Download and verify Linux Mint ISO

Updated: The article is updated with steps for verification - integrity and authenticity check for Linux Mint 19.2 Tina. There is also solution for the error:

gpg: no writable keyring found: Not found
gpg: error reading '[stream]': General error

In this post:

  • why Mint
  • download Linux Mint
  • verify integrity check for Linux and Windows
  • authenticity check
  • problems
  • Update for Linux Mint 19.2 Tina

Why Linux Mint

Linux Mint community is growing fast and this distributions gains trust and supporters amongst the new users of Linux. The reasons behind this are:

  • Linux Mint is stable
  • it's user friendly
  • has many applications installed
  • it's compatible with Ubuntu

Download Linux Mint

If you want to download it you can get the latest release from:

Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia

or previous releases from:

Linux Mint Releases

There are several options:

Linux Mint 18.3

Based on Ubuntu and offers 4 options( which depends from design to included packages):

  • Cinnamon - this is my personal favorite. It's beautiful, stylish and has well organized structure. It's easier to work even in comparison to Windows. It's based to Gnome 3 but in some way resembles to Windows. It has many new features like desklets and it's easy to be customized. This one seems to have the biggest community and fan number.

  • Mate - it's based also on Gnome. More resembles to Gnome 2. It's similar to Cinnamon in many ways. In performance point of view both options behave the same.

  • Xfce - It's a lightweight version with simple design. This one is better for older hardware or if you need minimum system load.

  • KDE - this version is for experienced users. You can do many changes in the menu and play with the configurations. Next release Linux Mint 19 will not support KDE edition.

LMDE 2

LMDE 2 is based on Debian Stable Packages. This version comes with newer packages in comparison to Linux Mint normal edition for the prices of "incompability" to Ubuntu repositories. This version is cleaner and best suited for experienced programmers. In short it can be described as: everything just works unless it doesn't - and then you will have hard times to make it work.

32-bit vs 64-bit Linux Mint

The short answer is:

If you want to use more than 4 GB Ram go for 64-bit.

Unless you need specifically for 32-bit go for 64-bit. 64-bit has many advantages against 32 like:

  • performance
  • security
  • hardware support and upgrades

Some Linux distributions offers only 64 bit versions nowadays.

verify integrity check

You can check the official documentation here:

How to verify Linux Mint ISO images

Linux 18 and before

Once you downloaded your ISO image then:

Example for version Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" - Cinnamon (64-bit) and using world mirror. You can change to your mirror:

  1. Download file - sha256sum.txt
wget -c http://mirrors.evowise.com/linuxmint/stable/18.3/sha256sum.txt
  1. Download file - sha256sum.txt.gpg
http://mirrors.evowise.com/linuxmint/stable/18.3/sha256sum.txt.gpg
  1. Place the 3 files in one folder

  2. Go in this folder and run(it will take some time to run - 10 20 secs):

sha256sum -b *.iso
  1. Compare the results by using program like Meld. The output of this program should be the same as the file: sha256sum.txt

Sample file sha256sum.txt - Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia":

2026b8901f86f4711e2aaa35f5515407eebb7fb2c3cdd0359ffb6f6d0a368b9d *linuxmint-18.3-cinnamon-32bit.iso
ecebdf9ac4697b6c2d7feffd1bc5430641bca67c7df122fa2914824dc8844b3a *linuxmint-18.3-cinnamon-64bit.iso
535dbb3ef4f7db6b9584d5093d6ae05a861f7f6e03fee487c76189bc5248de20 *linuxmint-18.3-kde-32bit.iso
f110cfce59853eec018a2be0f23565d46b67848194e99f91ed701ea9be672420 *linuxmint-18.3-kde-64bit.iso
428d47c5ce54e949b0ba656a2c387d4536b9e0530bcc840784b456190411f11c *linuxmint-18.3-mate-32bit.iso
1ec518ec70d76d9634e22bb9e083546d812f869878a3262fc7ae47ecc5b23e40 *linuxmint-18.3-mate-64bit.iso
ab75288d9ba54cd7f614a2aadae22df2157e297cc45af46ec146086864e02f08 *linuxmint-18.3-xfce-32bit.iso
a78be201c766133d35a39b0555e00503f5fe47ff2bb17d6e27953397f44dcf09 *linuxmint-18.3-xfce-64bit.iso

output of the command:

$ sha256sum -b *.iso
ecebdf9ac4697b6c2d7feffd1bc5430641bca67c7df122fa2914824dc8844b3a *linuxmint-18.3-cinnamon-64bit.iso

If the output is the same as the file content then your downloaded ISO is OK.

