How do you upgrade?

Maybe it’s time we know a little more about our user base when it comes to upgrades, not package updates, but upgrades between different releases of Linux Mint.



  1. To elaborate on this..

    Ikey has been working on mintBackup lately. Among other things, the tool now allows you to specify a source outside of your /home and to specify the destination. It also acts similarly to rsync (if you backup something twice, it only updates what’s changed the second time).

    Also, we could come up with a feature or a distinct tool which would save the list of software you installed, and be able to restore the software then after on the new system.

    The idea behind these tools is to let you backup your home and your selection of software easily, so you can then perform a fresh install, and be able to restore both easily as well once you’re in your new system.

    It’s already very easy to do that using the command line, but these tools would provide you with easy KISS alternatives.

    But anyway, that’s one of the reasons behind this poll.

  2. I always backup and install from scratch, I don’t trust the tools to upgrade.

    BTW, thanks for worrying about the Linux community and shape according to what the community wants and needs.

  3. I like upgrading with the Mint included upgrade tool. I never had the luck to perform a 100% successful upgrade because I play with many other software and repositories so my Mint is only “100% Mint” for maximum a few hours after a fresh install, but I always managed to overcome the major flaws and the small annoyances I fixed later of simply lived with them – although they were 1 or two and really minor.

    Good news about the new backup tool. I would love to give it a try once it’s done, because Linux really needs something reliable and simple to backup. I don’t know how other disros do it, but as I’m a Mint fan, I would like to see that awesome backup tool in Mint. 🙂

    Why am I using the upgrade tool? Because of my old habit of installing Linux on small partitions that I prefer not to split between / and /home, so deleting everything is not really an option. However, my current Mint setup (KDE 64-bit) is on a 20GB / and a 40GB /home so now I can get a fresh Mint in about 10 minutes. 😀

    Thanks for caring, guys! 🙂

  4. I’m new to Linux Mint. I’ve tried Ubuntu and others, but I prefer Mint by far!

    So, upgrading from Linux Mint 8 to 9, I don’t know how…

    I hope it will be simple, like when an update is proposed.

    If not, I will back up some stuff, and install Mint 9 from the CD and erase everything. But I would prefer not to…

  5. As I have 2 HDs, I copy my data from my /home to a folder on the second HD and then install the new version without reformatting my /home. If all goes well – which it always did up to now – I’m done.

    So, I actually do 2 options you propose in your list (Backup and don’t reformat /home)

    I don’t use a backup tool, but simply copy the data because my /home is etx4 and my second HD is ext3. As a backup implies copying the permissions I don’t know whether they are downgradable from ext4 to ext3 and vice-versa when restoring

  6. I would really like a program which backs up a list of the software I installed, as well as any changes to my sources list. I always perform a clean install but the fiddly bit is getting the extra software added, especially those I’ve added with new repositories. Oh, and those .deb files I’ve installed without a repository.

    Thanks Clem and others!

  7. IMHO it is important to notice: “home” is not the best place for my
    private data! I store them on a dedicated separate partition.
    After an upgrade, I like to find again all my installed software,
    configured as before. And my “home” should anyway not be a problem,
    there is nothing to loose.
    My private data remain untouched, even after a fresh install, even
    of a different distro!

  8. Guess I’m a combination of 2, 4, and 6 above! Do clean installs after backup but most of my important data is not kept in /home on the primary partition.

  9. I love Mint, it is the reason that I’ve been able to move from Windows to Linux. I haven’t run Windows in about 6 months. Thanks to the staff for sucha great distro!

    I have a dedicated partition for my /home directory so re-installing from scratch doesn’t lose my data, but boy is it a pain re-installing all the individual packages of programs! I would love for a good way to upgrade to the next version without losing all the packages.

  10. I wish I didn’t upgrade. My wireless broke on my system, and soon after the hard drive seemed to crash too.

  11. I always wanted to try out option #2, as it seems to be the most practical, but haven’t try it yet. So for me, it’s always been option #1.

    It’s been over a year and a half since I had Windows on this machine and have no intentions of having Windows on my next one.

  12. I would be thrilled to have the option of easily backing up/restoring home and software. That would pretty much make life complete. 😀

  13. I use windows at times so my system is dual-boot. I would like to upgrade to Linux Mint 9 when it becomes available and it would be nice if Mint Update would do this. Will it?

  14. Why is /home not the best place for your private files? You lost me on that one. I never considered a separate partition for personal files.

  15. I prefer using a dedicated /home partition. I perform an install from the scratch but I don’t reformat my /home.

    Doing that, I still keep my data and configurations. Sometimes there are little problems, but nothing really bad.

    Thanks for caring.

  16. I keep a separate home partition and only reformat the root partition. I always have a concern about compatibility of Thunderbird’s mail files between releases – bus so far, everything has worked well.

  17. The absolutely best and most user-friendly solution would be to use a gui tool to automatically upgrade, but the upgrade should be performed as a transaction. That is if it fails for some reason (ex. due to heavy customization made by user) The whole process should be reverted to the original state. There should be no risk, that the tool would break anything. This includes a random system shutdown in the middle of the process.

    In that case there would be no users with broken systems – only those who managed to do an auto-upgrade and those who didn’t manage.

    Those who didn’t manage would receive help on the forums (the tool would be improved based on user feedback).

    How about that.

  18. for me i Backup everything then i install a fresh mint but i think its the best way cuz everything is become fresh 🙂
    don’t you agree??

  19. I’m not a big fan of /home partitions.

    I’m a heavy linux user, and I have quite a lot of Mint / Ubuntu installed machines, virtual and physical. And my Host system would usually become corrupted after a few months of pushing the system to the limit. So if I maintain my /home partition, I always risk importing the previous problems to my new system.

    On the frequency of upgrades, I usually skip one release.

  20. Clean install with data partitions plus backups of the most important system/home configuration files.

  21. Must say ‘Mint’ is the best thing that ever happened to my computing life, thanks for that ‘Mint Team’.

    I have always had a separate /home partition and tend to do a clean install but do not format /home. For the upgrade to Helena, (and to Ext 4 file system), I copied all the /home files (included hidden) to a separate drive, did a full clean install (including formatting /home),reinstalled software, then copied all the original personal files back, including specific .hidden files as appropriate.(e.g. Thunderbird, Skype, Picasa etc.)

    This time When Mint 9 LTS is available, I will use ‘Clonezilla’ and clone the complete current disk and all partitions to a slightly larger (new) drive and keeping the old drive as full usable backup. I will then do a clean upgrade of the new/larger drive but (as normal) without formating the /home partition.

    I have VISTA business and MS office installed in Virtualbox as a ‘guest’ (Sorry, but need MS ‘Access’ for certain work activities!!) and am worried that if the upgrade goes ‘pear shaped’, I will have to go through the whole re-installation of VirtualBox and VISTA + MS software again, and including millions of MS updates.

    Have not had much success with using Mint ‘backup’ to reliably backup the /home (files too large?). It would be nice if there was an easy mechanism to save and reinstall software when upgrading

  22. having a dedicated /home, but still keeping all my data on a 3rd partition.
    so i have my data stored separately and when it comes to upgrade – i’ll make a fresh install

  23. I voted “others”. Usually I try the system upgrade provided by Linux Mint team (obviously after a backup). If something goes wrong during the upgrade or after, the I make a fresh install. From Mint 6 to 7 i used the upgrade tool (worked ok), from 7 to 8 tryed the upgrade tool (OK), than, due to some installed programs I had to make a clean install.

