The installation of the operating system seems mysterious, but it's actually very simple. Here are the steps to successfully install Linux.
In 2021, there are more reasons for people to like Linux. In this series, I'll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. Here's how to install Linux.
Installing an operating system (OS) is always daunting. For most people, it's a problem. The installation of the operating system cannot be done from within the operating system, because it is either not installed or will be replaced by another operating system. So how does it happen? What's worse, it usually involves a series of confusing problems, such as hard disk format, installation location, time zone, user name, password and so on. Linux distributions know this, so they've been trying for years to minimize the time you spend in operating system installers.
What happened during the installation
Whether you are installing an application or the entire operating system, the installation process is just a fancy way to copy files from one medium to another. No matter what the user interface is, or how highly specialized the installation process is disguised by animation, it's all the same thing in the end: the files once stored on the CD or drive are copied to a specific location on the hard disk.
When an application is installed, the effective location for these files is highly restricted to the part of the hard drive that your file system or your operating system knows it can use. This is important because it can divide the hard disk into different spaces (apple used this technique in bootcamp at the beginning of this century, allowing users to install Mac OS and windows on one hard disk, but as a separate entity). When you install an operating system, some special files will be installed on the hard disk, which is usually a forbidden area. More importantly, at least by default, all existing data on your hard disk will be erased to make room for the new system, so it is necessary to create a backup.
Technically, you don't actually need an installation program to install an application or even an operating system. Believe it or not, some people install Linux manually by mounting a blank hard disk, compiling code, and copying files. This was done with the help of a project called Linux from scratch (LFS). This project aims to help enthusiasts, students and future operating system designers learn more about how computers work and what each component performs. This is not the recommended way to install Linux, but you will find that in open source, it is usually like this: if something can be done, then someone is doing it. And that's a good thing, because these niche interests often lead to surprisingly useful innovations.
Suppose you don't want to reverse engineer linux, then the normal installation method is to use the installation CD or image.
Three simple steps to install Linux
When you boot from a Linux Installation DVD or USB flash drive, you are exposed to a minimal operating environment for running one or more useful applications. The installation program is the most important application program, but because Linux is such a flexible system, you can usually run standard desktop applications to feel what the operating system looks like before you decide to install it.
Different Linux distributions have different setup interfaces. Here are two examples.
Fedora Linux has a flexible installation program (called Anaconda), which can carry out complex system configuration
Anaconda installation program on Fedora
Elementary OS has a simple installation program, which is mainly designed for installation on personal computers
Elementary os setup
1. Get setup
The first step in installing Linux is to download an installation program. You can get a Linux Installation image from the distribution you choose to try.
Fedora is known for being the first to update its software. Linux Mint provides an easy option to install missing drivers. Elementary provides a beautiful desktop experience and several special, customized applications.
The etcher application can burn the USB flash disk.
Now you can install Linux.
2. Boot order
To install the operating system on your computer, you must boot to the operating system installation program. This is not a common behavior for a computer, because few people do it. In theory, you only need to install the operating system once, and then you will keep updating it. When you choose to install different operating systems on your computer, you interrupt the normal life cycle. This is not a bad thing. This is your computer, so you have the right to re plan it. However, this is different from the computer's default behavior, which is to boot any operating system found on the hard disk immediately after boot.
Before installing Linux, you must back up any data you have on the target computer, because it will be cleared during installation.
Suppose you've saved the data to an external hard disk, and then you secretly store it in a safe place (instead of connecting to your computer), then you can continue.
First, connect the U disk with Linux installation program to the computer. Turn on the computer and see if there are any instructions on the screen to interrupt its default boot sequence. This is usually a key like F2, F8, ESC or even del, but it varies according to your motherboard manufacturer. If you miss this window, just wait for the default operating system to load, then restart and try again.
When you interrupt the boot sequence, the computer will prompt you for a boot command. Specifically, the firmware embedded in the motherboard needs to know which drive to look for the operating system that can be loaded. In this case, you want the computer to boot from the USB flash drive that contains the Linux image. How to prompt you with this information depends on the motherboard manufacturer. Sometimes, it asks you directly, and comes with a menu:
Boot device selection menu
Other times, you're brought into a crude interface that you can use to set the startup sequence. The computer is usually set to view the internal hard disk first by default. If the boot fails, it moves to a USB flash drive, network drive, or optical drive. You need to tell your computer to look for a USB flash drive first, so that it will bypass its internal hard drive and boot the Linux image on the USB flash drive.
BIOS selection screen
At first, this can be daunting, but once you're familiar with the interface, it's a quick and easy task. Once Linux is installed, you don't have to, because after that, you want your computer to boot from the internal hard disk again. This is a very good skill, because the key reason for using Linux on USB flash disk is to test the Linux compatibility of the computer before installation, and general troubleshooting no matter what operating system is involved.
Once you have selected your USB drive as the boot device, save your settings, reset the computer, and then boot to the Linux image.
3. Install Linux
Once you start into the Linux installation program, just follow the prompts.
For the location of the hard disk, you must know which hard disk you want to erase, and then rewrite it with the Linux distribution of your choice. For a laptop with only one hard disk, this may be an obvious choice.
Select the hard disk on which you want to install the operating system (in this case, there is only one hard disk).
If you have more than one hard disk in your computer, and you only want to install Linux on one of the hard disks, or you want to use two hard disks as one hard disk, you must help the setup program understand your goal. The simplest way is to assign Linux a hard disk and let the installation program perform automatic partitioning and formatting, but for advanced users, there are many other options.
Your computer must have at least one user, so create a user account for yourself. After that, you can finally click the Done button to install Linux.
The anaconda option is complete and ready to install
Other installers may be simpler, so what you see may be different from the images in this article. In any case, except for the pre installed operating system, this installation process is one of the simplest, so don't let the idea of installing the operating system scare you. This is your computer. You can and should install an operating system that you own.
Own your computer
In the end, Linux became your operating system. It is an operating system developed by people from all over the world. Its core is to create a computing culture of participation, common ownership and cooperative management. If you are interested in learning more about open source, please take a step to learn about Linux, a shining example of it, and install it.
- THE END -Linux China