New HP laptop Not sure where to begin

Hey @Nikki!
This was a public post, so I hid your email from here. I saw it on the private message you sent me and I activated your LMS account. :slight_smile:

Proton mail and VPN are fully supported on all of Linux distributions, so you will have no issues at all. :slight_smile:

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I purchased the Proton Visionary Plan which includes both Email and the Plus VPN. I’m using custom domains and dropped my Google business Email Plan. Email is set up and working well on 3 devices including my computer using the Proton mail bridge.I haven’t tried the VPN yet.
What are you thoughts on the Proton Plus VPN?
Unless I hear something bad about the Plus plan I will be setting it up within the next couple days.
Thank you for your thoughts.

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Hey @dennis!
I haven’t heard anything bad personally. However, keep in mind that I haven’t used their VPN, so I can’t speak for or against. I only hope they fixed a connectivity issue bug they had recently, in regards to the DNS resolution on Linux. :slight_smile:

I bought the Visionary Plan thinking I would support Proton only to find out that the Visionary was cheapest for what I wanted. Their 4 user Professional plan would have been plenty for me but the Visionary cost less and it was just slightly higher than my Godaddy business account (I mis-spoke Google above)
I’ll go ahead and set up the VPN and watch for the bug.
Thank You.

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As long as you keep on using the VPN, you’re good! The bug would appear when you disconnect the VPN or if you uninstalled it. I trust they must have fixed it by now. :slight_smile:

And you’re very welcome!

The plan allows for 10 VPN connections. I’ll be able to use it on all my devices. So I hope the bug is fixed!

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Great, thank you for deleting my email on the public post. I am still getting the hang of all this so thanks for bearing with me. My hope is to keep my express VPN which I currently have and eventually delete my email account I’ve had for years and just use the proton mail.

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Hi there, thank you so much. I have been going through a bunch of the videos and I think I’ll be ready to decide which one to use soon. Another one that came up as an option is the pop? distro? So I am trying to decide between linux mint, Ubuntu and the pop? Previously I have only used windows, the HP pavillion laptop I will be using is about 4 to 5 years old with Intel processor i5 7th gen and currently has windows 10. “C” windows? has almost 800gb free and installed RAM has 11.9 gb available. 64 bit DVD-RW drive. Does this sound like I will have enough memory? and no problems with compatibility? Pardon my lack of knowledge I am just trying to confirm everything looks good before I install anything. Basically use it’s just for web searches, watch videos, mail etc. Tel e gram, don’t use too much other social media or gaming. Sounds like mint and we want to seem to be the most popular ones I have noticed in the forum that I have read. Looking for something easy to use to get my feet wet and have digital freedom:)

Hey @Nikki!
You’re very welcome!
POP_OS is a great alternative too, though its environment has more of the Mac outlook. From my understanding, you’ll be looking more of a Windows-like look - so that you get more familiarized. Hence, to get your “feet wet”, I’d recommend you go with Linux Mint.

Your system is fine in regards to its specifications, so you will have no issue.

The question you’ll need to ask yourself is if you are going to use both operating systems. If yes, then during the installation process select the option to Install Mint alongside Windows and if it asks you for size, select half of your free space (around 400GB) and you should be good to go.

First, you’ll need a USB stick/flash-drive/thumb-drive of at least 4GB capacity. Make sure that you copy all files out of it, as the USB itself will be wiped when you prepare it for installation.

I would also recommend having an external drive and copy all your Windows personal files to it, just in case excitement takes over and you accidentally delete Windows. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Once the above steps are done, you can then go to:

and download & install Etcher.

Then, download Linux Mint from the LayerOnline link here:

Once the ISO downloads, plugin your USB and run Etcher. First, you’ll need to select the ISO “From File” (the one you just downloaded), then select your USB, and last - hit “Flash.” It will take a few minutes to record and verify.

