Etcher: How to Install Linux Mint on your PC

linux mint

Are you looking for the best ways to run Linux on your PC? TechSegun will show you how to install Linux Mint using Etcher.

Based on Unix, Linux has become one of the most popular open source Operating System with millions of users worldwide. Linux OS itself is a free cross-platform OS which can be installed on devices such as netbooks, laptops, mobile devices, servers, video game consoles, PCs, supercomputers, etc.

Meanwhile, due to the fact that Linux OS is open source, there have been frequent releases of new Linux distributions known as a distro. These distributions are based upon the Linux kernel and some are able to run on Windows and several OS as well.

On the other hand, Linux Mint is one of the most elegant Linux distro used by millions of people with about 30,000 packages, full multimedia support and extremely easy-to-use. Now before we proceed, here are system requirements for Linux Mint OS:

System requirements

  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution
  • 1GB RAM (2GB is highly recommended for best possible usage)
  • 15GB of disk space (20GB recommended).

Notes:

The 32-bit ISO can only boot with BIOS.

The 64-bit ISO can boot with UEFI or BIOS.

The 64-bit ISO is recommended for the latest modern computers

Steps to install Linux Mint on your PC

Follow the steps below to install Linux Mint on your PC using Etcher:

  1. Prepare your PC

Before you start the installation process, it is highly recommended that you back up your data. This is not meant to scare you off but to be on a safe side here. Besides messing with the wrong partition, but also to prevent data loss; therefore, it is very important to keep your important files (music, movies, documents, etc) safe.

  1. Download Linux Mint ISO file

Linux Mint is fully featured in 3 different editions, each with a different desktop environment. They are MATE, Xfce and Cinnamon. However, Cinnamon is the most modern, full-featured desktop and popular Linux Mint edition

Therefore, make your choice and proceed to download Linux Mint ISO file from the Linux Mint website.

  1. Create a live USB or disk

In order to create a live/bootable disk, you need to an app to burn the downloaded ISO file from ‘Step 2’ above. Etcher, on the other hand, is a cross-platform app which enables you to burn ISO files without issue.

  • Proceed to the Etcher official website to download Etcher setup file.
  • Install the Etcher app afterwards
  • Create a bootable USB disk:

In Linux Mint OS:

  • Right-click on the ISO file from ‘Step 2’ above.
  • Select Make Bootable USB Stick (Alternatively, launch Menu > Accessories > USB Image Writer).
  • Select your USB device and click Write.

In Windows, Mac OS, or other Linux distributions OS:

  • After installing Etcher, and run it.
  • In the Etcher program interface, click ‘Select image’, and then select your ISO file.
  • Click Select drive and select your USB stick.
  • Click Flash.
  1. Boot Linux Mint

After creating the bootable Linux Mint USB, you need to boot Linux Mint so as to install the ‘new OS’. Here’s how to do this:

  • Insert the Linux Mint ‘USB stick’ into the computer.
  • Restart the computer.
  • Boot from USB using the ‘special key’ from your BIOS loading screen. (Note: you may need to check for the special key which is briefly displayed during the boot sequence. The special keys may be F10, F12, etc. On Macs, press the Alt or Option key after hearing the boot sound to boot from USB).
  • The Linux Mint ISO can be booted both in two menus i.e. BIOS or EFI mode. In ‘BIOS mode’, it shows an isolinux menu while in ‘EFI mode’, it shows a grub menu.
  • From any of these menus, press Enter to start Linux Mint on your PC from your USB stick.
  1. Install Linux Mint

After you boot the computer from the USB drive, Linux Mint starts a live session. This logs you in automatically as a user called mint. Also, you should see a desktop with the ‘Linux Mint installer’ on it.

Follow these steps to install Linux Mint:

  • Double-click ‘Install Linux Mint’.
  • Select your language.
  • Connect to the Internet.
  • After connection to the Internet, tick the box to install the multimedia codecs.
  • Select an installation type.
  • Choose your timezone
  • Select your keyboard layout
  • Enter your user details
  • You will be presented with a slideshow while Linux Mint is installed on your computer.
  • After the entire installation process is complete, you can then click ‘Restart Now’ option

Note: You will be prompted to remove the USB disk while the computer is shutting down, make sure you do so. After reboot, your system will show you a boot menu where you will be prompted to boot into your newly booted Linux Mint OS. Now, you are good to go!

What is VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) ?

virtual lan

VLAN sounds like some type of expensive technology or some sort highly exclusive technology, whereas in the real sense it is not. The VLANs are all over the place and are found in almost all organizations where it is properly configured to a network.

If the VLAN or Virtual LAN term still sounds shrouded, VLAN simply stands for Virtual Local Area Network and are constantly encountered in any in recent network owing to the fact that they offer a vast array of choice and potentials to enhance the network.

