The following guide provides you with instructions on how to upgrade a device running Linux Mint to the latest version of the Linux distribution.
The main present that I handed out during Christmas was a shiny new laptop for my girlfriend. The device came without operating system, and I made the decision to install Linux Mint on the device and not Windows.
I installed Linux Mint 17.3 on the device, wrapped it up nicely, only to read a day later that Linux Mint 18 has been released.
So, the first thing I did after she unwrapped her present was to take it away from here to install the latest version of the Linux distribution on the device.
There are two main methods to upgrade Linux Mint to a new version. The recommended way, or playing it safe, is to use a new liveDVD to install the new version on the device. This involves backing up all data and software on the device prior to the upgrade, and restoring the backed up data afterwards.
You can read about this method on the official Linux Mint Community site.
What I did was upgrade directly from the running system instead. It is still recommended that you back up your data before you proceed. I had no need for a back up as there was no data on the device other than a couple of changes I made to it after installation of Linux Mint.
To back up, select Menu > Administration > Backup Tool. Note that you can also type Backup Tool and select it this way. This works even if the language of the Linux Mint installation is not English.
Select Backup files in the next step, and configure the process.
To back up the installed software, open the backup tool again.
The first thing you may want to do is check the current version of Linux Mint. To do so, select menu and type "version", and select System Information.
If you prefer Terminal, open a prompt and type cat /etc/linuxmint/info.
The Linux Mint Upgrade Tool works only if Linux Mint 17.3 is installed on the device. If you are still on Linux Mint 17.0, 17.1 or 17.2, or even an older version, you need to run the Update Manager first.
Also, please note that the KDE edition of Linux Mint cannot be upgraded this way. If you run KDE, you need to download the live version and run the installer using it.
The following commands are all run from a Terminal window:
And that is all it takes.
This method of upgrading to the latest version of Linux Mint is not as fast as installing the new version using a live copy of Linux Mint. I do prefer it though, as I don't have to prepare a USB device first (or burn the new copy of the distribution to DVD), before I can get started.
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