When it is all done, reboot your system (provided you used the same laptop to flash the USB) and enter your BIOS or hit the ESC button and then hit F9 for the boot menu (that’s the combo on the HP laptops). Select your USB as your boot medium and then you will be taken to a Live version of Linux Mint. At that point, Linux is not installed on your system, but it runs as a preview. If you’re good with it, then you can double-click on the “Install” icon on your desktop and simply follow the instructions.

If you have any issues afterwards, please let me know. :slight_smile:

Wow, thank you for all the great information. Most of it I think I understand, I do have an external hard drive that is 5 TB that I have been using to back up my computers and phone. I am purchasing another flash drive that has 512 mb ( way more than I need) but had someone pick it up at the store and told them I needed at least 5mb and that’s what they got LOL. Anyhow,? since I have backed up my computer, I think what I am unsure of is needing to back up the individual Windows files and personal files separately? So it’s not part of a normal back up? Again, excuse my inexperience but I really don’t know :flushed: and then I would be ready to go through the rest of the steps you mentioned? Thank you thank you thank you, appreciate all the help.

For your flash drive you need GB (Gigabytes) not mb (megabytes).
Vasileios suggested at least 4 GB


Hey @Nikki!
Backup for Windows basically means copying your home folders, such as Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Music, and perhaps Downloads into an external drive. :slight_smile:
If you have an actual backup utility that has been doing that for you, then you’re good.

Thank you. Oh I was mistaken, it is 512 GB. But yes, I have Carbonite and Norton back up so maybe it is already backed up? Thank you so much hope to start this process in the next day or two after a watch a few more videos and sounds like Linux mint is the way to go for a newbie such as myself coming from a Windows world. I am excited to get started on this new adventure and a little scared too. Can’t thank you enough👍

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You’re very welcome @Nikki!
Yes, in the Carbonite option, you will be safe to move forward. Enjoy and please let me know how it goes!

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Ok great. Thank you. So looks like I have narrowed my choices down to Linux mint, cinnamon? And so I think the next question I have is . is it more complicated to install this on my computer that has currently windows 10 and everything else from the last 4 to 5 years andhave both windows and Linux on my computer or wipe out the whole thing and just install the Linux mint? Reason I ask is I have run across different posts elsewhere that mention it can be complicated when you have both of them on your computer (dual boot) ? and when they install updates it creates issues. I’m trying to keep things as simple as possible because I am a novice with all this. Not sure how steep the learning curve will be. I have heard the mint cinnamon version is fairly user-friendly so hopefully will be a smooth transition. I am leaning towards just installing the linux all by itself and getting rid of everything else. Any Opinions would be appreciated. Love this forum; can’t wait to make digital freedom great again

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Yes, get the usb drive set up with Linux Mint. If it boots up then you are good to go.
No need to delete anything on the computer. But you do want to copy anything that you want to keep to an external drive, external hard drive or usb thumb drive. So pretty much all you need to do is backup anything that you want to keep.
I personally think it is a good idea to have an internet connection during the install so the installer can access any additional drivers that your machine may need. Also if your printer is hooked up and powered on it may help with printer installation later.
The installer will take care of setting up the partitioning. All you need to do is tell the installer to replace windows with linux. Then follow along with the installation and answer questions if/when asked.
If you have a second computer or phone you can access the installation guide while the computer is installing. That may answer any questions you might have.
Good luck, have fun and post back here with progress reports please.


Etcher goes on the computer. You use etcher to create the bootable usb stick. The use the bootable usb stick to install linux mint to the computer.

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Thanks! Appreciate your quick response. This group is the best; never would have found the courage to do this without you all.

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Hi there, so I am trying to put a tour onto my computer and inserted the flash drive to put it on there. Of course all my back up programs wanted to back up everything in the middle of this. Question I have is am I doing this in the correct order? Download the etcher onto the flash drive after having download it on my computer, then download Linux meant onto the flash drive? Sorry to keep having to ask I am just nervous about messing everything up on my computer. :blush:

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Hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday. Here’s an Update… finally managed to install etcher onto pc. Then went to Linux mint and when I click download it says verify your iOS image? I haven’t downloaded anything yet and not sure what this is🥴

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