Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Released – Installation Guide with Screenshots & Features

The long awaited moment of Linux Mint 17 ‘Qiana‘ Cinnamon and Mate final releases has come, Linux Mint developers proudly announced on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 on their official Linux Mint webpage the newly Linux Mint releases with long term support until 2019.

Clement Lefebvre: “It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use. The Update manager has been hugely improved. It shows more information, it looks better, it feels faster, and it gets less in your way. It no longer needs to reload itself in root mode when you click on it. It no longer checks for an Internet connection or waits for the network manager and it no longer locks the APT cache at session startup. The UI has been improved, the icons were modified a bit and the changelog retrieval is now much faster and more reliable.”

Linux Mint 17 Features

Some of this release features are:

  1. A improved new Update Manager version.
  2. Without internet connection ‘Driver Manager’ can install drivers.
  3. MDM 1.6 Login Screen now support HiDPI and recovery mode.
  4. A new Language Settings tool.
  5. An enhanced Software Sources configuration utility.
  6. A light redesigned Welcome Screen.
  7. Better settings for Cinnamon 2.2.
  8. Improved MATE 1.8.
  9. Few system improvements.
  10. A nice collection of backgrounds.
  11. Linux Kernel 3.13.
  12. EFI and Bluetooth support.
  13. PAE Kernel for x32bit versions.
  14. Booting with non-PAE CPUs
  15. Solving freezes with some NVIDIA GeForce GPUs
  16. No support for Nvidia Optimus graphics chipsets yet (minimal support is provided by nvidia-prime package).

For more information and download mirrors please visit official Linux Mint webpage.

  1. Linux Mint 17 Qiana Mate: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2627
  2. Linux Mint 17 Qiana Cinnamon: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2626

This tutorial will focus on performing a single-boot fresh installation of Linux Mint 17 Qiana Mate on GPT disks (only for 64-bit OS versions) but the settings can be applied on Cinnamon version also. Be aware that dual-boot with a Windows OS will not work using GPT partition scheme on computers with BIOSes (Microsoft Windows will boot in EFI mode if it detects a GPT partition label) so use GPT partitions with dual-boot only on computers with Extensible Firmware Interface –EFI or Unified EFI -UEFI firmware else use only Linux Mint single boot on non-EFI computers with GPT scheme or dual-boot with Windows OS on BIOSes (Grub Legacy) with MBR partition scheme.

If you already have a previous version of Linux Mint installed on your computer and you want to upgrade to Qiana follow use the instructions from my former tutorial on Upgrade Linux Mint 16 (Petra) to Linux Mint 17 (Qiana).

Step 1: Create GPT Partition Layout

1. Download on of the Linux Mint 17 versions from the above mirrors and burn it to a DVD or create a USB bootable drive.

2. Place your USB stick or DVD in your computer drive and select your appropriate boot medium from BIOS/UEFI menu.

3. When the first Linux Mint screen appears press [Enter] key, choose Start Linux Mint and wait for the system to completely load.

Booting Linux Mint 17

Booting Linux Mint

Start Linux Mint

Start Linux Mint

4. After Linux Mint completely loads into a Live state go to Menu, type gparted on Search field and start GParted disk partitioner.

GParted Disk Partitioner.

GParted Disk Partitioner.

5. On GParted select your first hard-disk from right tab then go to GParted Menu -> Device -> Create Partition Table, choose GPT on Warning window, then click on Apply.

Create Partition Table

Create Partition Table

Select GPT Partition Type

Select GPT Partition Type

6. Then left click on unallocated space, select New and enter the following settings for this partition then click on Add.

  1. New size = 20 Mib
  2. File system = Unformatted
  3. Label = Bios Grub
Create Bios Grub Partition

Create Bios Grub Partition

Enter Partition Size

Enter Partition Size

7. The next partition will hold the Boot Grub. Again select unallocated space -> New and use the following settings for this partition.

  1. New size = ~300 MB
  2. File system = ext2/ext3/ext4 (choose whatever file system you like)
  3. Label = EFI Boot
Create EFI Boot Partition

Create EFI Boot Partition

8. The next partition will be for Linux Swap. Again select unallocated space -> New and use the following settings for this partition.

  1. New size = RAMx2 MB
  2. File system = Unformatted
  3. Label = Swap
Create Swap Partition

Create Swap Partition

9. Next partition should be for ROOT. Same steps as previous partitions with following settings.

  1. New size = min 20000 MB (20Gb)
  2. File system = ext4
  3. Label = root
Create Root Partition

Create Root Partition

10. The last partition will be for users $HOME. Again select the remaining unallocated space -> New and use the following settings for this partition.

