Failed [fixed] Linux Mint 17.3 to 18.1 upgrade

  • 5 February 2017
  • charm
Linux Mint 18.1 desktop

A couple of days ago I decided that it was time I upgraded my main desktop from Linux Mint 17.3 to 18.x. Up to this point I've been hesitant to upgrade. I remember looking at the comments several months back and people recommended not upgrading at that time. I Googled the steps and followed the "mintupgrade upgrade" steps, but I did this right before heading to bed, and I did it on terminal session 1 rather than using a terminal window within Cinnamon.

The next day I went to rip a DVD and when it spat an error back at me I figured a reboot might fix the problem - of course forgetting I was in the middle of an upgrade - which appeared on the screen as the system started shutting down. Of course I started cursing that something like this (shutdown) should never happen in the middle of an upgrade. I knew straight away that on reboot there would be trouble. And I was correct, Linux Mint booted to an (initramfs) prompt.

My system is set up with a 120GB SSD + a 1TB hard drive, which is split into a couple of partitions. Linux Mint resides on the second partition of the 1TB hard drive. Before attempting to fix the issue I booted to an Ubuntu Gnome 16.10 DVD I had lying around and I backed up all my important data from the Linux Mint partition. This took awhile since there was about 100GB of data I hadn't backed up yet (probably less, but to be safe I backed it all up).

As it turned out the backup really wasn't needed. I booted to the Windows 10 partition on the SSD and was able to download Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon and install over top of the old installation (without formating the existing partition). Mint warns that it's going to remove some files in folders like /var. The install worked well and kept my files, but I did need to reinstall programs like MakeMKV and Handbrake. It's worth noting that my configuration file was kept for MakeMKV (including my activation license). I could have just gone back to the email with the license or the backup I made, but it's nice it worked out and I didn't have to re-enter my license (Yes, I purchased a MakeMKV license, and I recommend it if you rip a lot using MakeMKV - it helps further development and is one of the few programs really worth the money).

I did have to remove my Filezilla config files (rm -rf ~/.filezilla) when Filezilla wouldn't load. It loaded after I removed the old configuration files. Nothing special lost in those files other than credentials for our KODI server which was easily readded. I expect to run into minor hiccups here and there, but so far it's working pretty flawlessly.

Handbrake has been updated. I'm a bit less fond of the new UI direction, there's an extra pop-up window on the subtitles screen that was previously integrated as a drop down. But it is what it is. GIMP is not the bleeding edge version, but a new enough version of 2.8.16. Inkscape is similarly close (.91) but not the latest package.

As I was waiting I had a quick glance at the GIMP web site and notice mention of SwatchBooker in conjunction with Inscape and Scribus. Sadly it's not in the repositories and looks like it's something that needs to be compiled.