Lino or vinyl tile that is one question. If its vinyl tile it has its own sticky attached. If its lino, then you do have to comb out floor mastic.
trowling mastic out on the sub flooring is pretty straight forward, the key is to use the right side of the combed trowel to apply the right amout. Then waiting the designated time period again is crutial.
More problems occur when one, too much mastic is applied, and or the time for drying before laying the lino is another.
When either one is done, that mastic will forever creep up between the cracks and just become a nightmare for you. Especially in the hot summer time that stuff will creep up even more.
Follow the instructions, get some sound advice and then set up your diagram of laying and have fun.