How To Create A Bootable UEFI Linux Mint USB Drive

Overview

If you know about the most popular Linux operating system (OS) according to Distrowatch for the past few years has been Linux Mint. Through this post I will try to explain how to create a bootable UEFI Linux Mint USB drive and how to boot from it.

Bootable UEFI Linux Mint

Mint Cinnamon

A good reason for Mint’s popularity is it’s ease of installation the very small learning curve, the complete ease of use and also because it is based on the long-term support release of Ubuntu which provides stability and support.

This tutorial will show you how to create a Linux Mint 18 USB drive using Windows 8 or Windows 10.

You can use the bootable UEFI Linux Mint USB drive as a way of testing Linux Mint out to see if it is suitable for your needs and you can also use it to install Linux Mint to your hard drive.

After you have finished this post you will be able to follow this guide which shows the process for dual booting Linux Mint and Windows 8 and 10.

Requirements

The tools required to create a bootable UEFI Linux Mint USB drive are:

  • Linux Mint ISO (this will be downloaded as part of the tutorial)
  • Win32 Disk Imager (this will be downloaded as part of the tutorial)
  • A clean USB drive
  • A laptop or desktop with Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 pre-installed

Download Linux Mint

Click here to visit the Linux Mint download page.

As of now there are 4 versions of Linux Mint available:

  • Cinnamon
  • MATE
  • XFCE
  • KDE

The Cinnamon desktop is the main version and provides a great user experience with a modern looking atmosphere.

MATE is better for older computers as is XFCE.

The KDE version provides an alternative to Cinnamon but personally, I would stick with Cinnamon version of Mint.

For each version, there is a choice between 32-bit and 64-bit. Hence, you choose as per requirement.

To find out whether your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit press the Windows and Pause/Break button together a new window will appear.

Look for “System Type”. If your computer is 64-bit it will show x64 or in a few cases ia64.

Click on the download link for the version of Linux Mint you wish to create a USB drive for.

A screen will appear with the release information, the size of the download, release notes and a list of Linux Mint downloads. Pick the link from the country closest to the one in which you live.

The file will be downloaded into the downloads folder (default download location) if you have change it ever from the browser setting then look into specified folder.

Now Download Win32 Disk Imager

Follow this link to download Win32 Disk Imager

Double click on the downloaded setup file to start the installer.

A welcome message will appear, click “Next” to continue.

Accept the license & agreement and click “Next”.

Select the path where you want to install Win32 Disk Imager (I would recommend to stick with the default option) and click “Next”.

When greeted with the window asking where to create the start menu folder click “Next”.

Choose whether to create a desktop icon by ticking or unticking the box and then click “Next”.

Finally, click “Install”.

Create The Linux Mint USB Drive

Bootable UEFI Linux Mint

Win32 Disk Image Manger

Format A USB Drive

You will need a clean USB drive.

Insert the USB drive you wish to make bootable UEFI Linux Mint.

To format the USB drive open Windows Explorer and right-click on the drive letter that symbolizes the drive.

Click the “Format” option on the menu.

When the “Format Volume” screen appears to make sure that the quick format option is checked and the file system is set to Fat32.

Now click “Start”.

Writing Linux Mint Image To The USB Drive

Start Win32 Disk Imager by clicking on the it’s shortcut desktop icon.

Make sure the drive letter is set to the USB drive you want to write the image to.

Press the little folder icon and brows to the Linux Mint ISO downloaded previously. You will need to change the file type to show all the files. Click on the ISO file so that the path appears in the box on the main screen.

Then click “Write”.

Recommended for you: Linux tutorial for beginners

Turn Off Fast Boot So That System Can Boot From USB

Bootable UEFI Linux Mint

Power Option

In order to boot from a bootable UEFI Linux Mint USB drive, you have to turn off a fast startup.

Move the mouse to the bottom left corner and right click so that the menu appears again.

Choose “power options”.

When the power options screen appears to click the second menu item on the left-hand side called “Choose what the power button does”.

At the bottom of the window is “Shutdown Settings”. Make sure the “Turn on fast startup” checkbox is unticked and click on “Save Changes”.

Note: If the box is grayed out you can enable it by clicking the link at the top which is “Change settings that are currently unavailable”

How To Boot From A Bootable UEFI Linux Mint USB Drive

Bootable UEFI Linux Mint

Choose an option

To boot into Linux Mint restart your computer and hold down the shift key.

When the UEFI boot menu appears to choose the “Use a device” option and select the “USB EFI Drive” on the next window.

If Linux Mint hasn’t booted at this point then you should go to this page to check that the ISO you downloaded can be verified as a complete and valid download.

If you don’t see the blue UEFI screen to choose to boot from EFI menu then there are other things you can do.

For instance, you can reboot your computer and press the function key that pulls up the boot menu.

Here is the list of function keys used by a manufacturer:

  • Acer – F2 or delete
  • Asus – F2, F9 or delete
  • Compaq – F10
  • Dell – F2
  • Emachines – tab or delete
  • HP – Escape, F1 or F10
  • Lenovo – F1 or F2
  • NEC – F2
  • Packard Bell – F1 or F2
  • Samsung – F2 or F10
  • Sharp – F2
  • Sony – F1, F2 or F3
  • Toshiba – Escape, F1, F2 or F12

You should now have a live version of Linux Mint 18 running.

Bootable UEFI Linux Mint

Mint Cinnamon Home Screen

2 Comments

  • These instructions will not result into a UEFI-bootable Linux USB drive:
    * Win32diskimager does not appear as right tool for burning a valid ISO image to USB. Use e.g. Rufus instead.
    * Linux MINT ISO image does not appear a UEFI-bootable image. It provides legacy BIOS bootable image, but does not have efi/bootaxx.efi files required for UEFI boot.

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