  24. I have used the upgrade tool two or three times on various machines, with complete success. I have also backed-up some things and done 100% new installs, on occasion. However, I know feel the absolute best way to upgrade, for my needs as a home/desktop user, is to use separate partitions. I find it very easy to leave /home untouched and do a fresh install. This also allows me to access my data easily when trying out different distros, other versions of Mint, etc. The only way I will ever do upgrades or re-installs now is with multiple partitions. Gparted is easy enough to work with.

  25. Well when Lint KDE 7 crashed lately, too many bad sectors on the SATA hard disk, I tried Mint KDE 8, which failed to install on another SATA hard disk, Kubuntu worked, but I prefer Mint. Mint 8 KDE did boot up live though, so I tried the normal Gnome based install, which worked. Yes, another SATA hard drive with bad sectors, but I went ahead and installed since it’s 200 GIG. I went ahead and added the KDE and all my games, etc., to be on the safe side I told it to boot up in Gnome as primary GUI. I was surprised most of my games went to the KDE GUI instead, no biggie I already have my dual-Intel P3 slot1 650 MHz as my Mint 8 Gnome box. This in an Intel P4 running at 2.8 GHz with 2 GIG RAM, thank goodness for KDE sweep since Firefox can drag down the speed of my Yahoo Webmail. Too bad Gnome Janitor doesn’t work as well.

    Oh, I used my Puppy Linux to back up to USB the SATA hard disk that failed to fsck on Mint 7 KDE.

  26. I would love a KISS tool that could automatically re-install all the extra software I’d installed after an upgrade. I find this process a bit of hassle at present. If the system could keep track of my customizations (things like cron.weekly, new software installs, etc) and then re-apply them to a new version it would be perfect.

    Also, I use UNetBootin and a usb stick rather than the CD. I do a fresh install and have a separate home partition (7 to 8 took a couple of hours – mostly dealing with the extra software I use, changing the menu, etc)

  27. I believe in the separate partition for home as well as backups on an external. With doing so, I am now looking forward to the new Mintbackup features. I agree that it would be awesome to backup and restore your software additions as well as your files. Thanks Clem and the team for making the best distro around and for being so involved with the people that love it in the community.

  28. I’ve only recently moved from Debian to Mint. With Debian, I would use a dedicated /home partition and reinstall from a fresh CD to upgrade. I might try the new Mint tools next month, but Debian didn’t have these tools (aside from standard apt and similar tools, which never worked properly for me for upgrading). So I’ve yet to see how effective upgrade tools can be. I’ll try it out and see, and if all else fails, I’ll have a Mint 9 CD waiting on standby.

  29. Thanks very much for listen the user needs. I have a /home partition that I backup regularly, but since I have installed LAMP I prefer to upgrade without reinstalling everything. I upgraded Mint 8 from 7 without any problem with the Mint upgrade tool, so you all did a very good job with it. It would be nice to have something similar for Mint 9. Thanks for the great work.

  30. I always reformat and do a fresh install at my root partition and keep my /home partition untuched. Recently I have been using UNetbootin and an USB-stick rather than a CD for installing new releases. (reusable)
    One thing I dislike about the upgrade process “afterwork”: It is possible to reuse my “primary” login-name and I get access to my old files in that login. But my second and third login name cant be reused because the system says “that name is already occupied” and tells me to use another login-name.
    In open Suse its possible to reuse also the second and third login-names and it connects to their previous home-directorys without any problems.
    Why can’t I do so in Linux Mint?

  31. I’m using Ubuntu and I plan to move to Mint soon. Usually I try the distro update in the update manager, but it is common to have some problems, and I did have to reinstall sometimes. My experience is that reinstalling without formating the home partition can leave some mess, so I started to use a separate partition for all my documents and multimedia files. In this way I can format the home partition, but I backup the home partition before I do so. Usually after installation I copy some config files of selected applications from the backup. I’ll use the same way to move from Ubuntu to Mint.

  32. You know, talking about risks of upgrading, I have a thought…

    I was using MacOS 9 before switching to Linux a number of years ago, and when you upgraded your software, it packed up your old installation into a Backup folder. That way, if anything went wrong with the new install, the old one could be put back easily.

    Could the same be done with Mint? When an upgrade is done, everything on the disk that you’re making changes to gets moved into a Backup folder (only if there is space on the disk), with all permissions and settings intact. The installation is performed, and the user is asked if they want to keep their old settings. If yes, the necessary files are copied from the Backup folder to the new install. If everything works well, the user can then delete (as root, of course) the Backup folder if they want.

    I’m not sure how Mint does its upgrades yet, but maybe link MintBackup to the upgrade tool to do the job? Or just simply do a move function on the entire disk into a folder on the same disk? I don’t know. Anyway, just a thought..

  33. For those of you who upgrade via a fresh install (either with or without a dedicated /home partition). How do you retain the various settings in /etc. For example, I have a bunch of cron scripts there. Is there any easy way to find all of these and copy to a new installation?

    Thanks. Mint is my favorite linux by far.

  34. I just can’t help myself with this problem, LOL. I install a distro, apply all the updates, then I get experimental and start adding repos from other distros. So, I am usually running some kind of mish-mash of Mint, various other ubuntu based and debian packages. Often I make a mess and end up starting over. I don’t care because I’m always dying to try whatever the latest and greatest distro I get on disk from Linux mags. My boyfriend can’t understand how this is fun. HAHA!
    I haven’t tried mint backup, but I have it installed and I think I will try it out since it seems to be getting ++ reviews. I usually just cut and past my files to an external drive.

  35. I always use option #2 (keep the home partition) but every time I need a program I go: “oh yeah, i havn’t re-installed that yet” and have to re-install it via synaptics. Just as proposed in the clarifying post, I wish there was a way to keep a list of my installed software so that they could be re-installed straight away after I update.

  36. I make a partition of the new OS, transfer all my data from the old one to the new one, then have two OSs side-by-side. I don’t like to do it but I don’t know how to repartition. I get all confused >>

  37. I use a separate /home partition.
    To upgrade I rsync (-avx) / to a a spare partition and upgrade that copy.

    Then if too much breaks I can just revert to the original install. No harm done.

    The last two upgrades have been fine I think. Only issue is usually OpenOffice as I like to use a more recent one than is in the repo’s but it was easily fixed as far as I can recall.

  38. Hi Clem,

    the tool you propose would be very nice!

    I am reluctant to upgrade because of the disclaimers the Mint developers always put on the upgrade procedure. With Debian, I just blindly follow their advice and never was bitten. Don’t know why the same would be so hard for Mint. Isn’t this something that can be arranged for Mint….smooth upgrades? Can’ t that be part of the design of Mint?

    Then this MintBackup tool. I created one or two backup files with them, in Linux Mint 6 I think. However, I never figured out how to restore them. With the same tool? Or should I manually unzip/untar them?

