How To Install Linux Mint 18 From a USB Flash Drive

Linux Mint is a popular Ubuntu-based Linux Distribution that aims for an easy desktop usage experience, from installation to day-to-day work. There are two Desktop Environment choices, MATE and Cinnamon. Linux Mint 18, code-named "Sarah", was released on June 30, 2016. This article will explain how to get Linux Mint 18 onto a USB Flash Drive (4GB Minimum), using either Linux, Windows, or Mac.

 Download the ISO

Obtain the Linux Mint 18 ISO from the Official Download Page. The Cinnamon 64-bit edition is recommended, unless the computer's CPU is relatively old, made earlier than 2010.

Write The ISO to a Flash Drive: Windows Instructions

Download and run the Universal USB Installer, an open source software for Windows that writes image files to USB Drives.

The process is rather straightforward:

  1. Choose "Linux Mint" as the Linux distribution
  2. Pick the Linux Mint ISO that was downloaded
  3. Show where the Flash Drive is (WARNING: all previous data on the drive will be lost)

After the imaging process is finished, you should now have a bootable flash drive from which you can install Linux Mint.

Write The ISO to a Flash Drive: Linux and OS X Instructions

The flash drive is easy to build on Linux and OS X, since the "dd" tool comes preinstalled with the system, and is a command-line tool.
WARNING: If given the wrong device file in the "of" argument, this has the potential to unintentionally reformat your hard disk.

Run the dd command as root. The usage format:

dd if=/path/to/the/Linux/Mint/ISO of=/path/to/the/flash/drive

Example:

dd if=/home/linoxide/Downloads/linuxmint-18-cinnamon-64bit.iso of=/dev/sdb

Install From USB Flash Drive To a Computer

Make sure the computer is turned off, then plug in your flash drive. Turn on the computer and have your computer boot the flash drive. You may need to reconfigure the BIOS or UEFI for this.

Mint Bootloader

When the Flash Drive is loaded, select "Start Linux Mint" from the menu that will appear.

Mint Live Desktop

The Linux Mint desktop will load.

Launch the install by double-clicking on "Install Linux Mint".

Mint Codecs

Choose whatever language you want the installation to be in.

Screenshot from 2016-07-01 13-12-32

Check this box if you want to be able to play MP3s and other file formats out of the box. This option is made available for users who wish to have no proprietary software on their machines.

Mint Install Type

"Erase disk and install Linux Mint" should be the choice for beginners who already have backed up important data from the computer. Dual-booting can also be an option if another Operating System is installed on the computer, but is not covered by this tutorial.

Mint TZ

Confirm installation type.

Screenshot from 2016-07-01 13-14-27

Set the timezone and location that Linux Mint should configure for.

Mint Keyboard

If you have custom keyboard layouts, this is where to set the configuration.

Mint Personalize

Add a personal touch to your machine by adding your personal info and picking out a name for your machine.

Mint Installing

Wait for the installation to finish.

Mint Rebooting

After installation has finished, signal the installer to "Restart Now".

Screenshot from 2016-07-01 13-36-47

Remove the Flash Drive, then press Enter to complete the installation.

Mint Login Screen

After rebooting, the Linux Mint login screen will appear.

Mint Enter Credentials

Input the password you set during installation...

Mint Welcome Screen

...and you should now be at your Linux Mint 18 Desktop, with the "Welcome Screen" being shown.

Note: If You Already Have Linux Mint And Wish To Upgrade to 18

The following information are taken from the Linux Mint Release Announcement Page:

  • If you are running the BETA, click the refresh button in your Update Manager and apply any outstanding level 1 updates. Note also that samba was removed in the stable release as it negatively impacted boot speed. To remove samba, open a terminal and type “apt purge samba”.
  • It will also be possible to upgrade from Linux Mint 17.3. Upgrade instructions will be published next month.

Conclusion

We have created a Linux Mint 18 Installer USB Flash Drive, and have installed the Operating System to a computer. We are now ready to do some computing on our freshly-installed Linux Mint 18 Operating System. Always remember to keep your system updated to the latest software versions to keep it secure and up-to-date. If you are having issues installing, referring to the Release Notes might help you solve the issues.

About Ludwig Tirazona

Ludwig Tirazona is a Linux Infrastructure Architect who has been working full-time with Linux since 2008. Obsessed with High-Availability, Performance and Uptime, he is currently into Open Source IaaS and PaaS solutions, like OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, and Docker.

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4 Comments

  1. 1st off, MultiSystem works a LOT BETTER for installing various LIVE INSTALLERS and other types of .ISO images onto a USB drive!!!
    I have a 64GB flash drive with 12 different LIVE OS'S installers installed, as well as various diagnostics .ISO imagefiles.

    I have tried the other software options and have had no problems with MultiSystem other than the same problem I have with all other installers, in that I can not get an actual INSTALL of Mint 18 onto the USB Drive!

    However the one part I have had trouble with is installing an actual OS like Mint to fully function from a USB drive.

    I need to install Mint 18 to a drive so I can include NOD32 on a portable Mint OS, as well as a few other diagnostics and utilities, not merely install a LIVE INSTALLER onto a USB drive!