Linux 19

Example steps for Linux Mint 19.2 Tina 64 bit version Cinnamon:

cd ISO
sha256sum -b *.iso

The last command should show:

sha256sum -b *.iso
a05a06b79ff12a747a187aa9a87c5ba1f7e0c1814cda714556603901e2001512 *linuxmint-19.2-cinnamon-64bit.iso

which can be compared with the file: sha256sum.txt

Another faster way to check is ( if you have coreutils version 8.25 or newer) by executing this command:

sha256sum --ignore-missing -c sha256sum.txt

Windows

  1. Go to your folder of downloaded ISO file
  2. Open 7zip (or install it - you can run it also as a portable program).
  3. Rightclick on ISO Linux Mint file(in case of installed 7 zip).
  4. Select 'CRC SHA' from the menu.
  5. Then click 'SHA 256'
  6. Compare the generated string to the file sha256sum.txt.

For most users verifying the ISO integrity will be enough

authenticity check

Linux Mint 18 and before

  1. Run command to import signing key:
gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-key "27DE B156 44C6 B3CF 3BD7  D291 300F 846B A25B AE09"
  1. Then in the same folder which contains the ISO and the other 2 files(sha256sum.txt and sha256sum.txt.gpg) run:
gpg --verify sha256sum.txt.gpg sha256sum.txt

Sample output:

$ gpg --verify sha256sum.txt.gpg sha256sum.txt
gpg: Signature made 13.12.2017 (ср) 18,16,15 EET using RSA key ID A25BAE09
gpg: Good signature from "Linux Mint ISO Signing Key <[email protected]>"
gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!
gpg:          There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner.
Primary key fingerprint: 27DE B156 44C6 B3CF 3BD7  D291 300F 846B A25B AE09

The important points here are:

  • RSA key ID A25BAE09
  • Good signature from "Linux Mint

That's all for authenticity check of Linux Mint ISO

Linux Mint 19.2

The official instructions for authenticity check are:

To verify the authenticity of the sha256sum.txt file, we need to check the signature on the sha256sum.txt.gpg file.

  1. Import the Linux Mint signing key:
gpg --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-key "27DE B156 44C6 B3CF 3BD7  D291 300F 846B A25B AE09"

But this will result in error:

gpg: keyblock resource '/home/user/.gnupg/pubring.kbx': Permission denied
gpg: key 300F846XXXXXXXXX: 41 signatures not checked due to missing keys
gpg: no writable keyring found: Not found
gpg: error reading '[stream]': General error
gpg: Total number processed: 0

in order to resolve this error you need to run the command with sudo:

sudo gpg --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-key "27DE B156 44C6 B3CF 3BD7  D291 300F 846B A25B AE09"

which will solve the problem.

Windows

For Windows in order to perform an authenticity check you may need a third party software. There is nice tutorial describing all steps on this link: How to verify a Linux Mint 18 ISO image on Windows

Problems

If you follow the original instructions from Linux mint site: How to verify ISO images

The links for downloading files:

  • sha256sum.txt
  • sha256sum.txt.gpg

may not work. In this case you need to use the mirror of your ISO download.
So in order to get the file directory you need to do:

Copy your mirror link:

http://mirrors.evowise.com/linuxmint/stable/18.3/linuxmint-18.3-cinnamon-64bit.iso

remove iso file from it:

http://mirrors.evowise.com/linuxmint/stable/18.3/

Download files:

  • sha256sum.txt
  • sha256sum.txt.gpg
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