Gray Matter


Helping a Relative Transition from Windows to Linux

transition from Windows to LinuxUnless he changes his mind, I’ll soon be helping a first cousin (Sean) of my wife (Josie) transition from Windows to Linux. He lives in Maryland, as does my son, Joe, and his family. He visited yesterday, for one of my grandson’s first birthday (Ezra). My memory is a little fuzzy from yesterday, but I believe he said it takes 45 minutes to get here.

The Decision to Transition From Windows to Linux

Sean was here most of the day, from early afternoon to early evening. I imagine we talked for around six hours. Since we were both drinking, with him drinking beer and me drinking whiskey, I could be mistaken about a lot of the things we talked about. Near the end of his visit, he started talking about his HP laptop computer and how badly it’s infected with one or more viruses. He said it’s no longer useable.

Being the Linux enthusiast that I am, I felt compelled to bring my own laptop computer from the upstairs bedroom to the dining room, where we were sitting. My only intention was to show him how smooth Linux Mint (Cinnamon Edition) runs on my HP laptop computer. It didn’t take him long to make the decision to use Linux instead of Windows.

I recommended dual-booting Windows and Linux instead of jumping straight to Linux only. His laptop computer has a 500 gigabyte hard drive, which is plenty of room for multiple installations.

The Task Ahead

Sean is supposed to return next weekend. That may have been the influence of alcohol making the decision, so I won’t hold my breath. Regardless, I have to prepare for his visit, just in case.

I’m currently preparing bootable USB drives. I’ve already downloaded the latest version of the Windows 10 ISO and the latest version of the Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition (as well as the Xfce Edition to be safe). His laptop computer is probably newer than mine (which will be three years old in June), so I shouldn’t have to punch in a license key.

I have multiple USB flash drives and a couple of micro SD cards. Either my 64-gigabyte flash drive or my 256-gigabyte SD card will be more than sufficient to install everything.

Reinstalling Windows is a time-consuming task in itself. With all the updates since October, it’ll probably take more than four hours. Installing any Linux distribution takes less than an hour. I’ll install Windows, get all the updates installed and then shrink the partition to about 100 gigabytes. Then I’ll install Linux Mint as the second operating system in a new partition.

Linux Mint uses Grub as the boot manager. Once all the installations and updates are completed, the menu will appear on the screen before either of the operating systems. Linux Mint should be the first option and Windows 10 the second. Unless I screw something up. I’ll be sure to write about it if things don’t go as planned.

Image Attributions: Original work: Microsoft / Public domain and Larry Ewing and The GIMP / CC0

Author: RT Cunningham
Date: May 9, 2021 (UTC)
Categories: Computers
Tags: linux, windows

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