Migrating to Linux Mint 18

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mtb_ww
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Migrating to Linux Mint 18

Post by mtb_ww » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:17 am

I am currently running Linux Mint 17.x on multiple machines. Several boxes, with very new components, may benefit from running LM18, when released. Is it possible to upgrade from 17 to 18 or would a complete install be necessary?

Thanks in advance.

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Pjotr
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Re: Migrating to Linux Mint 18

Post by Pjotr » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:24 am

When 18 will appear, somewhere in the summer of 2016, you'll need to do a clean upgrade. Which means formatting the old 17 partition and doing a clean install of 18.

That is, if you want to upgrade at all, because 17 will be supported until May, 2019....
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Re: Migrating to Linux Mint 18

Post by AlbertP » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:46 am

There is at present a tutorial for upgrading to a newer release, found at http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2.

The release notes of Mint usually contained a link to that tutorial. However with 18 still being a year away, the tutorial might well be updated at some point. I expect, however, that the release notes will still contain a link to a tutorial like that one.
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Cosmo.
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Re: Migrating to Linux Mint 18

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:18 am

At the status of current knowledge, both Pjotr and AlbertP are right. But the crucial word is current.

Maybe there comes some advantage about this. At least this is my interpretation, what Clem (the lead developer) said in this interview:
Clem interviewed wrote:Now with this said, things can certainly be improved. We should probably insist on people creating a /home partition during the installation, we should probably implement safeguards on UID and permission checks after a fresh upgrade... there's definitely work to be done for upgrading to be made easier. Ubuntu's recommended solution isn't something we want to back though, it's not good enough for us to recommend. Automation is one thing and making a process trivial is usually an improvement, but when that process is risky, automation is really dangerous.
My - absolutely private - interpretation is this:
The problem of major upgrades is something, that Clem sees as not satisfying. I don't know, how he sets the priority about this issue. Maybe we will see some improvement in LM 18, maybe later. I do believe, that we will get there at some time.
At least I draw the conclusion, that placing /home on a separate partition (what I do anyway) seems to be something, which might let options open for the future.

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Re: Migrating to Linux Mint 18

Post by Pjotr » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:43 pm

@Cosmo: you may be right; we'll see....

Yet even if a non-clean upgrade from an older series (like 17.x) to another newer series (like 18.x) would become officially possible, I don't think I would recommend it. The step is simply too big (quite unlike the small safe upgrade step within a series, like from 17 to 17.1).

The risk of complications because of imported old settings and other remnants would always be there, which is why I would prefer a clean upgrade to 18 anyway.... :)
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Re: Migrating to Linux Mint 18

Post by phd21 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:59 pm

mtb_ww wrote:I am currently running Linux Mint 17.x on multiple machines. Several boxes, with very new components, may benefit from running LM18, when released. Is it possible to upgrade from 17 to 18 or would a complete install be necessary?

Thanks in advance.
Hi mtb_ww, and others,

Considering that Linux Mint (LM) 17.x is a long term, very stable, awesome release (good thru 2019), as others have posted, you may not need or want to upgrade for awhile. And LM 18 isn't due out until next year (2016) anyway. If there are compelling new features, then I would upgrade too. But, as to whether to do a clean "fresh" install or an upgrade, well that depends on what the Linux Mint developers recommend and what you have installed in your current systems. Usually an upgrade can be performed through the LM Update Manager and it will tell you that updates are available automatically.

If you have a lot of software installed which would be difficult, and time consuming, to re-install on a "fresh" system, then upgrading is the way to go, otherwise do a fresh clean install. Obviously, as long as you have "image" backups of each machine's hard drive, then your safe.

I have always thought that when a new release of anything becomes available that it is a good idea to let other users use it for at least a month before I would consider upgrading my main computers, especially in a business environment. You can always create a hard drive partition on a machine to test the new version, or anything else for that matter. You can also use VirtualBox for a test drive as well. You can even install a new Linux Mint version to a fast USB Flash drive and boot to it to test it, or run it.

Personally, I had a difficult time upgrading from LM 17 to 17.1 Rebecca until I found a fairly easy solution; you can see my post regarding this http://forum.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=187818. I had a problem upgrading because I had a lot of software installed (I mean a whole lot) which caused me to have "package dependency" issues which would not let me use the normal LM Update Manager to do the upgrade. But, the solution turned out to be an easy one, and there are ways to clean up any left over files from previous versions that may be left on the system.

In Linux Mint there is a "Back Up Tool" in the System Menu which you can run and then select the option "Backup software selection" which will create a list of all software applications currently installed in your system (mine shows 1607 items in this list). This list of applications is very handy in case you ever need to do a fresh install; unfortunately it doesn't specify which ones I personally installed versus the ones that Linux Mint installed.

Hope this was helpful ...
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Re: Migrating to Linux Mint 18

Post by Cosmo. » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:04 am

phd21 wrote:
mtb_ww wrote:unfortunately it doesn't specify which ones I personally installed versus the ones that Linux Mint installed.
You are right about this, but this is not really a problem.

If you make a restore with it, it will only present you those programs, which are not already installed. That means, programs, that come pre-installed with Mint will not be offered for installation.

You can prove it yourself: Make a backup of the software selection and than run a restore on the same system: As all backed up software selections are already installed, you will not be offered to restore anything.

Note: Using this tool after a new installation makes it necessary to restore all PPA beforehand which are needed for restoring.

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