How to Upgrade to a Newer Release


Pinoy Techie
I have never tried his method, and it looks a bit complicated to me --- I do it differently, but I use separate / and /home partitions.

I have come up with a simpler method that clicks for me. This method was conceived for an old install without a separate /home partition to a new install with a /home

I am no expert, I break my machines lots, but I manage to fix them... take this with a grain of salt. If you have valuable data copy it onto another medium, but you should be doing that anyway.

The safe way is to create a fresh install along-side your existing OS... then copy over the data from your old version to the new one. You should have lots of room to work with on your hard drive, Linux does not need a lot of room like Windows.

Please contribute, feel free to edit or critique!

Phase 1: Prepare
I prefer to create partitions prior to doing the install. The installer has the facility to do it but I think using gparted first is easier and all the options you need are available ... assuming you are familiar with gparted.

Create two partitions, one about 10GB, and another a bit bigger (you can always move the partitions over, make them bigger or smaller) ...
The first partition will be for your / (programs)
The second will be for the /home (files and settings)
NOTE: Important! The names of your new partitions ... they will be something like "/dev/sda3" "/dev/sda4"

Side note:
gparted has the facility to label (name) the partitions but the stupid installer does not read those labels and they get over written when the install is made anyway.

Remember this Basic Rule:
You can have no more than 4 Primary Partitions.
However you can create an Extended Partition and create many partitions inside of that one... Create an Extended Partition before you create a 4th Primary Partition.
An excellent tutorial for Gparted is here:
After you are done with the install I advise going back to Gparted and labelling them... I use labels like "mint13.root" and "mint13.home" ... much easier for me.

Phase 2: Install
OK, now you can boot with the live CD/USB.
Start your install, but chose "Something else"
When the list of partitions is presented right click on the desired partition for root (/)
Select the file type (ext4, etc.),"/", and check the box "format"
Next select the file type (ext4, etc.),"/home", and check the box "format"
Finish the install, boot, connect to internet, update.

Phase 3: copy
Now... using the file manager navigate to the partition where your old distro is.
Navigate to Home/"username"
Copy all to the /home folder in the new install (do not use Move! if there is some problem there is no going back)
Replace ALL

Hidden files and folders:
Select "Show hidden files" (control H in Mate)
Now files and folders preceded with . will show (.cache, .dcrm, .local. etc.)
You can also copy over SOME safely... those contain old data and settings
folders= .mozilla , .thunderbird , .googleearth , .Skype can all be copied safely
file .conkyrc also works fine


NOTE: installed programs in your old distro will need to be installed again in the new distro... you can do that manually (I keep a rolling list) or use the Mint tools.

If your preferred distro is not the default in Grub first start your preferred distro then do this in terminal:
sudo grub-install /dev/sda
sudo update-grub

For an existing install with a /home simply install the new distro in the existing / and /home but DO NOT FORMAT /home... much easier.

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