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Install Linux Mint in a virtual partition

(18 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by whs
  • Latest reply from presence1960
  • Topic Viewed 2328 times

whs
whs
Posts: 17584

This tutorial is aimed at Windows users who want to try out a Linux distro and learn about a virtual OS installation at the same time. I am using the Linux Mint Mate (Nadia) distro as the example. The installation of other distros does not differ except in the installation of the VMware Tools. There you may have to Google to find the correct Terminal commands.

Mint Mate is a Linux distro with an Ubuntu base. It has a user interface that makes it relatively easy for a Windows user to get started. Mint Cinnamon and Zorin would be other options that I can recommend for Windows users. Coming from Windows, you will not be too alienated using those distros. They have a Start menu and a familiar task bar. But there are, of course, differences.

Mint Mate can be downloaded from this site. The 64bit version is the one used in this tutorial. But there is also a 32bit version.

I will explain how to make the setup in VMware Player, some basic settings in Mint Mate (video) and how to install the VMware Tools (video). There is also a video that shows the operation of the virtual partition.

Chapter 1 - install Mint Mate in VMware Player

Download VMware Player from this site and install it on your system. Then start VMware Player and you will see this window.

Here you just click on 'Create a new virtual machine' and you get to this window.

Here you select to install from the .iso image and navigate to the Mint Mate .iso file that you have downloaded. Then Next.

Mark Linux and choose the Ubuntu 64bit. Then Next.

Browse to the disk/partition and folder where you want to install the virtual partition files. Default is Documents. I recommend predefining a folder in Documents for the VMware installation so that all VMware files are in one place. When you are done with the installation, there will be over 25 files and subfolders. Having those mixed with other folders would be messy.

In this window you can take the defaults. Mint Mate will start out with less than 6GB of disk space usage so a maximum of 20GB for the dynamic virtual disk should suffice. Then Next.

The default allocation is 1GB of RAM and 1 processor. I always assign 2GB of RAM and 2 processors. But you should take what is suitable for your PC.

This would be the setting for an allocation of 2GB of RAM

This setting gives the virtual machine 2 cores. Any more cores would probably not be used by Mint. If you are done with that, click on Close and then on Finish. Then you get the VMware start screen were you highlight your new system (top left) and click on ' Play virtual Machine (bottom right). Then VMware Player will install the bootstrap system of Mint Mate.

Once this is done, you need to right click on the "Install DVD" as shown in the picture and Open that. This will start the full installation of Mint Mate.

The Mint Mate installation process is very similar to the Windows installation process. You set the language, keyboard layout, time zone, and give the system a name.

You must define a password - I always use 1234 because Linux distros ask many times for authentication with the password. A complicated password will make the operation more cumbersome. There is one big difference to a Windows installation - you do not need a product key. Mint Mate is freeware.

Once your installation is completed, restart Mint Mate - click on the Mint Menu button (bottom left) and then on the power symbol (bottom right in the start menu). That will bring up the various options (restart, shutdown, etc.)

Chapter 2 - Videos

Note: It is possible that the audio of the following video is very low. That is easy to fix. In your Windows system, right click on the speaker icon in the task tray (bottom right) > Playback devices > double click on your output device > Enhancement tab > check the 'Loudness Equalizer' box

2.1 Basic settings in Mint Mate

The Terminal command used in this video for the installation of additional themes is:

apt install mate-themes

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....e=youtu.be

2.2 Installing the VMware Tools in Mint Mate

The Terminal commands used in this video for the installation of the VMware Tools are:

cd Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib
sudo ./vmware-install.pl -d

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP8fxhgkG9o

2.3 The VMware virtual system operation with Mint Mate

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....e=youtu.be

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Since there is no editor on this forum, the above tutorial posting is 'very basic'. If you prefer a fully edited version. go to my Skydrive link.There you can either read the tutorial in a PDF enabled browser (e.g. Chrome) by double clicking on the box or download the PDF with a right click on the box.

Posted 1 year ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

This is a good tutorial!

How much RAM do you have on the computer you run VMware on?

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

You can run comfortably with 3GBs assuming your host system is Windows 7. 2GB for the host and 1GB for Linux. I have 8GB and gave Mint 2GB. But it is far from using it.

This is the Mint System Monitor and it is telling me that it uses 370MB right now. But I am not really doing anything in Mint right now.

Posted 1 year ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

Oh ok. I need to upgrade the RAM in my desktop from 4GB to 8GB. I want to do some more with virtual machines.

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

4GB is plenty. No need to upgrade. Only if you want to run 3 or 4 systems at the same time (which I sometimes do) would you need 8GB. But for running 1 virtual system together with the host, you will be fine with 4GBs.