    Hope you can look into all these stuff. Looking forward to using the LTS version, because I’m tired to change every 6 months.

  39. I’m only confused because I have a WUBI install, and the newest Mint doesn’t have WUBI capability. This is a major issue. I’m not sure it should have been put as far back on the back burner as it was.

  40. Having migrated to Mint from openSUSE (when its audio was broken) I always liked the idea of a separate Home partition so, once I realized how to do it in an install, I made my Mint like that.

    The upgrade path starts with a backup of my home partition to a USB disk drive (just in case). The directories in the home partition are then renamed *old before the new installation is undertaken then renamed back again once the install has been completed.

    Should a simple backup tool be made available, (something like Second Copy 97 in the Windows world), that would be great. A utility that could backup data (files or whole directories) from the computers disk to, say a usb disk at set times would do it for me.

    Really, backing up to the same disk is a bit pointless!

  41. Dear Clem,
    Thank you for your openness and availability to discuss with the Mint community. I appreciate that very much!

    I use a separate home partition and mount a backup partition on an external 1,5 TB hard-disk to backup my home with rsync by command line. I do it regularly once a week.
    This is my script (this is only a line of a 83 lines batch script)

    sudo rsync -avzS –delete-before –stats –progress –human-readable –partial /home/ /media/homesync

    My script backup grub.cfg, grub.d/, sources.list, sources.list.d/, fstab, dhclient.conf and other important system files for my with rsync in my /home/speedyx/backup/.

    I want to complete my script with a package tracker of my post-install installed packages, I have some ideas, but I don’t realized that yet.

  42. i have 3 HDDs in my linux computer

    1 for root (which i format during install)
    1 for home (which i do NOT format during install)
    1 for swap (which i format during install)

  43. I’ve got a dedicated /home partition, which I don’t format, so everything’s relatively easy apart from apps/packages, which can be a pain to reinstall after an upgrade.

    I also think it would be nice for the Mint installer to recognise this kind of configuration as a preset setting when installing, instead of having to manually configure it on new installs (something along the lines of asking the user how big they want their home partition to be, and then leaving the rest up to the installer would be cool).

  44. I tend to run three partitions:
    Windows (ntfs)
    Data (FAT32)
    Linux Minst (ext4)

    Fresh installs all the way.

  45. I always back up my home and do a clean install. My data are on a separate partition, so I just remount Data at installation and make sure the install doesn’t format the data partition. Then I reinstall any other programs I use.

    Frankly, I’d rather just do an upgrade, mainly to save myself from having to reinstall all those programs, but so far I’ve been too nervous to try. maybe this time.

  46. I’m confused about the option of changing the sources.list file and using apt-get… did anyone who does this please explain? does this mean that the programs would automatically update to the appropriate version based on your new version of mint? does having a separate /home partition save you from reinstalling all your applications manually? sorry, I’m still a Linux noob in general…

    I’ll take my answer off the air.

  47. Use a separate home partition (or just use external storage) and slap a few programs on it after a fresh install. Unless you have a pile of really big games.. it should be rather painless. Great question btw

  48. I always do a backup of my Data to an External HD after that just just do a fresh install then i simply plug inthe external HD and im done
    ok it takes some time but if something gets wrong i have the backup lol
    but thers always the sources.list as well

  49. I use:

    1 partition for root
    1 partition for home
    1 partition for swap

    I would LOVE to see KMint be able to upgrade without totally having to start over from scratch each time, and loose every thing, then have to dig out stuff from various places… its a real pain and discourages upgrades even more than other factors.

    I don’t have time to waste to reinstall software etc.. Certainly Linux and KMint can have a way to upgrade the OS in method thats simple and reliable.

  50. I leapfrog with multiple partitions. At the moment I have both Mint 7 and Mint 8 available, each with its own / and /home partitions.
    When Mint 9 comes out, I’ll reformat the partitions where Mint 7 currently lives and load Mint 9 there.
    Or maybe I’ll keep Mint 7 and sacrifice Mint 8. Mint 7 runs better with my old ATI video card, and I’m wondering if the video problems will get better or worse with the new release. I’ve been keeping #7 up to date by loading new versions of software (e.g. Firefox and OpenOffice) outside the package system.
    Both /home partitions are backed up to an external drive.

  51. I normally have a separate /home partition, and I do a clean install, but I always fully back-up my /etc and /home partitions prior to doing that (/etc is where I have several config files stored that I’d rather not tweak from scratch again, e.g. xorg.conf). I also use Synaptic to save a list of markings, which would store the names of all the packages I currently have installed in a file, and once I’m done installing Mint again, I’d reload the file into Synaptic to download all the packages I want again. Oh, and I also make a seperate list of things I tweak after an install, simple things like setting up my own theme and desktop and all that.

    This time around though, I’m planning to move to ext4 instead of sticking with ext3, as I’m confident enough that ext4 is stable enough to be employed as a filesystem. So that means I’ll have to do a clean install of everything, except my /swap partition.

  52. I like to upgrade but I don’t know more about it. I’m a newbie to Linux. I like to have more details on upgrade if safe or not and better to upgrade or a fresh installation.

  53. i’m also new here at linuxmint……

    i did not know how to install linuxmint if linux mint 9 isadora will become available…..
    my teacher install this but i have no knowledge about that…..

    what should happen if i install the linuxmint 9 on my laptop if i have a dual-boot os like linuxmint 8 and windows vista?????
    it is possible that the linuxmint 8 will be probably replaced by linuxmint9????

  54. I certainly would like to see a KISS GUI upgrade tool that just upgraded, leaving my personal & program settings in place eg emails, address book, Firefox bookmarks ect

    What I can’t understand, heaps of people say they have a separate partition for their Home Directory, so why doesn’t Mint create this when doing a clean install and so afterwards any upgrade could use a KISS automated process that only formatted the required partition, leaving the Home directory and Windows directory(on dual boot PC’s), alone?

    I love Mint, but as a non-technical newbie I do find the upgrade process very daunting, too many technical terms & decisions to make, I managed from Mint 6 to Mint 7, but gave up during the upgrade process to Mint 8, just too long ago since the previous upgrade for me to remember what to do with all the options, without researching all that stuff again!

    So a simplified, mostly automated install or upgrade process, would be great for newbies. The process would just ask if you want a automated or manual process and a dual boot PC or not, then analyse your current PC and automatically make selections “most likely” to be correct for a newbies PC, based on the size of their HDD.

    More advanced users could still have the manual update method as an option, but this would be magic for us newbies and encourage a lot more people to leave Windows, especially with the dual boot option 🙂

  55. Hi,

    I started with linux mint 8 and lost all of my files when I thought I had backed them up so I could dual boot vista to run google sketch-up.

    I am not sure what I did wrong. I now have files copied to a external hard drive. I think my home is a separate partition but really not positive.

    So I am confused of what to do when 9 comes out. I might give up on
    Vista and just go with 9 if I could find a program like google sketch-up for personal use.

    I love Linux enough I would loose Vista and CAD programs if I had to.

  56. Please, add some way to transfer some key gnome configurations to other machine, like shortcuts, context-menu entries, and things like that. It takes a lot to fine tune a machine, and one cannot always even remember what has been tweaked.