The VLAN is a broadcast domain provided by the switches. Also, there are couples of various protocols, some of which are vendor-peculiar but performs the same function of every VLAN.

These benefits make up the larger reasons why the VLAN are highly dependent upon by most sizes of professional networks. Obviously, it will be an uphill task in managing the network without them.

What is a VLAN?

Already the meaning of VLAN has already been established providing a faint picture. Simply put, the VLAN is a broadcast domain that is physically created by the switches.

Let’s use the concept of virtual machines and how they operate. Single hardware houses the manifold virtual computers running an operating system including a hypervisor that permits the virtual computers to fully run.

This is precisely the same way the VLAN works.  To create that multiple virtual switches inside themselves there is one or more controlled switches that permit them to run the software.

On the VLAN every virtual switch has its own independent network that is distributed through various tangible pieces of hardware to create a domain for broadcast with a specified cable that is called the trunk. This is the principal difference between VLAN and virtual computers

Ordinarily, the router is supposed to create the domain for broadcast but with the VLAN a switch provides a broadcast domain.

Operationally, the VLAN permits networks to be partitioned by a network administrator into different and independent networks.

The Virtual LAN is a technology that permits distribution of physical networks into a very logical segment at layer 2

How Virtual Local Area Network works

To understand this better, create an illustration of a chain of small business. The business experienced growth and decided to add more employees thereby separating them into three compartmentalized groups. Meanwhile, old employees are already connected on a single cable. After employee new staffs, new employees are added to the business network on a single cable without affecting the old employees.

In order to accommodate more devices on the network, advancing to a new 24-port switch is where the VLAN comes in because the files used by the different departments are separated. This becomes important because as the departments’networks scale it is necessary to introduce domains in order to separate the traffic for improved for performance, better security, and enhanced logistics.

Outside the use of VLANs, it will be ideal for each separate network segment to have its own different switch framework, with a single or more router to manage communication between each of the switch segment.

Using the VLAN, through the website interface of the switch, the departments can be configured into three separate VLANs for each of the department.

Simply, to make the connection easily, between the departments port 1to 8 will go to one of the departments, ports 9 to 16 to another department and the last department will have ports 17 to 24

The switch has software that can handle traffic between clients on the various VLAN. Each VLAN operates as its own network and cannot communicate directly with the other VLANs. Given the use of VLAN, separate departments have got a little and smaller clusters, notwithstanding is more effective, where you can manage all of them from the same piece of hardware.

Moreover, to get the departments to communicate, the router is used for this purpose. Through the router, traffic between the VLANs and implement stringent security rules.

Types of VLAN

The VLANs are of two basic types distinguished by the way computers are connected to them. The various types should be taken into consideration in order to identify their strength and weakness given the particular network situation. They include:

  • Static VLAN

Static VLAN is referred to as port-based VLAN and the most used method and easy to configure. It uses the switch ports which are manually allocated to a VLAN. A device simply joins the VLAN if they simply connected to any of the switch ports. Static VLAN provides overhead management of the network and are quite safe and secure.

  • Dynamic VLAN

This type of VLAN is created with the use of software wherein devices are automatically allocated to a VLAN using its MAC address. Dynamic VLAN enables a device to stay connected to the same VLAN irrespective of the switch ports a client is affixed to enabling flexibility.

The dynamic VLAN uses the VLAN Management Policy Server (VMPS) that permits an administrator to allocate switch port to VLANs dynamically. This is done based on the data from the username used to log in on that device or Mac address connected to the port. Hence, the end users on the dynamic VLAN enjoy a great deal of flexibility and mobility which requires huge administrative management.

Advantages of VLAN

There are several benefits to using the VLAN given their characteristics:

  1. VLAN provides a logical separation of end receivers scattered on a network. When a user’s job function is changed, their VLAN is simply changed to the corresponding job functions making the resources needed for the new job available.
  2. The VLAN enhances the efficiency of the network by restricting the number of devices involved at the same time. This is done by breaking up the broadcast domain which highly increases the efficiency of the network.
  3. The use of VLAN decreases the need to invest in routers placed on a network to manage the broadcast traffic. The broadcast traffic is restricted to the switch ports that pertain to a VLAN.
  4. The VLAN assists in the restriction of the broadcast domains on a network specifically reducing the traffic to the barest minimum.
  5. If the broadcast domain is confined or restricted, the end users on a VLAN are deterred from receiving broadcasts that are not designated to them.
  6. VLAN provides improved security on the network. The administrators in a VLAN network environ have control over the individual port and users. Hence, this will make a malicious user unable to hijack the network traffic with a packet sniffer by just connecting their device into any port switch. The administrator configures the individual port and the resources that are permitted to use thereby curbing malicious attacks.
  7. Also, the VLANs assist in restraints of sensitive traffics emerging from an enterprise department inside itself.

