Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

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SueS
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Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by SueS »

Hello All,

I'm excited to upgrade from Linux Mint 19.1 to the new release 20.0. I believe I need to do a fresh install, i.e. download ISO image from a mirror, download the SHA256, import the Linux Mint signing key and verify the authenticity of the sha256sum.txt. I've done all this before for upgrades. I believe I had to back up and reinstall all of my files, photos and music after the upgrade.

Is there a way to do the fresh install without losing things like files, photos and music?

Best,
Sue
carum carvi
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by carum carvi »

If all of your photos etc are on a separate partition, then you dont need to backup anything. But if those photos etc are on the same partition that you installed LinuxMint on, then you have to back up all your files on an external harddisc and reinstall them afterwards, which you already did correctly in the past...

With the current usb 3 connections, transferring hundreds of gigabytes is really manageable in a short time. Good luck with your new install !
Last edited by carum carvi on Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AndyMH
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by AndyMH »

And if you haven't already got a separate /home partition, maybe now is the time to install with one.
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by SueS »

Thanks for the quick replies!

AndyMH would you please point me to where I can find instructions for how to install a separate /home partition and documentation about that?
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by AndyMH »

I'd do it manually. First boot your mint installation media and run gparted. Delete the existing / partition and create two new partitions*. Your / partition needs to be around 30GB** (more if you have a big disk and/or intend using a lot of flatpaks), generally the rest of the drive for /home. Obviously both ext4.

During install choose the 'something else' option. The next screen shows all your drives and partitions, select the partition you created for / and click on the change button and tell it to use it for / and reformat it. Same again for the partition you created for /home and tell it to use it for /home.

Next time you do a fresh install, you do the same again but when you point the installer at the /home partition, you tell it to use it for /home and NOT reformat it. That way you keep all your existing data and config files. You still need to install all your software again (but generally on a major version change they will be newer versions).

Before you start, take a backup. And even when you have a separate /home partition - take a backup, just in case.

Note - if you use timeshift (which I recommend), make sure that you do not store the timeshift snapshots in the / partition (this is the default). With a small / partition there is a big risk you will fill it up, run out of space and mint won't boot. Too many posts on the forum where this has happened. Best choice is a separate drive, next best a separate partition, last choice in the /home partition. The partition timeshift saves to must be ext4.


* do you know if mint is installed in legacy or UEFI, a legacy (msdos partition table) has a limit of 4 primary partitions. No practical limit for UEFI (GPT partition table).
** don't use flatpaks, my / partition is 31GB and have used 19GB.
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zcot
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by zcot »

You can use the Mint "Backup tool" for convenience here. It's installed by default you can search it in the main menu.
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by SueS »

Thanks AndyMH. I appreciate the suggestion re making a full backup before trying this just in case. I'm wondering if there's a description somewhere of what the /home separate partition is as well as partitions generally. My very basic understanding is that a partition is sort of like a separate section of the disk operationally even though it's one physical disk
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by SueS »

Also, zcot, thanks for the suggestion re using the installed backup tool. I know of that it exists, but have never used it. Another topic for learning...
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by AndyMH »

My very basic understanding is that a partition is sort of like a separate section of the disk operationally even though it's one physical disk
That's right, the physical disk is chopped up into a number of different areas (partitions) which are independent of each other. Every disk has a partition table at the beginning that says where each partition starts and ends and what sort of filesystem, e.g. ntfs, ext4, is on it. In windows speak each of these partitions would be a different 'drive' (blame MS for poor terminology) and would appear as C:, D:, E: and so on. From my very early windows days I always partitioned my drives, C: for the system and all installed software and D: where I kept all my data. When I moved to linux I took that with me and have always had a separate /home partition. You will find proponents of having a separate /home partition and not having one on this forum. I like separating my data from the system and it does make life easier if you have to do a re-install - which is what is recommended on a major version change, e.g. LM19 to LM20.

