Elementary OS 0.4 Loki desktop installation

Elementary OS - Featured Image

Elementary OS is Ubuntu based distribution that focuses on ease of use. With it’s latest 0.4 Loki release you will get a beautiful interface which combines best of several worlds (Mac OSx, Chrome OS…), and is packed with bunch of applications that will suite everyones needs. This article will guide you trough step-by-step installation of minimal Elementary OS environment.

Prerequisites

To install Elementary OS on your computer (or a virtual machine), you will need an install media. You can get it on official Elementary OS website in ISO format. Burn the ISO on a CD/DVD or create a bootable USB and you’re ready to start with the installation.

Elementary OS – Disk Partitioning

Start up your computer and make it boot from CD/DVD drive or bootable USB. Upon boot a following screen will appear:

Elementary OS Installation

First click on “Try elementary“. The reason we are not installing Elemenraey OS right away is because we need to properly partition our disk with accent on correct alignment. Disk partitioning and alignment are subject for a whole new article/guide, but if you want to know more why is it important (especially with SSD disks), you can check this article or Google out subject a bit more. So, a following screen will appear:

Elementary OS Installation

Don’t worry, nothing is installed jet, this is just a “Live” preview of what you will get once Elementary OS is installed. On this main screen click on “Applications” and then search for “Teminal” and start it. Once Terminal is started, execute the following commands:

sudo su -
parted /dev/vda

As you noticed my disk is labeled as vda. That is because I’m running this as a virtual machine under KVM (QEMU) and I’m using virtio disk. How will your disk be labeled depends on environment you’re running. In most cases with majority of hypervisors if you’re running a virtual machine or with most mechanical and SSD drives a correct label will be sda. In case you’re having a NVMe (m.2) disk a label will be something like nvme0n1 or similar. When you’re sure you got the correct disk, we can start with the partitioning. Execute the following in terminal:

unit MiB
mklabel gpt
mkpart grub 1MiB 3MiB
mkpart boot 3MiB 515MiB
mkpart swap 515MiB 1539MiB
mkpart root 1539MiB 100%
set 1 bios_grub on
set 2 boot on
q

When done, press “Ctrl+D” twice to close Terminal. With this complete, we can install Elementary OS to our computer.

Elementary OS – Installation

To start the installation, click on “Install elementary OS” button as shown on the following picture:

Elementary OS Installation

English is the way to go here, but if you want a localized version of Elementary OS installed, please select language witch suites you best and click on Continue:

Elementary OS Installation

Check both options here, this will save us some time later when further post-install customization will be required:

Elementary OS Installation

Select “Something else” here, we are going to use partition scheme we defined earlier in this guide:

Elementary OS Installation

Here, leave /dev/vda1 (or /dev/sda1 in most cases) as it is. A bios_grub flag is already in place, which means a boot loader will be installed here and no further user action is required. Select /dev/vda2 and click on Change… :

Elementary OS Installation

When a edit partition dialog box appears, change the values as on the picture below:

Elementary OS Installation

When done, select /dev/vda3 and when edit partition dialog box appears, change the values as on the picture below:

Elementary OS Installation

Last, select /dev/vda4 and when edit partition dialog box appears, change the values as on the picture below:

Elementary OS Installation

Once done, you should have an identical partition scheme as the one bellow. Elementary OS is now ready to be installed to disk, so click on “Install Now” button:

Elementary OS Installation

When asked to confirm changes to a disk, just click on “Continue“:

Elementary OS Installation

A geo location should already be correct, but if not, just start typing where you are and it should auto complete:

Elementary OS Installation

Select a correct keyboard layout if default one does not suite you:

Elementary OS Installation

Here, you need to fill your user data. Make sure you select a strong password:

Elementary OS Installation

All you need to do now is wait for installation to complete. It will take a few minutes, depending on the compute resources available:

Elementary OS Installation

Reboot the computer when installation is finished:

Elementary OS Installation

Upon reboot, you will be presented with a login screen, so go ahead and log in:

Elementary OS Installation

There you go, Elementary OS ready to serve you:

Elementary OS Installation

Give it a shot, it is a really good operating system. I’ve been using it on my desktops and notebooks for several years now and it never failed me. If you don’t like it, well thanks for trying and reading this guide. There are always alternatives like other Linux distros, Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX… Find the one you like and stick to it.

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