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How to upgrade to Linux Mint 20

Linux Mint 20 is out and has some great improvements to Cinnamon, the kernel, and much more. In this guide, we’ll show you how to take your current installation of Linux Mint 19.3 and upgrade it to Mint 20.

Please note that if you are running Linux Mint 19.2, this upgrade process should still work. However, be sure to create a backup beforehand just in case anything goes wrong.

Create a Backup

Upgrading to Linux Mint 20 is an easy process, and shouldn’t create any problems. However, it’s still a great idea to create a new backup on your system, in case anything goes wrong.

To create a backup of your Linux Mint 19.3 system, you’ll need to use TimeShift. This app comes pre-installed in all Linux Mint installations and will allow you to make a complete snapshot of everything to be restored at a later date.

Open up the Linux Mint menu by pressing Win on the keyboard. Then, search for “TimeShift” and launch it. Once TimeShift is open, follow the instructions below to back everything up.

Locate the “Create” button in the top left-hand area of TimeShift, and click on it with the mouse. When you click on “Create,” the TimeShift app will attempt to create a new snapshot of your system.

TimeShift will take quite a bit of time to create this new snapshot backup for Linux Mint. You must be patient, and wait for everything to back up. When the process is done, the creation window will disappear.

When the TimeShift snapshot backup is complete, it will appear in the TimeShift list of snapshots. At any time, you can launch this app (before the Mint 20 upgrade or after upgrading to 20) and revert to Linux Mint 19.3. That said, you should only revert to this snapshot if the upgrade to Mint 20 has gone wrong.

Want to know more about how to use the TimeShift backup tool on your Linux Mint system? Check out this guide on the subject.

Upgrading to Mint 20

To upgrade to Linux Mint 20 from 19.3 (or 19.2) some tweaking of configuration files is required. The reason that files need to be modified in that the Linux Mint upgrading tool (Mint Upgrade) is not always available for installation. Thankfully, Mint is built upon Ubuntu and we can simply upgrade through the terminal.

To start the upgrade process, launch a terminal window. Once the terminal window is open, make use of the update command to check for software patches and upgrades for your current Mint release.

sudo apt update

Following the update command, you must install all of the pending software patches using the upgrade command. All software patches need to be installed before upgrading to Mint 20.

sudo apt install upgrade

Next, you must run the dist-upgrade command. This command is much like the upgrade one, with one key difference. The upgrade command installs safe upgrades. The dist-upgrade command installs everything, even patches previously held back.

sudo apt dist-upgrade

Once your Linux Mint 19.3 system is up to date, it is time to edit its software sources so that it can be upgraded to Linux Mint 20. Using the Nano text editor, open up the official-package-repositories.list file.

sudo nano -w /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list

Look through the text file, and replace all instances of ‘tricia’ with ‘ulyana’. If you are using Linux Mint 19.2, change ‘tina’ to ‘ulyana’.

After changing everything to ‘ulyana,’ locate all instances of ‘bionic’ and change it to ‘focal.’ Also change ‘bionic-updates’ to ‘focal-updates,’ ‘bionic-backports’ to ‘focal-backports,’ and ‘bionic-security’ to ‘focal-security.’

When all of the edits to the text file are complete, re-run the update command. This command will set up the changes made to the official-package-repositories.list file.

sudo apt update

Now that your Linux Mint 19.3 system’s software sources have changed over to Mint 20 software sources, you must install all pending software upgrades from Mint 20. To install all of the upgrades, run the upgrade command.

sudo apt upgrade

Following the upgrade command, the dist-upgrade command must be re-run. Entering dist-upgrade will complete the change over from Linux Mint 19.3 to Linux Mint 20. It will take some time, so be patient.

sudo apt dist-upgrade

After all the dist-upgrade command is complete, your Linux Mint 19.3 installation will be upgraded to Linux Mint 20. From here, reboot your system and log back in. Once logged back in, launch a terminal window.

Inside of the terminal window, run the autoremove command. This command will allow you to uninstall any leftover packages and programs previously set up in Linux Mint 19.3, that are no longer necessary in Linux Mint 20.

sudo apt autoremove

With the autoremove command successfully run, the upgrade is complete. Enjoy!

Get a fresh installation

Want to start fresh rather than running an upgrade? Check out LinuxMint.com, and grab the latest release of Linux Mint 20!

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