upgrade to linux mint 19

Last week a new stable release of Linux Mint 19 made became available to download, giving everyone who wants it the chance to install it.

But what if you want upgrade to Linux Mint 19 from an earlier version instead of doing a fresh install?

Not all users of this Ubuntu-based Linux distribution will want to reinstall their OS from scratch, but similarly they won’t want to miss out on the new features and improvements included in Linux Mint 19.

Well, some good news: you can now upgrade to Linux Mint 19 from Linux Mint 18.3 using the command-line ‘Mint Upgrade‘ tool.

This tool, which is available direct from the Linux Mint repos, allows you, me, and anyone else running Linux Mint 18.3 to upgrade to Linux Mint 19 directly.

Better yet: it doesn’t matter if you’re using the regular Cinnamon version or the MATE or Xfce edition; any version can be upgraded.

Don’t Upgrade Linux Mint Idly

linux mint 19 mate edition screenshot

Just because you can upgrade to the latest release doesn’t mean you should

Just because you can upgrade to the latest release doesn’t mean you should — at least, not right away.

Linux Mint project lead Clement Lefebvre cautions that “upgrading blindly for the sake of running the latest version does not make much sense, especially if you’re already happy and everything is working perfectly”.

After all, Linux Mint 19 is a big release packed with new technologies, updated frameworks and software, and an all-new Linux kernel.

And it’s the latter element which could cause problems.

While rare, it is possible that a graphics card, Wi-Fi dongle or other bit of kit that currently works fine may encounter issues after you upgrade to a more recent kernel release.

Upgrading so close to release means you could encounter a few last-minute bugs, the sort only found after a release has been made available.

So, before you do anything else, ask yourself whether you really need to upgrade to the latest and greatest release right away.

And if you’re absolutely certain you want to, do some preparation first: check all your hardware works in the Linux Mint 19 live image.

Note: you cannot follow the upgrade below you’re running Linux Mint 17.x (though your release is supported until 2019). Linux Mint 18.x is supported until 2021.

Things To Do Before You Upgrade to Linux Mint 19

Linux Mint Backup Tool

Once you’re certain you want to upgrade there are a couple of key things you MUST do:

  • Make a backups of important files
  • Take a system snapshot
  • Install all pending updates
  • Ensure that sure you have LightDM installed and set as default display manager

Once you’ve satisfied all of these requirements you can begin to upgrade to Linux Mint 19.

How to Upgrade to Linux Mint 19

You’ll need to run the following commands in each of the 4 steps below. If you encounter any issues check over this tutorial on the Linux Mint community page.

Ready?

1. Download the ‘Mint Upgrade’ tool

Mint Upgrade is command-line tool required to perform the upgrade. You cannot upgrade your system without this tool. The good news is that it’s not difficult to get as it’s available to install from the Linux Mint repo:

sudo apt install mintupgrade

2. Check for a new release

Once Mint Upgrade is installed you can go ahead and use it to check for the latest release:

mintupgrade check

This command will “simulate” the upgrade process by fetching a list of all of the packages that will be downloaded and installed and check them for errors of conflicts with your current set up.

If you notice any errors in this step — like packages preventing the upgrade — you’ll need to fix them (i.e. remove or upgrade) before continuing. You’re more likely to run in to issues if you have added third-party PPAs to your system.

If everything looks fine, you can you can proceed…

3. Download upgrade packages

The third step is to get mint to download all of the packages required for the upgrade. Doing this first means should your internet connection drop out during the upgrade you won’t be left with a broken system.

mintupgrade download

4. Upgrade to Linux Mint 19.x

Having let all packages download fully you’re ready for the final step. Run the command below to start the upgrade:

sudo mintupgrade install

The upgrade will take some time and you should remember to check in on the progress from time to time just incase there are any packaging conflicts that need resolution or input.

Once everything is installed, unpacked and upgraded you will be prompted to reboot.

Providing everything went to planyour system should boot straight to the Mint login screen. From here you can log in and explore all the new features of Linux Mint 19.

After your upgrade be sure to come back and share your experience in the comments