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I plan on moving to Linux Mint (as my main OS) soon.



I have decided that sometime around January of 2017, I will "move" to Linux and continue my phase of slowly abandoning Microsofts product line and ecosystem (mostly because of privacy concerns regarding Windows 10, but also because now that I have tried Win 10 for almost an entire year, I can safely say that I do have problems with the stability and design of the OS). This is not the first time that I have decided to go to Linux. Last year after an "upgrade" to Windows 10 from 8.1 that did not go too smoothly on my old HP convertible laptop, I decided to create another partition on my hard drive using Ubuntu's installer app, and I believe I may have talked about it in various parts of these forums once upon a time. However, back then I was only considering Linux as a temporary replacement until I could afford a better machine, having known about the free nature of Linux distros.


Since I still (unfortunately) need Microsoft's flagship product as I plan on going to TAFE next year to do courses relevant to Screen and Media, which will require the Adobe Creative Cloud, and after much research, I decided that maybe WINE/PlayOnLinux/Crossover and/or virtual machines is not a very good idea and that buying a Surface for this rather small amount of software I actually need Windows for would be financially shooting myself in the foot and will only support Microsoft further than if I just do what I did with my old laptop, and make a partition for Linux so that I can still keep Windows for what I need it for.


I guess the reason that I made this post is because I am a long time Windows user wanting something different, and I only dislike Apple more than Microsoft (though honestly, they're just as bad as each other), and I wanted to hear from any Linux users on the forums any tips, advice and suggestions to help me make the most out of my "switch" to Linux. Especially since me (and my family) have been dependent on Microsoft and their product line and ecosystem for as long as I can remember.


If it helps, this is my current specs:

Model: MSI GE62 6QF
RAM: 16GB (Originally 8GB, modified by the store I bought it from)
CPU: Intel Core i7 @ 2.60GHz (8 CPUs)
Storage: 88GB SSD (OS), 1TB Hard Drive (for personal data, not that I trust Windows with it anymore)
Cool features: SteelSeries backlit keyboard


I have chosen Linux Mint as my distro to make the "switch" from Windows to because I tried it inside a virtual machine and was impressed by the Cinnamon desktop environment being so much like what I'm used to on Windows, but also more organised, I have heard lots of good things about its stability and speed (I even tried it on my old HP laptop that ran Ubuntu and Windows 10 before I had to give it to my dad, with Windows 8.1 reinstalled onto it because he needed Windows) and because Mint's source code is based on one of the major distros of Linux (Ubuntu), I thought that it would be just as good, and it turned out much better as my old machine never crashed once with it installed, compared to with Ubuntu installed.

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It sounds like you already have most of it planned out. The only thing left would seem to be which desktop environment you want. Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, or KDE.


I chose the KDE because for 15, and 16 & 17 as well, there is a pony theme for it. It doesn't seem to work with 18, yet, though.




Do you plan on replacing Windows or dual booting? If you plan on dual booting remember to leave some room for Windows updates.

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I have chosen Cinnamon as my desktop environment. From my trial of Mint on a VM, as well as my old HP laptop, I noticed that it was a lot closer to what I'm used to on Windows (it also makes much more sense so far than Unity did in my Ubuntu days) and I liked how well organised it is because of how it categorises each app in its equivalent of the start menu, and I also like the favourites and search bars. 


Because of the fact that I'll still need Windows to run Adobe CC, I have decided to dualboot but still haven't figured out the right size of each partition on my 88GB SSD. Doesn't help that each new version of Windows is always much larger than its predecessor. 

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The you need to find out how much space is used by the Adobe CC apps, especially if you uninstall any other programs to free up more space.


I don't know which apps you use, but I found a list of system requirements for the various CC apps;




My last Linux install had used about 60GB of a 120GB drive, but I had software for working with android and playing windows games installed as well. But just installing and going online with Linux can be done with as little as 20GB of space.


Also, don't forget a swap partition. Even a 2GB one should work fine, especially with your 16GB of ram.


The next question then is what do you want installed on Linux Mint, and what do you want to do with it?

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I mainly plan on using After Effects, Animate, Premiere Pro and Photoshop. Adding up the hard drive space requirements, it seems I'll require at least 20GB on my Windows partition.


