Linux Mint on the Main Machine

I went ahead and set up the dual boot on my main computer with Linux Mint running alongside Windows 10. This is the first part of testing to see if I can finally move into a Linux environment completely. Linux Mint has been a popular environment for me over the past three or four years, so I tend to go back to it. Although, I was very tempted to try elemental OS that I’ve been hearing about so much, but I chose to hold off for now. Maybe I can put elemental OS on one of my other machines and give it a try.

Something interesting happened when I put Linux Mint on my main computer that I had never encountered before. Usually, the Grub menu gets installed and detects Windows just fine, and I don’t have to worry about dealing with it manually. This time around the Grub menu picked Windows boot partition to be the first boot option, which I had slightly anticipated because I chose to go the UEFI route with this install. Right in the installation documentation for Linux Mint is a small troubleshooting page that mentions this and provides the solution. I just had to reboot back onto the flash drive and tell the Grub menu what order I wanted for my boot menu.

I thought that would be the end of it, but the next time I restarted my computer, the Windows bootloader popped up and put me back into Windows. I was scratching my head at that one because I had just made the change in Grub. I plugged my flash drive in again and when I was I brought up the boot menu from the motherboard to boot into the flash drive again, I noticed the motherboard boot menu was listing Linux Mint (showing as ubuntu) as an option. That made me wonder if I had to also change the option on my motherboard, so I loaded the BIOS and checked. Sure enough, the motherboard still had Windows selected, so I changed it to get it working the way I want.

My previous two motherboards had never needed me to change the option before, so it kind of came as a surprise. The motherboard I have in my computer now is one I picked up recently, so maybe it is a newer thing or maybe I’ve just gotten lucky over the years. Either way, it’s working now and running just fine. I figured I would share this experience in the event some other user encounters it too and is trying to search up a fix.

The next step in my test is to see if I can backup some of my Steam games in Windows and restore them in Linux. I did find some information on how to share a folder between two operating systems, so I would assume performing the backup in Steam in Windows and then restoring it using Steam in Linux would work. Time will tell.

Pondering Full Switch to Linux Mint

I’ve been using Windows 10 as my primary OS since Windows 10 was released with the occasional periods where I would dual boot my PC with Linux Mint. In the last year, I’ve stuck to running just Windows on my primary PC and Mint on my older laptop. I didn’t see the need to dual boot the main computer anymore and figured that I would just stick to a single OS, but I really want to run Mint on my main PC again, so I’m now wondering if I could finally make the jump off of Windows completely and move my main PC to Mint.

My only hesitation is some of the software that I run, but I find myself running the Windows-dependent software less and less these days sticking to stuff that can run either via the web or using software available for both Windows and Mint. Gaming was a big part of the holdout to this point, but I haven’t gamed much on my main computer in the last half year. I understand that Steam has made some big improvements in that area making it possible to run some Windows-only games in a Linux environment now. I’d love to see how that works.

So, I’ve decided that maybe I should bring back the dual boot on my machine for a month or two and see if I can stick to using just Mint for now. I want to run a few experiments with my hardware to see what the performance looks like. I recently installed a new motherboard and processor, which I haven’t run on Mint yet. I also want to test the new Steam capabilities with games. If I can get things working in a satisfactory state, I think I will finally be able to make the jump off of Windows and run everything on Mint.

It will definitely be an interesting move and one I’m curious to see how it will play out. I plan to share what happens and what I experience making this change.