  1. New size = default value (this will be the rest of free space in case you don’t want to create other partitions)
  2. File system = ext4
  3. Label = home
Create Home Partition

Create Home Partition

11. After you have finished partition creation process press [Ctrl]+[Enter] keys and hit on Apply pop-up window button to write your newly partition table on hard-disk.

Apply Partition Changes

Apply Partition Changes

Apply Operations to Device

Apply Operations to Device

Operation Completed Successfully

Operation Completed Successfully

12. After the partition table was successfully written close the window and navigate on your first partition (/dev/sda1), right click on it, go to Manage Flags, select bios_grub then close the window.

Manage Flags

Manage Flags

Select Bios Grub

Select Bios Grub

13. Again, do the same thing with EFI Boot partition (/dev/sda2) but this time select legacy_boot partition Flag.

EFI Boot partition

EFI Boot partition

Select Legacy Boot

Select Legacy Boot

GParted Partition Table

GParted Partition Table

Step 2: Install Linux Mint 17 [Mate]

14. After you are done setting the disk partition layout, close Gparted and hit Install Linux Mint icon from desktop.

Install Linux Mint 17

Install Linux Mint

15. Select your system Language and click Continue.

Select  System Language

Select System Language

16. The next screen will verify your system available free space and internet connection to ensure that the system meats the minimal requirements for disk space for an optimal installation. If you have no internet connection shouldn’t be a problem so shoot Continue.

Preparing to Install Linux Mint

Preparing to Install Linux Mint

17. Because we previously created system hard-disk partition layout, on the next screen choose Something else and click on Continue.

Select Installation Type

Select Installation Type

18. Now it’s time to tell installer how to use system partition table, created earlier. First choose the boot partition (/dev/sda2) and make the following settings (/dev/sda1 leave it untouched).

  1. Size = leave it unchanged
  2. Use as = Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 filesystem (ext4 is faster while ext2 is more suitable for small partitions due to its lack of journalize)
  3. Check Format the partition
  4. Mount point = /boot
Select Boot Partition

Select Boot Partition

Enter Boot Size

Enter Boot Size

19. Next setup Linux Swap (/dev/sda3) using default chosen size and Use as swap area.

Set Swap Partition

Set Swap Partition

20. Configure root partition (/dev/sda4) with the following options.

  1. Size = leave it untouched
  2. Use as = Ext4 journaling file system
  3. Check Format the partition
  4. Mount point = /
Configure Root Partition

Configure Root Partition

21. Finally configure HOME partition with the following settings.

  1. Size = leave it untouched
  2. Use as = Ext4 journaling file system
  3. Check Format the partition
  4. Mount point = /home
Configure Home Partition

Configure Home Partition

22. The final partition table should look like in the screenshots below. After you verify it again and make sure it suits your needs hit on Install Now button.

Final Partition Table

Final Partition Table

Install Now Linux Mint

Install Now Linux Mint

23. If your computer has Internet connection the installer will automatically detect your location else choose your real location using the provided map and hit on Continue.

Select Your Location

Select Your Location

24. On the next screen choose your Keyboard layout then click on Continue.

Select Keyboard Layout

Select Keyboard Layout

25. For the final settings of your system pick a username and a password for your computer and choose an appropriate name for Computer then Continue.

Enter User Details

Enter User Details

26. After the installer successfully finishes its job remove the installer media and reboot your computer.

Installation Process

Installation Process

Installation Complete - Reboot

Installation Complete – Reboot

Congratulations! Now you have Linux Mint 17 Qiana with Mate desktop environment installed on your computer using GPT partition layout.

Linux Mint 17 Installed

Linux Mint 17 Installed

Linux Mint 17 Login Screen

Linux Mint 17 Login Screen

Linux Mint 17 Desktop

Linux Mint 17 Desktop

Note down that depending on your computer EFI/UEFI the system might not boot properly and this settings may not work for you, so should dig the subject as a starting point using this pages.

  1. EFI Bootloaders Principles
  2. UEFI Community
  3. Install Linux Mint on UEFI Supported Device

Although this experiment was done as a single boot under a virtualized environment with no UEFI and using a small disk in size the partition table scheme should be valid for most of EFI/BIOS computers with the remark that you can’t use GPT disk layout in dual-boot on BIOS computers and some UEFI/EFI systems can impose problems on booting from GPT disks (disabling Secure Boot might help in some cases), so if you plan on using disks smaller than 2GB in size you should stick to MBR partition layout.