  57. there is another, really good way of doing it (i think ill set things up this way next time i install), essentially you have a different partition for each folder in home like a “music” one and a “pictures” one, then you mount them in /home.

  58. I always backup /home, and do a clean install.

    The only upgrade tool I use is FEBE, which does a wonderful job of backing up Firefox, all my extensions and add-ons, and password file.

    Really, programs and files are the easy part – it’s the browser environment that gets tricky.

  59. I backup my data. Then I perform a fresh install using the CD.

    But, I liked the 5th choice on the list, too: “I try not to. I stick to one release and ignore new ones.” I prefer to stick with the LTS version.

  60. the only downfalt of linuxmint is the upgrading to the next edition…
    It’s very painful to move to the next edition falks.
    each time new Edition is avaliable it’s nightmare because is not easy as it is “UBUNTU” and that’s way UBUNTU is the number 1 distro in the linux world. with mint it’s hard to do upgrade and most the time you are loosing all the bookmarks and take long time to load again.
    in UBUNTU, only need to click and the update manager and everything is done byself no nonsence running the comand line nothing!!! very easy done.
    my question to you is this, you are fork from ubuntu, why don’t you do it alike ubuntu does, and who knows one day you will surpass UBUNTU!!!
    I use both system UBUNTU and MINT, i preffer MINT but the only reason I am using UBUNTU is because is so easy the upgrade and that’s i use UBUNTU because the uprading the system is easy and not mucking around.
    again ‘m asking you the same question to you….
    I hope my voice to be heard and have some answer to my question. i love mint but…. not easy to upgrade at all!!!
    with my best regards

  61. I have a separate /Data partition for Documents, Pictures, Music, Downloads, etc. I manually edit fstab to mount the partition in each /home folder of the several distros I run at any one time. This setup works well even with non-Debian based distros. While I don’t have any trouble reinstalling packages from the CLI after an upgrade, my 77 year old father is still running Gloria and refuses to upgrade for fear he will lose some irreplaceable program. A tool to restore installed software would be ideal for him.

  62. Looks like the Webserver threw away my contribution. I’ll just say I don’t have a separate /home, but I only keep dotfiles there. I keep my own stuff on a separate /data.

  63. It depends. If I have experimented with my system alot and not sure that upgrade would go well, I do re-install it from a scratch. Or I also re-install it when some new features require new installation to work best (such as ext4 – yeah, I know that you can convert ext3 to ext4, but that won’t give you all new features of ext4).

    Also, clean install works faster than upgrade. So if time is important thing at the moment, I’ll do clean install.

  64. I backup all my data and then install new version of Mint from CD with formatting the HDD it will be installed on. The most stable and fail-safe method I believe.

  65. Hi Clem,

    I use a separate /home partition,and have made the upgrade from Mint7 to 8 with the Upgrade Tool.
    I have install many Software not from Synaptic (LAMP,Virtualbox,Games!).
    The Upgrade Tool work successful,only 2 little Problems!.
    The Language (Yes i am German 😉 ) in Thunderbird not full upgraded, so i must do this after the upgade with the Language Tool.
    The Mint Linux Startside was no more use in Firefox.

    But all other work fine, Great Job.

    with best regards
    Monte Drago

  66. I have previous version on one partition, fresh install on another
    If everything is ok, i make a program list from the old one and i begin using the new one installing all programs (that takes almost a week, so many programs not in repositories)

    Then i use the new one without deleting the old one, waiting for next release.

    I usually upgrade once a year (april or may) cause i have to upgrade also the laptop and other pcs (daughters, wife)

    I don’t have a separate /home, I do have a separate /data (a big one)

    What i would like; an upgrade button. Don’t worry we will debug it for you

  67. Reading the responses here, it seems clear that a lot of people don’t really understand the idea of /home – it should be the one and only
    place for your personal data, and it should never be a place where software packages are installed.

  68. I use DropBox for all my personal files. Whatever does not fit in there, is on external disks or elsewhere in the cloud. This way, doing a fresh reinstall is nothing to worry about…

  69. @ Nicholas

    Its easy to restore bookmarks
    Bookmarks->Organise bookmarks->export html and send it to your email account(ie gmail)
    Switch to the new release download the previous attachment, do the opposite and import html bookmark to your browser. Thats it

  70. I installed Linux Mint Elyssa maybe about summer 08. Until then, I used Ubuntu, and would be very quick about updating my release. But, Linux Mint was much harder to upgrade, and even getting new updates wasn’t as easy as it was on the Ubuntu interface. So, I got lazy, and when I installed a bunch of stuff, I really didn’t want to go through the hassle of reformatting my Linux partition and installing it over again. So, yep, I’ve been stuck with Elyssa — and I avoided using it as it became more and more inconveniently old, until now, when I have to use Linux for coursework. I’d like to upgrade, but I’d much rather use a clean upgrade tool than have to undo everything I’ve installed and configured here.

  71. At the age of 59 and a long association with PCs since CP/M I don’t trust upgrading to the next version of any OS because there’s always problems after the upgrade. A fresh install is not a problem for me because I always backup to CD or DVD all files I want to keep. Never used Mint Backup because I’m new to Mint but I’ll have a look at it some day. It’s not really clear to me whether the backup utility only backs up personal files or hidden files too. Since those hidden files will be part of programs installed by the OS install, restoring them after an upgrade might replace new files with old. Or maybe I’m totally wrong, who knows?

  72. I use the copy important data then fresh install wiping everything option, its quite good as it means I never keep useless crap for more than 6 months.

    I’ve been using mint since Daryna (at home), and the whole time I’ve meant to create a separate home partition, to go down that route for upgrades, but I’ve still not actually done it.

  73. I have two partitions for the operating system (linux helena and its predecessor gloria) and a separate partition for data. I back-up all data and I do a fresh install over the older of the two previous versions. The only bugbear for me is trying to get my Brother scanner and printer working again each time….For Felicia I got both functions, for gloria i only got the scanner and for Helena I have only got the printer after following the Brother advice each time! Just as well I have a second hard drive with Windows XP which is a fallback when I get stuck. I do 99% of my work in Linux and about 1% in XP.

  74. ive never had to update mint before- just found it recently when i decided to start into open source world and programming. i have a seperate home partition, but i do not want to lose my installed programs, as i need many of them to allow me to sync my ipod touch (only smart platform i have- plan on getting something running Android soon…), but there are other programs and such i just dont want to have to find again. will the upgrade tool preserve programs ive installed?

  75. I upgraded and didnt format my directory and all went well except for one thing, After around 6 days I finally got my wireless to work on my asus laptop, it turns out that the network manager kept disconnecting me from the router, anyway after installing wicd it fixed the wireless problem and all is well. I had to download the wicd from off the home site and install it that way.

  76. I answered that I use the upgrade tool, but that is only half correct. I do the upgrade tool to help smooth over the upgrade (since the package updates that occur sometimes monkey with settings stored in my /home folder) and then, when I have more time, I do a backup of my home folder, take an inventory of the software I have installed, and then wipe it clean for a full reinstall.

