources and provides all the features and utilities for you to get on with your work: Linux Mint.
Installing Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon
First of all, you need to make sure your disk has enough free space (about 10GB) and then go on with the preparations.
You can use a free, easy to use program to shrink a partition and end-up with 10GB of free space to use for installing Linux Mint. You can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard available HERE.
For this guide, I’ll use as an example shrinking the D: partition but you can work on any other.
Download, install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant and right-click on the partition you want to shrink and select ‘Resize partition’. In the new dialog, resize the partition from right to left just like you would resize a window and make sure you have at least 10GB in the ‘unallocated space after’ field. Also, make sure there is 0KB in the ‘unallocated space before’. When you’re happy with the result, press the Apply button and follow the instructions. You may be asked to reboot, please do so.
First, you’ll need to get the Linux Mint ISO HERE . Select the 32bit or 64 bit for the Cinnamon release and save it on your computer.
The next thing you need to do is to burn it to a DVD or use UNetbootin to create a bootable USB drive. If you chose the second option, download Unetbootin, open it, select the USB target drive and select the Disk image ISO like in this screenshot:
Now reboot your computer while the USB drive is plugged in an while the computer is booting, press the F12 (or F10) for the boot options and choose the option to boot from the USB or Removable drive.
If everything worked out just right, you’ll now see the Linux Mint loading screen.
Wait for it to boot and then, look around a bit to get familiar with it. When you’re ready, double click the Install icon from the desktop.
Installing Linux Mint
Once the installer is running, select the language to use for the rest of the process and press Continue.
You will see that your Windows XP will be automatically detected and Linux Mint will be installed alongside it. Press Continue to install it onto the free space you created earlier. Don’t worry, your Windows installation won’t be touched so you won’t lose any of your documents.
Now type in your city and your keyboard layout, then choose a username and a password. The installer is now ready to copy the packages. It may take a while so go get a cup of coffee. ;)
After the installation process is completed, you will be asked to reboot your computer so please do so. Remove the USB drive and revert any BIOS settings (like boot order) and make sure the first bootable device is set to local drive.
You will now see the boot loader prompting you to select an operating system, either Linux Mint or Windows XP. Go for Mint!
After the boot is complete, you will be prompted for the username and password you set through the installer and there you go, you are now a Linux Mint user!
Take a look through the already installed software and if you feel you need more, use the Software manager to search for more applications.
That’s about it. Enjoy!