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Matei Cezar

I'am a computer addicted guy, a fan of open source and linux based system software, have about 4 years experience with Linux distributions desktop, servers and bash scripting.

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25 Responses

  1. Harry Anderson says:

    Hi there.
    Boy, I’v been trying to install this baby (mint17.1 cinnamon) for days now.
    As ‘newbie’ I couldn’t understand what was really the issue ..
    THiS tutorial finally(!) solve my existed broblems once and for all.
    Couldn’t be happier right now. Thank you!, ain’t just enough..

  2. Njeru says:

    I have been trying to understand this procedure do a fresh install on my Toshiba but all i do is get confused please do something more simpler for Newbies

  3. Thomas Post says:

    I have a brand new virgin self made computer using an ASUS H87M-Plus motherboard. After a lot of tinkering, I finally got a GRUB to show up and was able to launch LM17. The guide is excellent. Here are the changes I had to make.

    Step 7 is wrong:

    The next partition will hold the Boot Grub. Again select unallocated space -> New and use the following settings for this partition.

    New size = ~300 MB
    File system = FAT32
    Label = EFI Boot

    The file system must be FAT32 otherwise you cannot have EFI work.

    Between Step 9 and 10 I added a few more partitions for future OSs.

    Step 13 needs to be modified. Now that it is FAT32, you will have two flags to check: legacy_boot and msftdata

    Now Step 18 has to be modified. Since the table is FAT32, you will get other options. You will not be able to “Format the Partition”, and when you click Change, you can select EFI boot. The program will know to mount it as /boot/efi.

    When I made these changes, the computer actually had a Grub 2 and Linux Mint 17 was an option! I am now updating the OS.

  4. Matei Cezar says:

    If you laptop can support disabling UEFI and install it with Bios legacy then switch to this option and install Linux Mint with MBR partition scheme (only if your HDD is smaller than 2GB)

  5. Margaret says:

    I followed your mostly excellent instructions but would echo Rich’s and kggy’s comments above. I needed to go back and re-partition my laptop with regard to the EFI boot instructions and the flag for that partition which needs to be FAT32 format. If you have the time to update and correct this it would save trouble for other people.

    Even though I read their comments before I started I did not know enough to understand their implication until I hit the problems myself.

    I understand Charmaine’s frustration. I have a new Lenovo laptop with Win 8.1 and it took a bit of trouble, including finding out how to disable Secure boot and going to Lenovo websites, to find out how to interrupt the startup process to get my computer to boot from the DVD. My previous experience getting Mint16 working dual boot with Win XP taught me a lot of patience!

  6. Charmaine says:

    It doesn’t work.

    Linux most assuredly does NOT boot up from either usb OR dvd.

    To think that I’d wanted to entirely remove all things Microsoft from my pc and go with Linux after all I’d read about it – I was obviously deluded.

    It’s clearly not as ‘user friendly’ or as well made as geeks claim.

    As for it being ‘great for beginners’…really? What the hell is a ‘grub’? Or a ‘partition’? Or a ‘legacy’?

    Why don’t you linux people learn to talk straight. Tell the average non-geek that your system is NOT for beginner’s and that it mostly doesn’t work unless one has a degree in ‘Geekdom’ and ‘Jibberish’.

  7. Ruben Desangles says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Used it to install LinuxMint 17 32bit on a MacPro2,1 and it is running perfectly. I tried using the 64bit version but I couldn’t get it to boot from CD or USB.

    Again, thank you very much.

  8. Rich Foulkes says:

    Thank you so much for your tutorial.

    I had to change your partition recommendation to work on a Acer RL80 mini pc. It was a clean install on a new hard drive with no other operating systems. I had to move the EFI Boot partition first, FAT32 format and set flag to “boot” and gave it ~ 550 mb. If I didn’t do that I got a warning during Mint install saying “Go back to menu and correct problem?” and notes about normally requiring “EFI Boot partition”.

    Other than that, your help was spot on!

    I had no idea about BIOS morphing into EFI/UEFI. learned something new. :)

    Rich

  9. Clay Heydorn says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I been meaning to install with a home partition for some time now. Your tutorial made it easy. Very much appreciated!

  10. kggy says:

    Hello! I do not understand why you did the first two partitions, grub and boot legacy. Systems are needed only if new EFI BIOS / UEFI? Usually partitioned as follows: “/”, “swap”, “/ home” and a partition for data / backup. One more thing and it’s OK and you? Thank you! Congratulations for this tutorial!

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