    I wouldn’t bother with the reinstall except for the fact that, so far, every upgrade I have done has had some minor bugginess that I can’t stablize. For instance, upgrading from 6 to 7, Tomboy kept disappearing from my taskbar because gconf kept propagating multiple entries for Tomboy, which seemed to be confusing Gnome. Even after deleting them multiple times, the entries kept coming back and Tomboy would disappear again. With the upgrade from 7 to 8, when I would do an software update, The number of repositories I hit would double each time. Finally, after I got to about 500 repositories that the update tool was trying to connect to, updating became an all night thing (due to all the connection time outs it would have to wait for).

    It’s not that I’m complaining, I’m just explaining why I do both. I would love to just upgrade and leave it at that, but the issues I’ve had eventually force the reinstall.

  77. I use a separate /home but will now change that to a separate /data I will mount into /home. I usually reinstall on another partition as by the time the newest version comes in, my current one is all messed up with trying out all sorts of things. I also like to swing back and forth between Mint and Ubuntu (hmmm, Debian?). A software backup tool, or a way to recuperate software packages from the old cache would be a plus.
    Could one add a partition, or a folder, as a source in sources.list, is that possible? Do the changes between versions make them incompatible?
    Keep up the good work, Mint, you are definitely the evolution of Linux!

  78. Before I upgraded to Helena, I always wiped everything and did a completely fresh install after backing up the important things on my /home partition. I always wanted to try keeping my /home, but didn’t have enough confidence in my Linux technical skills to try it. However, when I upgraded to Helena I gave it a shot, and everything worked perfectly, so this is now my preferred way to upgrade my system. Re-installing the OS isn’t really difficult or time-consuming, but, as others have noted, it would be nice to be able to automatically install some of the programs I use that don’t come with Mint releases.

    Anyway, thanks for being so responsive to the community, and keep up the great work!

  79. I backup my data and do a clean install, then it’s a matter of a few hours to reinstall the softwares and customize my machine.
    A program that would keep track of these softwares and the settings and reinstall everything would be nice.

  80. I use the usual 3 partition setup when I install/upgrade Mint (swap/root/home). When it’s time to upgrade to the latest and greatest I back up my “Home” Partition to an external drive and perform a clean install. Then it’s just a matter of copying over my backed up data plus any program configuration directories I need.

    Clean installs are not the most convenient but it’s the safest way. Usually takes me less than 2 hours for the whole thing. On the other hand, backing up and doing a clean install of Windows, installing updates and all my programs usually takes me 2 days. 😀

  81. I have been using ubuntu official release off and on for past some years. I have always done a clean install after backing up data. For past 2 years I have been using a pen drive installation of ubuntu then puppy linux and now mint. I am going to use mint on pen drive for a few months before I buy my own laptop and then I plan to install mint on it. I think having a separate home partition would be a good idea then.

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  83. Basically I use a dedicated /home partition. I perform a fresh install using the CD but I don’t reformat my /home.

    However when switching from Gnome or KDE I do a full backup, then reformat all partitions just to make sure there are no remnants of the previous OS left over.

  84. I always do a fresh install. Tried the upgrade a few times in Ubuntu and they never seemed to work properly.
    since i am now in Linux Mint i will give you a try and see how it works when the next new version comes out.
    Here’s hoping..

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  86. Having been fazed by the “many bad sectors” alert when installing Mint8 as a fresh install, I went back to Mint7, installed it and all updates, then loaded and used the upgrade tool. Despite the warning that accompanies the upgrade, I nevertheless found it to be fine. The key is to follow the logic of the initial instructions.
    I think the upgrade tool is one in which you should have greater confidence.
    (The bad sector alert has now been disabled, as I gather it caused a stir even among those with new hard drives).
    Keep up the good work; Linux Mint is a great OS.

  87. I started doing the dedicated /home with Daryna. Before that it was just the clean install thing.

    I do not use the backup tool, but, like, I keep a ~/backup dir and whenever I edit a config / system file (proxy, hosts, resolv, init, fstab, whatever) I do it in ~/backup/ then sudo cp etc.

    Not too sure what the hubub is about the Firefox environment settings… All my bookmarks are there, but then, I clear cash, don’t save passwords, and so on.

    But, that is just my 2p.


  88. Well… the reinstalling thing every 6 months annoys me. So… i stick with the last one that i’ve installed.

    A tool that backups the sources.list and get a list of the packages installed AFTER the installation would be great. As for the /home and personal settings i think that there are some tools there.

  89. I reinstall when a new release comes out but leave my home partition intact, I have split my disc – boot|swap|root|home. Before I start I create a list of all the packages I have installed then login as root and rename my profile, after the new install I set it up how I want and then move my data into the new profile from the old. I do this in case some of the config files change and it stops me getting problems if they do.
    Works for me ^_^

  90. Have upgraded my main desktop machine using the supplied tool or instructions since Daryna with no huge problems. Just too many programs installed, including from non repo sources. A tool that would take account of this would be really cool. Thanks for your hard work in keeping Mint ahead of other distros for simplicity and usability.

  91. I would love Mint’s backup tool will also allow me to do things like mylivecd package in PCLinuxOS where I can create my own iso file (with data, setting, apps) to backup and more importantly, install this iso file in other machine without redoing everything I did for this PC.

  92. Even though I use a dedicated \home partition to faciliate upgrading or fresh installs, I still find it a nuisance to uninstall the programs I do not want that are automatically included, and to reinstall the ones I use that are not.
    A choice of which software to install, other than the required operating ones of course, would be beneficial and definitely time saving.
    Thanks for a superior distro Clem and company. I’ve quit distro hopping since installing Mint8.
    Have a good day!

  93. It just seems like a waste to burn a CD that I’m only going to use once. There has to be a better way.

  94. I have two hard drives in my machine – one for Operating Systems and one for my personal data (including music, photos, movies, TV shows, school documents, business documents etc.)

    I have considered setting the second drive as /home, but I decided against it as I already have things organized the way I want, and don’t like the idea of my important data being tied to any OS I run.

    I have things set up this way so when I happen upon the money to purchase an SSD, I can do so. 🙂

  95. I have two hdds on my computer. One for Linux Mint and the other one for my personal data. I already understood how to install the os but I am still not sure of how to set up a separate home. So I have one problem my data hdd does not mount automatically when I access Mint desktop and I don´t know how to solve this issue. I prefer a fresh install because I do not trust the upgrade process yet. I am looking forward to seeing the tools mentioned in the post implemented. I know you can do it right, Clem. Sooner or later. A big hug!

  96. I love Mint. I have a second drive where my \home partition lives. I don’t really keep that much important data on this computer anyway. (I mostly use it for web browsing and such.) So with the second drive and the fact that I don’t care that much if lose the data, I just use whatever tool you guys provide. At some point, I’ll have more data on this. Then I’ll probably backup with rsync or BackupPC, (or whatever backup tool you guys provide) and I’ll still be fairly casual with my updating. Thanks for asking.

  97. Dear Clem and devs:

    Actually I found home in Archlinux -it’s simple too cool- and one thing I like about it is it’s ‘rolling-release’ scheme, I have allways my system up-to-date with very latest versions of software. That’s not mean I’m allways updating, but I can choose what to update and when and I will have for years to come an allways new and shiny GNU/Linux distro.

