Upgrading Your Linux Mint Desktop Version 17.3 to 18

Linux Mint 18

Upgrading Linux Mint

I have been using Linux, both the server and desktop versions, Linux penguin Tuxfor a long time and recently upgraded my desktop versions (laptop).  Previously I had been running Mint 17.3 and was pretty happy with it.  At the time, it seemed to be a easy install.  I also don’t recall any errors or points of frustration during the the next year or so that I used it.  Admittedly, my usage wasn’t daily, but was enough that I felt familiar with the operating system, had printers setup, chrome installed, Libre office installed, and a few other bits of customization.

I am one that is always up for the upgrades in windows, linux, etc and work hard to keep current.  So, when I found out that Mint had upgraded to version 18, I immediately jumped on it.  I had already applied the updates available in the software manager, but that leaves you at the current version, in my case 17.3.  So, I knew that it was a distro upgrade that I needed.

Having a lot of experience with Ubuntu (Linux Mint uses Ubuntu as it core) I knew that something like “apt-get dist-upgrade” was probably available.  A quick google search provided me with a very good upgrade tutorial from the community at linuxmint.com here.  This tutorial was written by Clem and is greatly appreciated.


I would recommend that you follow the tutorial step by step and ensure you have updates, backups, and are sure that upgrading is something you want to do.  I wasn’t worried about my backups (no important images, docs, excel sheets, etc) and could easily do a fresh install if my upgrade went south on me.  Let me repeat myself, I would recommend that you make sure you have backups of your data, and that you take steps to ensure you can recover if something goes wrong.  The upgrade, while easy, is still a major upgrade and the system is going from a core of ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04.  There are several upgrades to major components in moving from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04.  So, just protect yourself and follow the steps in the tutorial.

My Upgrade Experience

My upgrade consisted of installing the upgrade tool with the command apt install mintupgrade.  That went smooth and simple.  The next step in the tutorial is the upgrade check or simulation.  This could be a good step for some and it walks through a simulated upgrade and lets you know of possible errors and or current packages that might cause difficulties during the upgrade.  Mine went smooth.  The command for this is mintupgrade check.  

The next step in Clem’s tutorial is downloading all of the packages needed for the upgrade.  Again, this is simple, but does take a little while.  The command is mintupgrade download.

Once the download has completed, the next step is the mintupgrade upgrade.  This step is irreversible once it is started, so make sure you have an hour or so to keep an eye on things.  This step for me was smooth and following a reboot, I am now running LinuxMint 18.

If anybody out there is interested in Linux as a server or a desktop, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  I will gladly provide some discussion and hopefully you will see the benefits of Linux and fall in love with it as I did many years ago.