Will you treat yourself to a LinuXmas this holiday?

Will you be taking the plunge and installing Linux during the current holidays?

I do believe that all desktops can create a Linux bootable thumbdrive (less than 2 Gb) that can run entirely in memory.

Booting from the thumbdrive takes about a minute!

The boot process automatically detects Internet connection, dual monitors and other hardware.

Installing dual Operating Systems is probably the best option if only a single desktop is available.

A complete installation is quite quick and takes about 15 minutes. Once installed booting is very fast - even on slow desktop computers and can be fully loaded in a matter of seconds.

Updates are on demand and most take less than a minute.

There are now numerous Linux Operating Systems available and perhaps the best option is to download either Ubuntu or Linux Mint… unless other users can suggest better options?

There are numerous Linux SitePoint users that no doubt will answer any doubts or problems that may arise… go for it :slight_smile:


I would have to disagree on this point. IMO you would be better off installing Virtual Box and running Linux as a Virtual Machine.

Why not go all in Linux? That’s the best option.


If you have a secure boot Windows machine it really is a real pain in the proverbial to boot from USB as you have to disable UEFI, and then re-enable it to boot from Windows.

Yet another reason to abandon Windows.

And, the amount of data that Win10 collects about you is staggering.


I prefer the other way around.

Lesser risk the host goes down in the middle of anything important, :wink:

Sure, I agree. The jist of the OP was coming from a point of view that you already had a non Linux OS so that is how I responded to it.


Hi there John,

I was thinking about putting a Linux OS on an SSD
and then just swapping it with the Windows SSD
when I wanted to test it out.

Does that sound like a failproof method to you and,
as I am an old stick in the mud   Windows 7   user,
what OS would you recommend that I install for my
initial testing ?

I am, of course, referring to P.C. rather than laptop
usage, which just makes the swapping of the SSDs
a momentary process. :winky:


Back to what I said earlier, if you have the space and install Virtual Box you can install EVERY Linux flavor and try them all at the same time. Swapping drives is a hassle and not necessary anymore. (I used to do it that way).

But not for me. :unhappy:

As I pointed out…

…just makes the swapping of the SSDs a momentary process. :winky:

And, on reflection, I really don’t want to install Virtual Box. :wonky:


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I’d recommend Linux Mint as a beginner friendly OS.

Use the Cinnamon desktop if your computer has halfway decent specs.


Don’t you need extra memory for each one? Windows already use too much itself.

I think you also could conveniently swap drives when the OS is hibernated. :slight_smile:

I still find Linux very frustrating. The last time I installed it was on a Pi and I know it is a cut down version but I had these same problems on the last two times I tried to use Ubuntu.

I tried to install some software and off Linux went to find all the dependancies and failed as it could not find one and suggested it could search for it. Didn’t find it so I did a manual search and finally found it and got everything installed. I could not run the program as it was the wrong version of the code. I gave up at that point as I could not find the correct version.

I feel until the dependency problems are sorted out it is always going to be a pain. People who write the code are not always going to support it and if they write some code they should keep it updated so when a linked piece of code is no longer suitable they do something about it.

Even the help sites are not noob friendly. You find a site with the answer to a problem you are looking for and start to work your way through it and find something you do not understand so you search for how to sort that problem. This can again lead you onto another problem you have to search for.

Edit: I must say it is a lot more user friendly than it was 15 or so years ago when I first tried it. From memory finding and installing drivers was a nightmare.

Yes that is true. :winky:

I can do it temporarily in less than 60 seconds and
permanently within 5 minutes, but I do prefer to shut
down the p.c. first, just to be on the safe side. :biggrin:


Drive safe, aka safe drive! :relieved:

No problem, I gave up driving in 1981. :rofl:


Hi @coothead,

Your initial setup is similar to the one I had when I decided to take the leap and not to burn my bridges…

Steps to install onto new SSD:

  1. download ISO file onto existing harddrive
    a. Ubuntu or Linux Mint are both good choices
    b, ISO usually less than two Gb
    c. Linux setups nearly all the same so good to practice
  2. ISO file has a special format and cannot just be copied to thumbdrive
    a. download a small utility that formats and copies ISO file
    b. create the bootable thumbdrive
  3. replace existing Windows harddrive with new SSD
  4. set BIOS to boot from thumbdrive
  5. boot from thumbdrive
    a. choose the test before install to ensure all hardware is working
    b. choose install
  6. after install complete, remove thumbdrive
    a. maybe reset BIOS to boot from the Linux SSD
  7. report back on success, problems etc

The above steps take about 20 minutes on my ancient desktop with 8 Gb of memory.

spelling not my forty :frowning:

True, but VMs have always been infamous for its speed. I use VMs for my school projects and I just sit there for like an hour moving the cursor from 1 position of the screen to the other. I’m basically not even doing my work at this point, the speed and lag is just extreme on virtual boxes. Some people may disagree, but if you install on a store bought computer, it won’t last you. It’s much better to just do either dual boot or install the flavor you want on the host and be done with it.

I know that students from my school have complained about how slow VMs are when they have to use it on their computers.


Virtual box is good for testing different operating systems but very slow for a permanent solution.

My post was geared towards a solution to permanently create an alternative Linux bootable operating system alongside an existing Windows operating system.

If after testing Linux fails to satisfy personal needs then Windows will still be available.

The supplied instructions are failsafe to prevent the possibility of installing and formatting onto the wrong drive.

If you are feeling brave then connect both drives and go for the dual boot option.

I have had niggly problems with the “sleep” option and prefer to reboot and make coffee instead of staring at the startup screen waiting for login :slight_smile: