This tutorial is shows you how to create a bootable Linux USB drive on Windows for:
- Running Linux from a USB drive to try out Linux without making any changes to your computer.
- Install Linux from a USB drive.
Rufus - Tool used to create bootable USB drive.
Linux Mint comes in 3 different editions, Cinnamon, MATE and xfce, you can choose any edition, but choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version that your machine is supported, to check what is your machine processor, open the Settings window by typing "Settings" in search bar or pressing Windows+i keys, and click on System > About, check the "System type" entry whether is x64 based processor (64 bit processors) or x86 (32 bit processors).
Create Free Space on Windows for Linux Mint Install.
It's Optional, if you select "install Linux Mint alongside with Windows" (dual boot) during installation, the hard disk will be auto partitioned by the installer, but if you want to specify the size of partition to use for Linux Mint, you'll need to allocate free (unallocated) space in your hard disk, to do this, you can use Windows "Disk Management" to shrink the partition and leave it as unallocated space.
Right click on Start Menu and then select "Disk Management", or type "disk management" in the Search Box and choose "Create and format hard disk partitions" from the results list.
Check the partition and free space from the table, right click the partition you would like to shrink and select "Shrink Volume", it needs to take some time to querying volume for available shrink space.
Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB on next screen, Linux Mint required minimum 15 GB of disk space.
The window below shows an unallocated space after shrinking, just leave it as unallocated space, the Linux Mint installation program will auto install in unallocated space if you choose "Install Linux Mint alongside with Windows" option.
Change BIOS Setting to Boot from USB Drive.
Now you can try out Linux Mint, it comes with a wide range of pre-installed software, including Firefox, LibreOffice and Gimp.
Let's install Linux Mint. Double-clicking on install Linux mint icon.
Select the language on the first screen.
On the next screen, "install 3rd party software for graphic etc.", leave the box unchecked and click on continue button.
Next screen, you have to choose installation type, select "Install Linux Mint alongside Windows" option, the installer will auto partition the hard disk and install Linux Mint on it, or if you have created an unallocated partition, the installer will install in the unallocated partition.
If you want to erase all operating system and data on this computer and install Linux Mint, select 2nd option "Erase disk and install Linux Mint".
Select option 3 "Something else" if you want to do partition manually.
First option "Install Linux Mint alongside Windows" is the most easiest way.
Click on "Install Now" button, and click on Continue button for the next screen if you are confirmed it is ok to write the changes to disk.
Create an UEFI Bootable Linux USB drive
Now we try to create a 64 bit UEFI bootable Linux Mint USB drive.
Open Rufus, select 64 bit Linux Mint ISO file and select GPT in Partition scheme.
Click on "Start" button to proceed.
The UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is more complicated, and not all Linux distributions are supported. You may need to disable the Secure Boot in the UEFI settings.
To disable the Secure Boot, you'll need to restart the Windows system.
The screen should appear as follows, click on "Troubleshoot" option.
Installing 64 bit Linux on 64 bit Computer with 32 bit EFI Boot Loader.
Some 64 bit UEFI computer comes with 32 bit EFI boot loader, if you want to install 64 bit Linux on it, you'll need to download the bootia32.efi file and copy it into a Linux 64 bit UEFI USB drive EFI\BOOT folder.