As for what I want to do with Linux Mint, well, I've realised that a good majority of the apps I already use on Windows (Google Chrome, Firefox, VLC, VirtualBox, LibreOffice, Steam, GOG Galaxy and a lot of the games I've bought from those stores) are already compatible with Linux, so I guess I just want to use Linux (mainly) for all the regular tasks that I really don't need Windows for, and, having also got into gaming on the PC, I wanted to try out some of my games that can apparently work on Linux on, well, Linux itself, and use WINE/PlayOnLinux for older games.

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I can think of a few different ways of doing this, depending on how much free space you have on both drives.


I am assuming that both drives are currently formatted as NTFS with one partition each.


First way:


     Resize the partition on the ssd to free up 20-30 GB of free space. 


     Create a new primary partition about 24-28 GB, assuming you have 30GB free, and format it ext4. This will be your root (/) mount point.


     With the remaining 2-4 GB, make it an extended partition, then a logical partition in that partition and format it as swap. This is your swap partition.


     On the 1TB drive, see if you have about 120 or so GB free. If you do, I'd resize that partition to free up that space. 


     Create a new partition in that free space, format it as ext4, and set the mount point as /usr. this is where your user programs, including ones you compile yourself, will be installed.


    The final thing, in this setup is where you want to put the boot loader. You can put it on the primary hard drive, usually /sda, or you could specify the partition that has linux installed, it would look something like /sda#, the # being whichever partition Linux is installed on.


     I'd recommend the first way, unless you know how to get the Windows boot loader to recognize the linux install. When I tried the technical preview, Windows 10 was able to see my linux install and create a boot entry for it, so there should be way.


That way might be a bit more complicated but I believe it would work better in the long run.


Second way:


     On the 1TB drive, free up about 120-200GB of space, resize that partition giving you the 120-200GB space.


     Create a new primary partition, leaving 2-4GB free, and format as ext4, then set it as your root (/) mount point. This partition will hold everything, the OS data, your user data, downloads, everything.


     With the remaining 2-4GB free space, make an extended partition, then a logical partition, and format it as swap.


     Again, choose where you want the boot loader installed, this time either /sda or /sdb# (whatever partition # Linux is installed at).


This way should be simpler to do. I apologize if this seems very confusing or even intimidating.


I'd recommend having a backup copy of whichever version of Windows you have to re-install should anything get messed up. Maybe even find a downloadable copy of Windows and copying down your Windows key somewhere. 


I hope this helps you some.

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I think I'll give the first way a try. 


However, after entering the disk management utility in Windows, I noticed that Disk 0 (my SSD) has got two hidden partitions (the first is worth 300MB and the second is worth 21.38GB) and the utility does not recognise the file system type on those, and it also reports that Disk 0 has got a partition labelled WinRE Tools (T:\), which is worth 1GB and is recognised as NTFS. However, Disk 1 (my Hard Disk) has only got one partition, using the maximum capacity of the disk and is also NTFS.


Also created a recovery USB about a month ago in case something goes wrong with my Windows install (although, in the interests of freeing up space, I was planning on using this bootable USB to restore my computer back to the 'vanilla' copy of Windows it was in when I originally bought it before attempting to put Linux on to it)

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Okay, the 300MB partition is most likely your boot partition. Windows started doing that with Vista, and has kept doing so since. The 21.38GB partition is probably your recovery partition. It should have a compressed image of the Windows partition, and possibly the boot partition too, from when it was factory new. The WinRE partition is the Windows REcovery tools, whether to fix a problem or to do a factory restore.


Don't delete any of these unless you want to re-install Windows from the beginning, like if you built your own system.


Otherwise, the first way mentioned above should be fine. Just keep track of your partitions. Resizing partitions, in Linux anyway (since I haven't tried using windows to resize) has always taken a while for me.


Also found this on the MSI forums, don't know how much it would help, but it wouldn't hurt to be prepared:



And this link might help even more: https://www.lifewire.com/dual-boot-windows-8-1-linux-mint-2202090


These two videos may also help:





Take your time doing this, when people rush they make mistakes. if there is something you don't understand, ask questions. there are Linux Mint forums, Linux forums, other demonstrational videos to find more answers.

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Thanks for all the help! I am feeling a lot more confident in installing Linux now, and I'll definitely make sure to become a member of the Linux Mint forums and to ask questions whenever I need to. 

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