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Linux Mint working on a new upgrade tool for major releases

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Linux Mint, the distribution that tries to set itself apart for beginners (but not only) along with their own Cinnamon desktop environment, have some plans to help users upgrade.

Jumping between small releases is currently fine, since Linux Mint sticks to the same Ubuntu package base. However, upgrading to a new major version can be a hassle. Thankfully, they're working on solving this issue with a brand new upgrade tool in the works.

Compared with the existing upgrade tool these are the main features:

  • It’s fully graphical, no command line.
  • It’s localized (the existing tool is only in English).
  • It performs more checks to make sure everything is fine (for instance it checks that you are connected to AC power, free space vs download size, list of removed packages etc..).
  • It’s configurable (even though you really shouldn’t skip anything, it does allow you to disable some requirements, such as the presence of a Timeshift snapshot).
  • It preserves your choice of mirrors (it checks to see if they’re compatible, responsive and up to date)
  • It doesn’t force you to remove your custom repositories and PPAs (it checks whether or not they support the target release though)
  • It warns but lets you keep orphaned packages (packages which aren’t present in repositories)
  • It provides and handles solutions (for most detected issues, along with the explanation you’ll just need to click a “Fix” button to solve the issue).

They also said it's the "number one priority" this current development cycle, and they will be using it for people who jump between the LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) versions 4 and 5 first and then later for Linux Mint 20.3 to Linux Mint 21. It makes sense to use it on the lesser used version to help iron out any kinks.

Additionally, Linux Mint 21 is codenamed "Vanessa" and it will be based on Ubuntu 22.04 and support 3 editions: Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce.

Eagle-eyed viewers will also spot a video created by a certain person (me) in the blog post.

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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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WildCoder Apr 8, 2022
Nice! Let's hope more distributions follow with the same idea...
seven Apr 8, 2022
each time i use linux mint, i stay a little longer
belisama Apr 8, 2022
Hmmm. I usually do a fresh install for Mint's major version changes (after my 17->18 attempt did not go well), but if this comes together well, I might change that policy. Would be nice to not have to futz around with USB-boot ISOs. In any case, Mint continues to rock the category of "what are our pain points and how can we fix them".
akselmo Apr 8, 2022
Mint is, well, mint! :D I just would like to see a KDE spin of it, with all the basic KDE stuff preinstalled.
belisama Apr 8, 2022
Quoting: akselmoMint is, well, mint! :D I just would like to see a KDE spin of it, with all the basic KDE stuff preinstalled.

I confess that some of KDE's current features (*cough*notifications*cough*) would tempt me to also try out such a variant.
seven Apr 8, 2022
Quoting: akselmoMint is, well, mint! :D I just would like to see a KDE spin of it, with all the basic KDE stuff preinstalled.
this is the only reason i don't use it permanently
ronnoc Apr 8, 2022
Quoting: akselmoMint is, well, mint! :D I just would like to see a KDE spin of it, with all the basic KDE stuff preinstalled.

There used to be Linux Mint KDE, but alas it was really designed and maintained by one main (unpaid) volunteer. IIRC, once he could no longer support Mint's KDE spin, Clem dropped it like a hot potato. Was a great KDE distro, as it used KDE-themed versions of all of Mint's artwork. I left Mint for Kubuntu at that point, and use Neon today.

Honestly, if Mint were to deploy a KDE version today, it would likely be indistinguishable from Kubuntu, as all of the tools and apps that are unique to Mint are and will ALWAYS BE GTK-based.
Schattenspiegel Apr 8, 2022
Don`t know... while I do prefer some KDE apps to their GTK counterparts, the Cinnamon desktop simply has some features I would not like to miss the ability to separately define the intelli-hide delay to show/hide the panel or the ability to run the file-browser as root or (unlike in KDE) not having to confirm every change and stuff like that. These days the only things that annoy me a bit are easily fixed visuals - like the new theming - or due to some upstream shenanigans from Canonical (snaps) or GTK/Gnome (design and functionality of inherited apps). This tool seems to be another fine refinement. Looking forward to it. Maybe it is actually better that they concentrate on their own DE instead of spreading themself to thin.
ridge Apr 8, 2022
Nice! Always cool to see the updates coming from the Mint team, more user-friendliness in the Linux space goes such a long way.
Pendragon Apr 9, 2022
whoa! This might actually keep me on Mint if this goes right! .. Having to do a fresh install to upgrade from 19.3 was making me NOT interested in continuing
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