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How to Install MX Linux on Your PC

MX Linux is an incredibly flexible, mid-weight, Debian-based Linux distribution. It is light enough to bring old laptops back to life yet powerful enough to take full advantage of modern advanced desktop hardware. This well-rounded GNU/Linux operating system is equally well-suited for everyone, from first-time Linux explorers to veteran power users and developers.

A quick tour of the MX Linux live USB system will show you exactly why it is quickly becoming one of today’s most popular Linux distros. Here’s how you can install MX Linux on your PC.

Where to Get MX Linux?

You can grab a copy of MX Linux for free directly from mxlinux.org. The flagship distribution comes with a beautifully customized XFCE desktop environment and serves as a mid-range version that will run well on both old and new hardware.

Download: MX Linux

MX Linux XFCE Desktop

For those with modern machines looking for more flash and power from their desktop, there is a KDE Plasma-powered version available. On the other side of the coin, if you’re looking to make the most out of older hardware you may have to lie around, you can download a super-lightweight version featuring the Fluxbox desktop. Overall, MX Linux should run well on just about any machine with a 64-bit processor.

What You Will Need to Install MX Linux

Since MX Linux derives its roots from Debian, the hardware requirements for the operating system are actually very low. Although you can get away with less, we’d recommend the following minimums for most users:

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 20GB of internal storage

You’ll also need a USB drive with at least 8GB of storage to create a bootable live USB image.

How to Install MX Linux

The installation process for MX Linux is very efficient and easy to follow. To begin, connect the USB drive that contains the MX Linux live installation media to your computer, reboot, enter your system’s boot menu, and select to boot from the USB drive.

MX Linux Live Grub Menu

When the MX Linux bootloader menu appears, you can just press Enter to select the first option, or simply wait about 30 seconds and the live system will automatically boot. Within a few moments, you should be looking at the initial MX Linux live system desktop.

MX Linux Live Welcome Menu

The live desktop will present you with a welcome dialogue that will allow you to install MX Linux to the hard drive of your system or explore several different help and tutorial links to learn more about what exactly MX Linux is and how it works. To begin the installation process, simply select Install MX Linux at the top-center of the menu.

MX Linux Install Disk Menu

The installer will first ask you how you’d like to set up the hard drive. By default, the installer will erase the entire hard drive and set it up for use with MX Linux. This will erase all data on your hard drive including any existing operating systems.

If you are planning to dual boot your system with another operating system such as Windows, you will need to choose the Customize the disk layout option to create and/or resize disk partitions manually.

On this screen, you can also choose whether you would like to encrypt your MX Linux partitions. To do so, simply check the Encrypt checkbox and specify a password. Be sure that you understand the pros and cons of encrypting your drive before starting this process. Once encryption is enabled, your system will not boot without the encryption password.

MX Linux Install Formatting Disk

When you make your choices and select Next, the system will ask you to confirm that you are ready to modify the hard drive before any destructive actions are carried out. When you answer yes, the installer will begin setting up your drive according to your choices.

MX Linux Installation Network Name

You may notice here that the MX Linux installer works a little bit differently than other distributions to help improve installation efficiency. The installer will begin to set up the hard drive and system in the background while it continues to ask you a few questions about how you’d like everything configured. If it gets to a point where it needs information that you haven’t entered yet, it will pause until you provide it.

Simply follow the prompts to complete the installation process. After the hard drive configuration options, it’ll ask you for the name you’d like to give the computer on your network. If you’re unsure, the default values should work fine.

MX Linux Install Locale

Following that, the installer will ask you to set your locale and time zone so that the clock can be properly synchronized.

MX Linux Install Username

With your system time properly set, the next order of business is setting up your user account and deciding if you want to enable a root account. By default, the root account login is disabled and administrative tasks are carried out using the Sudo command. If you want to enable the root account, just click on the checkbox and provide a password for the account.

You can also choose to enable Autologin here if you like. With autologin enabled, your system will boot directly to the desktop without asking you for your password. Note that if you intend to store any kind of sensitive data on your computer, enabling autologin is a serious security risk.

MX Linux Install Finished

With the account password(s) set up, the installer will have all the information it needs to complete the setup. The complete installation should take somewhere around five to 10 minutes but may take longer depending on the speed of your hardware. And with that, you have successfully installed MX Linux on your computer. You’re all done!

Reboot and Enjoy Your New MX Linux System!

All that’s left now is to reboot and start exploring your new MX Linux system. You’ll find plenty of the most commonly used Linux applications already installed and waiting for you. And with the huge selection of Linux applications available for Debian-based distributions, it’s a piece of cake to find and install any type of application that you might need for your particular workflow.

It’s also highly recommended that you take a few moments to explore the help and tutorial links that come up in the welcome dialogue. You’ll be navigating your new workspace like a pro within minutes.

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