Linux Mint Upgrade Tool – Here’s How it Works

3 min

We tested the Linux Mint upgrade tool (mintupgrade GUI) with an actual upgrade. Here’s what we found.

If you are looking for detailed upgrade steps to the recently released Linux Mint 21 Vanessa, read this guide 👉 upgrade-linux-mint-21-from-20-3

This utility is under development and may contain bugs. Please do not use it in your daily driver unless you want to experiment.

Linux Mint Upgrade Tool

The Linux Mint team announced that they built a new utility to upgrade the Linux Mint’s significant versions. It’s called the “mintupgrade2”. It is currently under development and planned for upgrading to the major versions—for example, Linux Mint 20 to 21 and not the minor version upgrades.

Although you can upgrade the versions using the standard apt commands, the Mint team believes significant version upgrades are tricky. It would be difficult for the new users to perform a seamless upgrade because it involves the terminal and a set of complex steps with commands.

Moreover, the GUI is a wrapper with additional features to the mintupgrade program, which brings a set of pre-system checks and upgrade processes with a one-click Fix.

In addition, the mintupgrade checks basic checks whether you are connected to power, the system is up to date, disk space availability and many more features.

To show you how it looks and works, we set up a testbed with LMDE 4 and give it a go.

But before that, here’s a quick set of features:

  • Entirely GUI-driven upgrade process
  • Multi-language support
  • Pre-upgrade checks: system backup, power, disk space, list of removed packages
  • Configurable
  • Alert you about the orphaned packages from the prior version
  • It gives you the option to fix issues

How it works

When we ran the mint upgrade utility via command mintupgrade, the GUI, the friendly welcome screen gives you an excellent starting point and starts the upgrade process. And then, it begins with a series of checks on its own.

Starting the upgrade process
Starting the upgrade process

In addition to that, when it finds some problem in your system, it stops and gives you sufficient details about it. Once you click on Fix, it can resume the process again.

That’s not all; it can resume the upgrade process if interrupted due to network or internet or any other problem.

The utility found the following errors in our test system during our test and fixed them with just one click.

Apt Cache check
Apt Cache check
Mint Upgrade detects that system snapshots not present
Mint Upgrade detects that system snapshots are not present
Check for Orphan Packages
Check for Orphan Packages
Status before upgrade
Status before upgrade
Mint Upgrade can detect the packages require downgrade
Mint Upgrade can detect the packages that require a downgrade

Lastly, we successfully upgraded a test system from LMDE 4 to LMDE 5.

Upgrade Complete
Upgrade Complete

How to get this upgrade utility

The installation of the utility is easy using the commands below. But as the team suggests, it is now in BETA, so do not use it for serious upgrades.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install mintupgrade

Closing Notes

Finally, I think it’s one of the best utilities by the Linux Mint team. As you can see above, it handled many errors on its own. All I did was click the “Fix” button. And the utility is smart enough to understand all the failure points and took care of the remediations.

GitHub and source code of mintupgrade


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