    This is rather difficult with periodic releases, not to mention REPOS nightmare when you upgrade to a new release…

    And of course, I can’t ask my dad, my mom, my syster, my girlfriend or even my friends who I installed Mint to watch for those things, they just a want a *working system* the same way everybody wants a *working car*: something they can trust will not fail and will let them accomplish all theyre tasks like browsing the net, sending and receiving emails, watch or listen to multimedia NO MATTER IN WHICH FORMAT IT IS, enjoy [encrypted aka O R I G I N A L] DVDs, open and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images and share them back to others no matter which OS they’re running, PRINTING AND SCANNING documents and pictures (printing and scanning is still more an issue than a weak point in GNU/Linux) and so on.

    That’s why if I were not an Archer -and keep in mind I come from the *buntu-land, Mint included which version 7 ‘Gloria’ made me open eyes wide- Linux Mint would be my preferred distro by several bodies. I think you have the righ attitude and right approach to make a GNU/Linux distro hit 5th Ave, because above all you make an operating system where people who don’t know anything about computers or have little knowledge about them -‘knowing deeply’ Window$ or MacO$ GUI don’t count here!- can get used with it in little to no time.

    I think an OS should be, for the average not-knowledgeable user, something easy, *really* easy to use to accomplish his/her task yet powerful enough to let him/her ‘growth’ with it, something W$ simple can’t do not to mention Apple’s OS, a super-canned OS.

    Replying to your question, I *allways* make a /home separated partition on any computer I install Mint, the first rule to data protection.

    “The idea behind these tools is to let you backup your home and your selection of software easily, so you can then perform a fresh install, and be able to restore both easily as well once you’re in your new system.

    It’s already very easy to do that using the command line, but these tools would provide you with easy KISS alternatives.”

    You take those words from my mouth =D

    If you can get with a way to upgrade system -including repos- in a transparent way “preserving” installed apps -okay, sweeping them out but installing new ones- and keeping system configuration, you’re very steps closer to the Holy Grail of average-Joe oriented distro.

    There are several other things I think needs polish in Linux Mint to achieve ‘mainstream’ status and I will post about them in a forum post when I have a little more time, but solving the upgrading mechanism is definetely a must be.

    Keep up your excellent work guys, I love Linux Mint.

  98. >> the network manager kept disconnecting me from the router, anyway after installing wicd it fixed the wireless problem and all is well.

    @mik,comment #69:
    You are not alone. On a Toshiba laptop with Intel 3945abg wifi, Mint 9 simply would not stay connected for me; it worked, but would drop the connection frequently and take a while to reconnect. This was with a clean install, not an upgrade. The fix for me was the same – install wicd. That was done as soon as 8 was available, and is to date the only problem I’ve encountered with it. Simple enough fix, but really annoying. Had no problems at all with 6 or 7 on laptops, few with 5, and only sound problems with 3 and or 4, can’t remember exactly now. This wifi problem is a Ubuntu problem I think, and hopefully it is rectified with the next release.

  99. I start with the upgrade tool from mint devs everytime since its started releasing. It usually breaks my system and I have to reformat and re-install.
    I make a backup of my home directory in an external usb hd or another pc, before trying anything though.

  100. Here’s how I do it. Backup important stuff (pretty much just documents) and start all over.
    Still relatively new so I haven’t done much tinkering.
    Anyway I will be one of the first people to use Mint 9. I’ve always wanted to be one of the first people to try out something new =)

  101. I use a separate /home partition and the upgrade tool provided by Linux Mint. Separate /home for easier change between distributions if I’ll ever need something else and as a failsafe if something gets messed up during the upgrade. Saves a lot of time and trouble 🙂

  102. I usually just buy another 4Gb USB stick, and load the latest Mint variant onto that (with persistence). That way I can switch back to any previous version easily (and not disturb the software on the company laptop). I rarely fill it before the next version comes out, and all data that I want to keep is on a network drive elsewhere in the house. I’ve got quite a pile of USB sticks now…

  103. I normally preform a fresh install because I’ve never heard of using a separate partition for /home.

    I would love a tool that would help me make /home partition and then do a fresh install in the normal partition.

    There is already APTonCD which will backup all of your packages. Maybe this should be part of the process as well, or at least mention it to the user.

  104. “I backup my data. Then I perform a fresh install using the CD.”
    My system is always fresh and new this way.

  105. I have mint installed on an SSD and almost all of my data on a normal hard drive in a NTSF partition. I also have windows installed because it is easier to watch over the air television if I have to. So I just move a couple things from the SSD to the hard drive then do a fresh install. This is very easy for me. I do not have games or other high performance programs that I run.

  106. I backup my data and perform a fresh install. Everything else leads to short or long term problems for me.

  107. I LOVE Mint and the upgrade tool is so easy to use.

    1. Open a terminal and type the following commands: “apt update” and “apt install mint-upgrade-tool-main”
    2. Open mintMenu and run “Menu->Administration->Upgrade to Linux Mint 8″
    3. Follow the instructions.
    4. If asked, always choose “Replace”.
    5. If asked, always choose “I”.
    6. Ignore errors related to broken packages (in particular with mint-artwork packages)
    7. When finished, reboot the computer.
    8. Change your wallpaper to “Fresh” and your theme to “Shiki-Wise”
    9. Run the upgrade tool from the menu again, ignore errors related to broken packages and let the upgrade tool finish all the way to the end.

  108. “The idea behind these tools is to let you backup your home and your selection of software easily, so you can then perform a fresh install, and be able to restore both easily as well once you’re in your new system.

    “It’s already very easy to do that using the command line, but these tools would provide you with easy KISS alternatives.”

    clem, could you give the code required to do this from the command line?

    since i haven’t yet been able to successfully use the update tool, i do a data backup and fresh install from a cd onto another partition of the same hard drive, keeping the previous release on its own partition for a while.


  109. I use a dedicated home partition, but I wouldn’t mind having access to a tool that saves the list of installed software, because my biggest pet peeve after a clean install is going to do something two weeks later and realizing that it’s not installed yet. I believe a tool like that would be better if one could select / deselect separate programs before reinstalling the whole kit so that if you’ve installed something you never use and have forgotten about, it can be disincluded from the new system. Could such a tool be used for software that was compiled on a system, as opposed to packaged programs?

  110. I’m not a sophisticated Linux user and I never really understood how system upgrades work in Mint, Ubuntu or any distro. I’m a regular Mac user, and what I like about MacOSX upgrades are the choices they provide: clean install, archive and install and plain upgrade. In Mint I believe that the only choice is the first, but perhaps Clem is working on the third. Ubuntu provides choices 1 & 3. No distro, to my knowledge provides #2, but this is what I think would be ideal. It is a safe, but more convenient than a clean install. For those of you not familiar with OSX, what it does is move your existing OS to a folder, and then creates a clean installation of the new version of OSX. It then offers the option to copy the existing user data, including any user accounts, Home directories, and all user data to the fresh install. All network settings are preserved. The result is a clean system installation that retains one’s user data, but it also provides a folder containing the old system data, including non-Apple applications and their preferences files, which can be copied over to the new installation. I would like to have the equivalent in Mint.

  111. Also, we could come up with a feature or a distinct tool which would save the list of software you installed, and be able to restore the software then after on the new system.