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Disadvantages of VLAN

There are little or no disadvantages to the use of VLAN, but as technologies are ever left without a disadvantage. Here are few:

  1. The risk of spreading the virus on the VLAN is high since an infected system has the potential to spread the virus to other systems on the network. Hence, when a system is infected the other systems on the logical network become prone.
  2. On a very large network, equipment definitely sets in as a limitation because to contain large workload more to routers may be needed.
  3. It’s more demanding maintaining a VLAN than it will be controlling a LAN.
  4. A lot of managerial skills are involved in using the hard configured VLAN such as the port based to or IP addresses based. Managerial skills come into play over time as the network management development requires keeping track of port assignment or IP addresses per VLAN costumes and a lot of time. Moreover, in the use of Subnet based VLAN stronger switches that charge more money and it is needed to decipher the layer 3 header partly. This is because of the inclusive switching latency.
  5. The VLAN poses a security limit where a network which has more than one geographical location. The impact is that the most times the traffic goes through a third party ATM clouds or via the Internet making it possible for potential sniffing and “man in the middle” attacks. This occurs when using subnet-based VLAN making the attacks difficult to deal with, except there is an embedded higher layer of added security on the traffic.
  6. The VLAN generates a lofty traffic load on firewalls sighted across different geographic location. This mostly necessitates expensive and powerful firewalls to ensuring the security of the network on the LAN level.

Conclusion

The use of VLAN remains overemphasized to very large scale networks; however, the separation of broadcasting domains to reduce traffic is an excellent way to improve the way job functions are done. VLAN incorporation could be done in different sizes, depending on what you want and exist with its little issues like it’s pointed out.

ReactOS: Best Windows OS Alternative Review

reactos

Are you looking for a quick replacement for Windows OS? ReactOS might be just what you need.

While there are countless similar Windows OS clones out there, ReactOS is poised to be the perfect Windows alternative. On the other hand, ReactOS is an open source Operating System that enables you to run native Microsoft Windows compatible applications.

In addition, React OS developers used the same Windows NT design blueprint in its architecture. This makes it almost difficult to differentiate them. Moreover, Windows OS might cost a few bucks, unlike ReactOS which I absolutely free with no strings attached.

Key Features of ReactOS Windows Alternative

ReactOS comes with the following similar Windows features:

  1. ReactOS can easily be installed using their LiveCD or BootCD similar to Microsoft Windows OS bootable USB or CD. Additionally, ReactOS offers documentation for installing the Operating System effectively. This enables ReactOS enthusiasts to seamlessly install the Operating System without glitches.
  2. It is lightweight and occupies only 500MB HDD space and utilizes 98MB RAM just like Windows 10 S. Therefore, you can try it out on your old or new computer due to its minimum system requirements.
  3. ReactOS comes with a classic Windows desktop theme similar to Windows OS. For instance, ReactOS users get traditional Windows-like menu such as the windows taskbar, start menu icon, file explorer, recycle bin, and many more.
  4. This Operating System comes with free open modules such as system drivers and games. One of the most popular ReactOS games is Solitaire which is also part of the Windows OS game bundle.
  5. Similar to Windows Store, ReactOS also has an application store which enables users to install certified and tested programs. Nevertheless, ReactOS is able to run many Windows software applications as well.
  6. ReactOS is coded from scratch by other 100 developers and it is constantly maintained by its team of developers. Unlike other Windows-Clone which are not heavily coded like React OS, which has about 90 million lines of code.
  7. The two ReactOS versions Boot CD and Live CD are available for download and can be easily set up. There are claims that ReactOS can run all Windows applications and drivers developed for the Microsoft Windows NT series. This includes Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Window XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Verdict/Conclusion

While all the ReactOS features might intrigue, the Operating System cannot be at par with Windows OS in terms of security. According to reports from ReactOS community, ReactOS is vulnerable to certain viruses and malware; this might be an issue mitigating Windows users from migrating to ReactOS.

However, the security issue in ReactOS can be tackled by utilizing efficient antiviruses such as ClamWin, AVG, Panda, and many more. In addition, ReactOS constantly release updates that tackle security issues and also provide subtle improvements to bring about system stability; therefore, you should ensure you update your ReactOS as soon as latest updates are available.

In conclusion, ReactOS developers had Windows users in mind, which is why they developed ReactOS so as to replace the mighty Windows OS as an alternative. Additionally, you can run several Windows applications in this free and open source environment which is reliable. Besides, the free option alone makes ReactOS the perfect Microsoft Windows alternative.