You can install as many virtual systems as you like - just don't run them all at the same time. For each virtual Linux system I would recommend 10 to 15GB of disk space. Mint, Zorin and Ubuntu start at about 6GB of disk space. But after you installed the VMware tools and a few programs, you'll probably be at 8GB of disk space usage.

I also run Windows 8 in VMware. Now that's a different story. There you need 20 to 30GB of disk space. But 4GB of RAM would still be fine - just split it 2 and 2.

Posted 1 year ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

Alright. My inner geek still wants to upgrade a little (LOL).

If I ever do get Windows 8 I will just buy another HHD or SSD (depends on money) and run it from there.

I had Zorin running in VMware (I think (1)GB for it and (3)GB for my host) and it was kinda of laggy on VMware. The host was still running fine, just not the virtual machine. Do you have any ideas?

I am running from a 500GB 7200RPM HHD SATA 3/Gbs. This might be the problem.

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Hmm, I run all my systems from SSDs. So I really don't know what the problem could have been - probably the slow disk. Windows 8 and Zorin I run from an external 60GB SSD attached via USB3. And that is lightning fast. If you want speed, you'll have to get SSDs (I have 7, LOL). That external SSD I got for $59.95 at Newegg on one of their frequent specials. That thing is really fast.

Posted 1 year ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

I want to get an SSD. Currently I have:

Internal:
(1) 500GB 7200RPM HHD SATA 6.0/Gbs (Runs on SATA 3.0/GBs
(1) 40GB (I think) 5400RPM HHD (I think) IDE (I took this HHD out of a REALLY old computer to just mess around with)
External:
(1) 160GB 5400PRM USB 2.0

I need to get a bigger external for backups and (1) or (2) SSDs. (1) for my main Windows 7 OS and (1) as an external.

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Here are a couple that don't break the budget. Refurbished they are probably better than new - all the bugs are out. I have 4 OCZs, never had any problems with them. The oldest is 4 years old.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6820227961
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6820227956

Posted 1 year ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

Are the refurbished items on Newegg good? Also is Newegg good about returns if something doesn't work? I haven't ordered anything from them yet but I plan to when I upgrade my graphics card.

OCZ seems to be a pretty good brand from what I've read. I've never seen anything bad about them. What are the good brands for SSDs?

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

I buy all my stuff from Newegg and never had any problem with returns. Last item I returned was a bluetooth headset with mic because it would not work with my Nexus 7.

Refurbished items have a reduced return policy. You have to read it on the item page.

OCZ is a top brand. Other good makes are Samsung (840 Pro), Crucial (M4) and my personal favorite Mushkin. But then there are also Intel, Kingston, Corsair etc. that make good SSDs.

Posted 1 year ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

Oh alright. I'll have to look at their return policy.

I've never heard of Mushkin. I'll have to look at them.

EDIT: Now I know their return policy. Pretty straight forward. The OCZ Vertex 2 looks like a pretty good drive!

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

I think Mushkin is similar to Crucial. They come from the RAM business.

Posted 1 year ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

Alright, they look to be a little cheaper than some of the others.

Posted 1 year ago
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presence1960
presence1960
Posts: 280

Linux uses RAM way differently and way more efficiently than windows does. A machine with smaller RAM will run way snappier on Linux than as it would on XP. Forget about Vista, 7 & 8 they are RAM hungry When I boot Ubuntu and Sabayon only 487 MB of RAM are used. When I boot Windows 7 or 8 close to 2 GB is used on same machine. BTW these are real installations not virtual.

Posted 1 year ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

@presence1960,
That how it was on my laptop. The RAM usage went WAY down when booted into a Linux distro.

Posted 1 year ago
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presence1960
presence1960
Posts: 280

Advantages of linux: better use of RAM and resources, currently virus-free, no open ports on a default installation, better security all around, software in repositories constantly checked by community so you know it is safe, OS is super customizable, no licensing restrictions, cost=free, many distros so there is sure to be one that catches your attention and keeps it. No fragmentation on journaled file systems.

Cons: requires willingness to learn from scratch, gaming support almost non-existant (although Steam for Linux recently came into being), on lappies some hardware requires effort to get drivers installed or install a workaround, no paid support-you get help from people just like you who help in their spare time out of the goodness of their hearts

Unless you are a gamer, run specialized software that has no linux equivalent, or are just unwilling to learn something new either because you are lazy or are a windows power user and it may hurt your ego to be back at the beginning of the class again linux is worth taking a look at. If you fall into these areas a dual boot is something you may want to take a look at. That way as you learn linux, which is a process, you can always boot to windows to complete your work then come back to linux to learn more.

Posted 1 year ago
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