    That sounds really really awesome. Please do implement it.

  112. Hi Clem, compliments for your great job with mint.
    I use a dedicated partition for /home, but if it is possible, i prefer to update to the new version with a “simple” click without re-format and reinstalling all software and packages.. obviously only if it’s possible..

  113. I’d like to use the updatetool but it seems that people had problems with it…as much as I hate to do it…I’d backup my data and to a “fresh” install and “restore”

  114. @janb: If I’m not wrong, all you have to do is to mount a partition where you want to save your files and save your entire home directory to that place with a simple console command:

    cp -Rp ~ /media/myBackupPartition/myHomeBackup

    “cp” is the “copy” tool
    “-R” means “recursive” – all files and (sub)directories
    “p” (after -R) means that the copy process will Preseve all file attributes, ownership and timestamps
    “~” is a shortcut for the home directory of the user running the command
    “/media/…” should be the path to the mounted partition and path you want to save your files to.

    There are better ways than this, but this should work fine as well.

  115. I’m new to Mint, but not Linux which I have use for some 10 years in different flavours. All previous attempts of doing a nice upgrade has mostly ended in disaster forcing a reinstall of the OS. I’m running a separate /home so the loss is not huge, but tiresome since I upgrade twice a year.

    I would like to test the easy upgrade path with Mint this time. Not my main computer so a failure is no disaster.

  116. Well I just switched from Ubuntu to Mint and haven’t had the chance to upgrade yet, but on Ubuntu I would always upgrade with the update-manager. If I have to do a fresh install for any reason I keep my /home on a separate partition so I I can reformat my / without loosing any personal data. I plan to do the same thing with Mint, I’ll try the upgrade tool and if it doesn’t work out I will install fresh with the live-cd and just won’t reformat my /home. Which by the way is tricky for me cuz my / and /home are on a raid-0 striped set and your installer doesn’t support it. Ubuntu had an alt-inststallation disc for that but for Mint I had to install mdadm in the live cd to recognize my raid and then install my os, then chroot to my hdd and install mdadm again, and since I keep my /boot on a seperate partition i had to copy my new kernal with raid support into there, wasn’t too hard to figure out but if I was an average dude I think I would have given up at the installer not recognizing my raid.

  117. Hi. I use a dedicated /home partition. +++++2 dedicated root partitions.
    As I do for years with windows.. I have always a second operating system for security porpoise.
    Now HD is so Big that root system is small.. than can take 2.
    When I can.. I keep 2 Harddisk individually installated to have security that 1 alone can boot.
    LinuxMint7 on first partition and LinuxMint8 on second..
    When LinuxMint9 arrive or I want to try some KDE version I can install it on old partition.
    For Backup I trying Unison and Bacula bat I find a small automatic and smart system ^_^

  118. another way:
    but there is limited software,
    create a USB bootable Linux pendrive
    erase partition, and reinstall.
    simplest way I’ve found,
    minus, the difficulties in creating a bootable USB pen drive without software, which I’ve never done, and there seems to be no Linux based software for this, -sigh- =[. so now that I have completely switched to Linux, me trying to upgrade now, and install on a new note book I have, is proving difficult.

  119. I have a separate /home folder with all my documents and settings. I have used Ubuntu x64 since it first came out and for the last few years I’ve been upgrading without problems with Update-Manager.

    I have not had the chance to upgrade with Mint yet, but I would hate to have to reconfigure everything from scratch with a clean install. I don’t think it would be a good idea to force people to buy new external HDDs for back up, or to repartition a separate /home, just to upgrade Mint version.

    In my opinion, the users should have the option to choose between a “not recommended” ubuntu-like upgrade-manager approach and a “strongly recommended” upgrade wizard that would incorporate various features into one coherent work flow and would look something like this:

    — a program like “back in time” to do the back up, including /etc (with the configurations of all applications) and /opt.

    — a program like AptOnCD to re-install the extra packages. However, it should also prompt to restore their previous settings from the old /etc (which it would have already been backed up, obviously). Moreover, it should be able to mark and hold back packages which are incompatible with new libc libraries etc.

    — a tool to add back the extra repositories and their signatures, but deactivated by default. I would not recommend updating the extra repositories by default, because you can never be sure that all extra repos support the new underlying ubuntu release, or that they even have a different repo for different ubuntu releases.

  120. Up to now I have always reinstalled from scratch, then reinstalled the extra software I use. All my data is on a USB hard drive, backed up to another USB hard drive (both 250GB). My main laptop runs Mint 8, dual booting with Windows Vista, and my netbook has UNR 9.10 installed. That way if one computer fails I am not without access to a PC or data.

  121. i always packup my files into other partition like Drive F: then i format the c driver and upgrade my OS.

  122. Helena is my first experience with Mint, and I use it almost exclusively (with the exception of one windows program that I need). I find Mint 8 to be very stable and reliable, and see no reason to upgrade for at least a couple of editions, unless there is a radical change in the OS. Keep up the great work Mint Team!

  123. I’m quite new to Linux, installed Mint 8 a week ago. It’s set up as a dual boot with vista on my laptop. So far, I have really enjoyed learning another OS.
    Mint runs insanely faster than windoze, however I wish installing / running apps and games was easier.
    I tried installing several flavors of Linux before: CentOS, Mandriva, and Unbuntu; None would boot after install. Thanks for making an OS that works ^_^
    Now that I have played with linux for a few days.. I’m anticipating Unbuntu 10.04, and the day I can comfortably remove myself from all the Microsoft chains, blindfolds, and gags.

  124. I backup all my data on a separate network hard drive (mine is Lacie), delete all unnecessary files on my hard disk for a trim Remastersys backup, then use Remastersys complete system backup and finally, make a fresh installation of Linux Mint. Remastersys rocks! I think it would be great if Remastersys would be included in the next version of Linux Mint…just a thought.

  125. Since I installed Mint 8 on its release, I’ve spent countless hours getting it exactly the way I want it – installing some packages, uninstalling or disabling others, and tweaking many settings. So I’m looking for a way of moving to Mint 9 which enables me to avoid doing all that work over again. Please note that many of these changes aren’t located in the /home directory, so putting that on a separate partition would be only a partial solution. APTonCD is useless – it generates an empty list. In general, with new Mint versions continuing to come out twice a year, it should be made dead easy to upgrade the system in place. Many thanks.

  126. So far i’ve always made an clean install. My vital files are saved on special partition. But this time when I have a dedicated /home partition. I’ll perform a fresh install using the CD but I don’t reformat my /home. Hope i don’t make any mistake on that home-partition operation.

  127. The easy and proper way, slice up your drive in at least 3 slices minimum.


    When you put in the new CD reformat all slices except for /home not really difficult 😉

  128. Not to over-simplify this question from Clem, but smaller partitions are faster than larger ones …since there is less seek time needed to execute.
    The old Minster “Fred” has an excellent tutorial he put together in the Newbie section on the best ways and rationales for partitioning. I mention this since it also leads to the easiest and safest ways to upgrade your distro.
    And for what its worth I always keep a /home partition separate from the /root so that upgrades do not effect my settings (I also backup to an external drive…manually).
    Read over Fred’s advice and I am sure many of you will find the answers you have been asking here.
    Thank you Clem and to all your team members for your hard work and excellent products.

