Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop, a follow-up

Posted by jdixon on Sep 21, 2019 2:15 PM
LXer Linux News; By James Dixon

LXer Feature: 21-Sept-2019

A successful conclusion..

I recently detailed my attempts to install Linux as an alternative boot an SD card in a new Dell laptop. Those attempts failed. See Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop for the details. Microsoft has continued in their usual way and notified me last week that the current feature update of Windows on that laptop would soon be unsupported and urged me to update to the latest version.

I recently detailed my attempts to install Linux as an alternative boot an SD card in a new Dell laptop. Those attempts failed. See Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop for the details.

Microsoft has continued in their usual way and notified me last week that the current feature update of Windows on that laptop would soon be unsupported and urged me to update to the latest version.

However, that proved impossible. In spite of removing most of the software installed on the machine, Windows was incapable of cleaning up enough disk space to allow the installation of Windows 10 version 1903 to proceed. The installed 32GB eMMC drive simply is no longer large enough to allow the updates to install. This was true even when I manually downloaded the update and tried to install from an external drive.

It is remotely possible wiping the hard drive and performing a clean install might have worked, but the prospect of being forced to do so every year was not appealing. So being forced to choose between running an out of date version of Windows or wiping the hard drive and installing Linux, I chose to try the latter.

I downloaded the latest ISO of Linux Mint and created a USB installation drive from within Windows. I booted Mint from the USB drive and confirmed that it could see the eMMC drive, then proceeded with the installation.

The total installation took less than 30 minutes and the computer successfully rebooted into Linux Mint. Installing the Brave browser and Anydesk only took a bit longer.

The SD card is still not readable under Linux and the old driver will not compile with the latest kernel, so I can't access it at all, but everything else seems to be working properly.

The laptop is still available from Dell for $180., though the smallest eMMC drive you can get now is a 64GB model.

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