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Installing Linux Mint 21.2 Cinnamon Edition on VMware

One of the best things about having a home lab is the having ability to try things out. I mean, variety is the spice of life, right? Well today, I’m going to try out Linux Mint 21.2 Cinnamon Edition – you can read about it and download it here: Linux Mint and the install instructions are located here: Download Linux Mint.

Now, I don’t talk about it often but if you catch me at the right time you’ll hear that I really like Linux…I’m a big fan and have been using CentOS and other over the years for LAMP servers for web hosting and design/development in my past life. Linux Mint is not a server distro like CentOS or others, but is a great desktop/laptop distro I stumbled upon quite some time ago and ran on a few aging laptops, which gave them some extra life expectancy out in the field.

You may ask, what is Linux Mint? In their own words…”Linux Mint is an operating system for desktop and laptop computers. It is designed to work ‘out of the box’ and comes fully equipped with the apps most people need.” It’s great because you can work in 3D programs like Blender or GIMP, run LibreOffice Suite, browse the web, game, and use it for multimedia activities like podcasts and Spotify. It’s a great alternative to Ubuntu Desktop and I like desktop experience better right out of the box.

So let’s deploy it!

Start by downloading the ISO and place it where it’s accessible to the VM. I downloaded the ISO and placed it on a datastore, then I can attach it to the creating a new virtual machine as a datastore ISO file…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…first we’ll need to create a new virtual machine:

Create a new virtual machine…I’ll skip over this part, if you need to know how to create a new VM, let me know with a comment down below and I’ll create a tutorial.

I ended up giving my new VM 2 CPU, 4GB RAM and 32GB of disk on SSD, so it should be pretty peppy.

When creating your new VM, attach the ISO as a file on the CD/DVD drive (browse to the ISO file location), check the Connected box to make sure the virutal device is connected, plus check the Connect at Power On option.

Note: I am also connecting this VM to the internet, see why later…

Power on the VM and open up a web console:

Press Enter to start the Linux Mint installer and it will begin to load:

The preinstall environment window launches and double clink on Install Linux Mint:

Choose your language, then dig into the options. Here’s an option to select, and it’s handy if connected to the internet – I checked the box “Install multimedia codecs”. Note that it will require Secure Boot and a password, for security reasons.

I’m doing a full install on the entire disk, so I will erase the whole disk and install Linux:

Select your Time Zone and set your initial user/password and system hostname – I’m going basic here since it’s a test machine in my home lab, so I chose to log me in automatically:

Linux Mint will now start to install:

When done, remove the ISO from the CD/DVD and reboot, when the system comes back up the Welcome screen will be displayed:

And Welcome to Linux Mint!! You can start using it right away…go ahead and try a few things.

Now…here are some day-2 operations we can run now that it’s installed:

  1. Update the system and apps: Run Update Manager…and notice that I have to update “Update Manager” (not a typo lol) – so I updated the manager, then I was able to get system and app updates:

Now click Install updates:

Updates will run and install…reboot as needed:

And now all apps and the system are updated.

2. Go full screen console in Workstation – VMware Workstation will automatically resize the console screen, however when creating a new VM there is one setting that needs to be changed for this to work.

Power off the VM, then Edit settings. Under Video card, select the drop down and change the setting from “Specify custom settings” to “Auto-detect settings”:

Now power on the VM and the screen will set the console window screen to match the size of the Workstation window.

And with that, we’re done with the install and using Linux Mint. Check out the next blog about installing Google Chrome on Linux Mint!

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