C2. "Package" upgrades
A "package" upgrade consists of the following steps:
Pointing APT to the repositories of the newer release
Asking APT to perform a full upgrade
APT is the package management system used by Linux Mint. Alternatively, some releases were given a graphical upgrade tool to perform these steps.
This way of upgrading Linux Mint should only be recommended to advanced users.
Here are the pros and cons of upgrading the system this way:
Slow: APT will download the new version of all the packages installed on your system. Assuming you installed nothing at all, that's about 3GB of data.... using a fresh upgrade you could have downloaded all that data by simply getting the 700MB ISO.
Unreliable: Depending on your modifications, your sources, your added software and your configuration you could end up with a system that acts and feels really different than a brand new version of the newer Linux Mint release. You're far from the beaten track and the added features might not work as well on your system as they were designed to.
Risky: The temptation when you upgrade with APT is not to perform backups... since your partitions aren't overwritten, nothing "forces" you to make backups... think about the risk though.
Complicated: Packages conflict with each others, they can bring complex dependencies and put you in situations that are difficult to solve.
Automated: APT does everything for you (well, until something goes wrong of course)
Real upgrade: A "fresh" upgrade is kind of like the new Linux Mint with your data on it... this in comparison feels more like "your system" running the newer version underneath.
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