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Install Linux Mint inside Windows 7 like an application - a very simple install & uninstall

Last reviewed: Feb 2012

October 2013: This is the new location for this page on this site. Please update your link or bookmark.

Running Linux Mint from the Live CD is really only useful for getting the feel and appearance of Mint. However installing Linux Mint on its own partition can be difficult for some users. Fortunately there's another option that's great for trying out Mint.

You can install Mint inside Windows just like any Windows application. This method is suitable if you just want to use Mint for a trial period. It's very user-friendly and is non-invasive. It leaves Windows in control and is very easily removed. It's suitable even for inexperienced computer users and especially for users with little or no knowledge of Linux or partitions.

You can use this only if your computer has a processor chip that allows virtualization. This first became available in about 2005 and is now in all modern computers.

The automatic virtualization option is not available for Mint version 16 or 17 or later.

Experienced users who want a long-term natural dual-boot of Linux Mint and Windows 7, should select Mint here

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How to Install Linux Mint inside Windows 7

  1. Download your prefered version of Linux Mint.
    Create the Linux Mint Live disk (right-click the downloaded .ISO file & select Burn disc image)
  2. With Windows 7 running, insert the Mint Live disk.
    If aotuplay runs, select Run mint4win.exe
    If the CD/DVD does not autorun, open it in Windows Explorer and double-click the mint4win.exe file.
  3. Click Yes in User Account Control if it appears.
  4. In Linux Mint Menu, select Install inside Windows.
  5. In Linux Mint Installer,
    • make selections that suit yourself - remember your password!
      - about 18 GB in Installation size: is good for an extensive test
    • Click the Install button when ready. mFile will be copied from the DVD.
    • Remove the CD when requested, select Reboot now, click Finish, and reboot.
    Linux Mint will now be installed in the Windows virtualization file and configured.

Select either Windows 7 (the default) or Linux Mint from the Windows boot menu during the next reboot.

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Uninstalling Linux Mint in this situation

  1. Backup any required data you have in Linux Mint to the Windows 7 partition.
  2. Boot to Windows 7.
    Go to Control Panel > Programs and features > Uninstall a program.
    Double-click Linux Mint and click Uninstall.

That's it!

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Older Computers with low maximum Screen Resolution

Linux Mint 12 itself runs fine at 1024x768 screen resolution. However initialization during bootup may require a higher resolution (1280 x 1024) and users with old computer systems may initially be presented with a blank screen. Just let it continue for about a minute and then the screen will appear.

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

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