The mint backup tool is okay for a one-off backup like you need. It creates a compressed archive (a .tar.gz file) of whatever you tell it to backup. A longer term solution is to use timeshift to take snapshots of your system (it's a bit like restore points in win) and either backintime or luckybackup to look after your data. By default timeshift backs up / excluding /home. By default backintime only backs up /home, so complimentary.
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by SueS »

AndyMH:

One other question for you re going to LM 20 Ulyana. I'm am also thinking of putting it on a Windows 10 laptop via dual boot. The laptop is new. Any advice regarding that?

Sues
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by AndyMH »

If not already done, install windows first.

Windows will have used all the drive, use win's disk management tools to shrink the C: partition to create space for linux. Leave the space unallocated. If you can't shrink it as much as you want, try turning off virtual memory in win (to delete the page file that can sit towards the end of the partition). When finished, turn it back on.

If enabled, turn off secure boot in BIOS.

If you want linux to be able to read/write files on your windows partition, turn off fast boot in win. Google hiberfil.sys to find out how. If you leave fast boot enabled your C: partition will be locked and read-only because win never really shuts down with fast boot enabled. Tip - use gparted to add a label to your win C: partition, e.g. winC, then it will mount in linux as /media/you/winC. If you don't do this it will mount using the UUID = long number and less user friendly. You can do this after you have installed mint. In fact it is a good idea to add labels to any partition you create - makes it easier to tell which is what.

Turn off automatic updates in win, straightforward with the pro version, lot more difficult with the home version. Easiest way to do it if using wifi to connect to the internet is tell win you have a metered connection (don't think this works if you are hardwired with ethernet). Downstream you may find that some windows update will bork grub (the linux bootloader) or worse. Make sure you setup a backup regime once you have mint up and running.

If you just want a single linux partition, then choose the 'install alongside' option when installing mint. If you want a separate /home partition follow the advice previously given. If you look at the drive with gparted before you install mint, you should find 4 partitions: an EFI partition (contains the bootloader files), an MS reserved partition (small), a recovery partition and win C:.

When you first boot the system after installing mint, you should boot into grub which will give you the option of either booting mint (the default) or windows. The installer will have put "ubuntu" at the top of the boot list in BIOS (subsequent win updates may put the windows bootloader top of the list - so if you do a win update and on reboot it goes straight to win, this is the first thing to check).
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by bendipa »

I think you are trying to do too much at once. The chances are you will get into a mess. You haven't said yet where your music, photo files etc are stored, but I'd guess they're in your Home folder. These need to be backed up to an external drive or 'the cloud' before you do anything else, and it as has been suggested you need to make a separate partition using Gparted and put your data in there as well as having an external back-up. Lose your data and it's probably gone for good. Your data is more important than any system.

If you haven't used Gparted before I suggest you familiarise yourself with it first. Skip the bit about making a new partition table. You don't want to mess with that. It's possible it isn't yet installed on your system although it comes with Live Mint so you can look at it from there. Also if you're going to be sharing this new partition with Windows then you need to make its file system NTFS (or NTFS-3g as it's called in Linux) so that Windows can read it.
Last edited by bendipa on Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Systems: Linux Mint 19.3, Ubuntu 18.04, Windows 10 (1909), Windows 7 Pro
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AndyMH
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by AndyMH »

Skip the bit about making a new partition table
That way could end in tears if a brand new unformatted drive. But if installing win first or if win is already on the drive, it will have created a partition table so you can skip it - it is something you only need to do once.
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SueS
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by SueS »

Thanks for all the replies! Clearly, I need to do some homework and learn about partitions in detail before attempting this. Glad I asked before getting into a mess.

A further question comes to mind: is it in even worth trying to install LM and Windows 10 on the same laptop? Is this more trouble than it's worth? Thoughts? I really like LM as an operating system much better, but I need tax software to run on the laptop. As of now, unfortunately, the tax software is only available in Apple OS and Microsoft Windows.
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Re: Advice re Going from 19.1 to 20.0?

Post by AndyMH »

You have two choices:
  • you can dual boot, which is what I do on my desktop, or
  • you can run windows in a VM using virtualbox, which is what I do on my laptops.
This on the basis that your tax software is unlikely to run under wine.
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