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.