  129. I second Tim V-B. Selecting all the software that I have added (and/or removed) is the most time consuming (annoying) part of the process. Apton, is not very helpful in my case, and I chose not to use it.

    Thanks Clem and team for awesome distro.

    6. Tim V-B Says: April 11th, 2010 at 4:24 pm
    “I would really like a program which backs up a list of the software I installed, as well as any changes to my sources list […]. Oh, and those .deb files I’ve installed without a repository.”

  130. While with Ubuntu I successfully upgraded every time. I would like to be able to just upgrade without doing a clean install to the LTS. I have only had to do clean installs when switching between operating systems or when I have messed up my computer. I am planning on sticking with the LTS version after the next release as I need stability and don’t want to continue battling issues (thus I am with Mint!) If the upgrade fails, I will either install Mint LTS and backup my files and applications from hard drive or switch to Debian testing. I am hoping the next version of Mint rocks! I really hope it is the distro I want to stay withe for three years. I think the fact that Clem cares about upgrade “issues” and wants to make it easier for users speaks volumes…

  131. Thanks for the great work as always. Forgive me if a solution has been made for an easier way to get the programs we want on a new install, but I don’t have time to read all the posts. What I’m thinking is that in the “Software Manager” there must be a list of some kind of what we have installed because the programs that are installed are colored green and the ones not installed are gray. Is there a way or would there be a way to put a couple of buttons in the Software Manager that would import and export a list of what is installed and the repositories that we have? This way before a fresh install we could just export a list of what we have installed plus any repositories we added. Then after the fresh install we could import the list and it would add and remove programs based on the list.
    I use to make a small folder of the .mint files of stuff I installed and then had a folder of what I wanted and put it on a thumb-drive and just double-clicked away until all were done but a list that tells the Software Manager what we want would be less time consuming.

  132. When Version 9 comes out I’ll do a clean install.

    This way if something like HAL removal takes place I don’t have any residuals.

    I also use several PPA repositories and don’t know how an update tool would know how to #1 to change in sources.list from karmic to lucid, and #2 how it would handle existing packages (especially ones newer than Mint 8 default but older than Mint 9 default, newer than mint 9 default makes an interesting scenario too).

    I back my data up to another partition. Always right before reloading I make sure it’s all backed up, reload the OS, redo the PPAs, then restore my files, get my themes and wallpapers and pointers up again.

    Mostly I’ve learned this from trying out other ditros, but they all have me coming back to Mint, none can match the desktop-quality and ease-of-use of Mint.

  133. Although I haven’t used Mint long enough for an update cycle, I did update my Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10 using their update tool.It didn’t work so well, as apparently some files do not upgrade or their upgrade versions were not ready when the devs finalized the upgrade package. This caused some problems for me.

    I am horrible about backups, but usually when an upgrade is made available, I will back up everything to my second drive, then reformat and clean install.

    I would like a backup tool that give me a reasonable amount of control, meaning that I’d like a tool that: gives me options to back up my data, which data to backup, and can carry over my sources and installed package list to the new version. I’d like that all in one tool. Don’t know if it is possible or practical.

    I’d like to win the lottery too…:-)

    1. Bob63: That’s what we’re doing with the new mintBackup, and it’s very likely it will make it in time for Linux Mint 9.

  134. This is going to get messy.

    With Windows, in the past, I just bought a new computer that came with the OS. The only time I ever upgraded it was going from ME to XP when something died. Even from the Amiga days, I always stored data in a separate partition.

    The only time I “upgraded” Linux was a Ubuntu install, from 7.x to 8.x. It worked fine. This hard drive has a Mint 6 install and a Mint 8, in separate partitions (I need to know how to decommission Mint 6 now).

    So, I haven’t had a separate /home yet and I just save my data in my own drawers. I want to have a separate data partition, but I need to fiddle with the drive, to make one. I never used Windows’ Documents drawer, either, if given the choice.

    I’d love to have a tool that took care of reinstalling the software I like. That would be smart and efficient. Thanks for asking.

  135. This is a great idea which I really don’t know why nobody had implemented it before.
    I have my home folder in a dedicated partition and install the new version without formatting home. The problem I have found is that the window bars dissapear probably because nvidia drivers are not installed hence no 3d aceleration but are restored when driver is installed, this is a little anoying and should not happen if all programms are reinstalled automatically.
    I looking forward for this feature, would be great.

  136. i prefer to install from new installer than upgrade.. but i hope for next time upgrade version just simple like update.. 😉

  137. Another thing that I would find absolutely useful is the posibility to simply backup and restore the system customization. The ability to apply, after a fresh install, our favorite themes, icons, pointers, wallpapers, etc. so that we could have the new installation looking exactly like the previous one, if that is our intention. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to personalize our system. As always, a big hug for all those involved in developing Mint!

  138. When will Mint 9 come out? I have new hardware that will not work with 8 and I am Linux-less until a release with the new Kernel comes out.

  139. A linux or mint equivalent of Microsoft’s sync toy applet would be spot on for my needs.. is this possible?

  140. It’s a given that I will always back up my data, no matter what method of upgrading I use – I’ve been stung too many times not to make it a habit.

    I generally use the provided upgrade tool, but I like the security of having the CD on hand, just in case I bork my system at a future point and can’t connect to the internet.

    Am looking forward to the next releast of Mint. Ever since I discovered it, it has made my Linux life so much easier, and now I can’t imagine working with anything else unless I have to (as when I have to operate my Linux-hating Canon flatbed scanner).

  141. Actually I’d love to have an install option rather than booting into the desktop but go directly to install. Why wait to load up the LiveCD when you’re just doing an install ?

  142. I don’t have a separate partition for /home, but install fresh from a CD, the install offers to delete system directories while installing and I tell it to do so. This way I don’t have to restore my /home, though I usually start as a fresh username under /home.

  143. I don’t knnow, I don’t usually have stuff I really need so I just download and start fresh. The mint community is so great because they give amazing support and actually care unlike microsoft 😀

  144. Dear Clem:

    In post #1, you stated

    “The idea behind these tools is to let you backup your home and your selection of software easily, so you can then perform a fresh install, and be able to restore both easily as well once you’re in your new system.

    It’s already very easy to do that using the command line…”.

    If you could publish the complete sequence of terminal commands which do this easily, I–and hundreds (thousands?) of others would be deeply appreciative. I’m in the–not unique, I’m sure–position of being comfortable using the terminal, but NOT KNOWING any but the most rudimentary of bash and Linux commands.
    I am of the firm conviction that one best learns a language of any kind by seeing and hearing good examples.
    I’d appreciate your giving this suggestion some consideration.
    Warmest regards…

  145. I tend to back up my important data and then use the provided upgrade tools to upgrade. then if anything went wrong I can do a fresh install and then move my data back onto my computer. For me it’s the easy way for me to get the update done, and I don’t have to (usually) deal with merging my data back onto my computer 🙂

  146. Fresh UPGRADE ALWAYS make prefect! You can ignore lots of troubles between latest software and old software which are stability and reliability. Don’t be fool, waste your time. Support to Fresh Clean UPGRADE!

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