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How to Upgrade Linux Mint 16 (Petra) to Linux Mint 17 (Qiana)

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Linux Mint is an Ubuntu based distribution and one of the most loved and used Linux distribution these days. It provides a complete new experience for users which includes browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other desktop components being most of it desktop oriented.

Upgrade Linux Mint 16 to Linux Mint 17

Upgrade Linux Mint 16 to Linux Mint 17

On May 31st 2014 official Linux Mint developers announced on their blog, that the final version of Linux Mint 17, codename Qiana with both versions available for download, Cinnamon and Mate desktop, with an official support until 2019 – same as its mother distribution Ubuntu 14.04.

Some of this release features are:
  1. A new Update Manager improved version.
  2. Driver Manager can now install drivers without an Internet connection
  3. MDM 1.6 Login Screen with HiDPI support and recovery mode.
  4. A new Language Settings tool.
  5. An improved Software Sources configuration tool.
  6. A light redesigned Welcome Screen.
  7. Cinnamon 2.2 with better looking settings.
  8. System improvements.
  9. A new collection of backgrounds.
  10. Linux Kernel 3.13.
  11. Linux Mint future versions releases with the same package base until 2016.
  12. EFI and Bluetooth support.
  13. PAE Kernel for x32bit versions.
  14. No support for Nvidia Optimus graphics chipsets yet (minimal support is ensured by nvidia-prime package).

This tutorial will focus on how to upgrade your current version of Linux Mint 16 Petra to new released version of Linux Mint 17 Qiana.

Download Linux Mint 17 Images

For a clean installation without an upgrade process and other useful information download DVD ISO images using the following links.

  1. For Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Cinnamon 32-bit and 64-bit – http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2626.
  2. For Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Mate 32-bit and 64-bit – http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2627.

Warning : Before you attempt to start the upgrade process make sure that you made a backup of your important data in case something goes wrong and the system breaks.

Upgrading Linux Mint 16 (Petra) to Linux Mint 17 (Qiana)

1. Before you start, you can check your Linux Mint version by opening a Terminal and run the following commands.

$ sudo cat /etc/issue
$ sudo cat /etc/issue.net
$ sudo cat /etc/lsb-release
$ sudo cat /etc/os-release
Check Linux Mint Version

Check Linux Mint Version

2. On the second step make sure you create a backup copy of your system sources.

$ sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list  /etc/apt/sources.list.bak
$ sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list  /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list.bak

3. Now it’s time to start editing Linux Mint software list for ‘apt-get‘ to start and pull software packages from new repositories locations by opening and editing ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list‘ file and replace “petra” with “qiana” and “saucy” with “trusty” on all lines.

Also if you have Source and Getdeb Repositories enabled make sure that the names are changed on ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-source-repositories.list‘ and ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d/getdeb.list‘ too.

Add Linux Mint 17 Repository

Add Linux Mint 17 Repository

4. Another way of editing those file is by using sed command in terminal.

$ sudo sed -i 's/saucy/trusty/' /etc/apt/sources.list
$ sudo sed -i 's/petra/qiana/' /etc/apt/sources.list
$ sudo sed -i 's/saucy/trusty/' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list
$ sudo sed -i 's/petra/qiana/' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list

## For Package Sources only if they are enabled ##
$ sudo sed -i 's/saucy/trusty/' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-source-repositories.list
$ sudo sed -i 's/petra/qiana/' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-source-repositories.list

## For Getdeb Sources only if they are enabled ##
$ sudo sed -i 's/saucy/trusty/' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/getdeb.list
$ sudo sed -i 's/petra/qiana/' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/getdeb.list

NOTE: If you have other Repositories or PPA enabled on you system visit their official page and make sure they provide packages for Ubuntu 14.04 or Linux Mint 17, else edit or remove them now from your system.

5. After editing Repositories list files using one of the above methods start the upgrade process by running a series of commands.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
Upgrade to Linux Mint 17

Upgrade to Linux Mint 17

Depending on your system resources and Internet speed the upgrade process can take a while and the update manager will ask you a series of questions regarding configuration files and services restart. Answer ‘Yes‘ on all questions and select ‘Install‘ the package maintainer’s version on all configuration files.

Select Packages to Install

Select Packages to Install

Restart Services During Upgrades

Restart Services During Upgrades

Install Package Maintainers Version

Install Package Maintainers Version

6. After the Upgrade process finishes reboot your system and you will have the new version of Linux Mint installed on your box.

7. To verify it, open a terminal and run the commands from the beginning of this tutorial.

$ sudo cat /etc/issue
$ sudo cat /etc/issue.net
$ sudo cat /etc/lsb_release
$ sudo cat /etc/os-release
Verify Linux Mint Version

Verify Linux Mint Version

8. You can also run Linux Mint System Settings and open Software Sources and System Info to confirm your latest version.

Software Sources to Confirm Version

Software Sources to Confirm Version

Upgraded to Linux Mint 17

Upgraded to Linux Mint 17

According to Distrowatch website Linux Mint is the most downloaded Linux distribution from 2011 so far with more than 3700 hits on last six months, thanks to its multiple Desktop Managers (Cinnamon, MATE – Gnome2 fork, KDE and LDME version), to the fact that it focuses on Desktop platforms, outrunning by far its distro sources like Ubuntu and Debian.

Matei Cezar

I'am a computer addicted guy, a fan of open source and linux based system software, have about 4 years experience with Linux distributions desktop, servers and bash scripting.

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55 Responses

  1. John Mackay says:

    I tried to type the four lines but with the third line — no such file.

    $ sudo cat /etc/issue
    $ sudo cat /etc/issue.net
    $ sudo cat /etc/lsb_release
    $ sudo cat /etc/os-release

    Here is the error file with the third line below:

    cat: /etc/lsb_release: No such file or directory

    Hope to get the right line in third line soon.

    Thank you,

    John

  2. Linux Mint is a great operating system, but since updates are frequent, maintaining the system can cause a lot of work. In
    contrast to Ubuntu, Linux Mint is more in favor of reinstalling the entire system with every new release, rather then upgrading.
    But I slightly prefer Linux Mint, because I can use flash, Java and playback DVD right out of the box. Installing a new release
    is quite quick, but getting the settings (such as fstab, cronjobs, etc.) back to how I like them takes me usually 1-2 days.

    So I decided to write two scripts:
    a.) Backup_Linux_Settings:
    Saves all the current settings, installed packages, data stored in home folder and tweaks you have done to the system.
    b.) Restore_Linux_Settings
    Script which restores these “settings” into your new freshly installed Linux Mint.

    Please visit the open source Webpage for more details:

    https://github.com/MintBackupRestore/MintBackupRestore

    With best regards,
    Mint_BackupRestore

    • 7314776 says:

      Whatever it may be, thk U very much, as saving customs/settings while migrating takes time, and such attempts to make free SW easier are great! Now I’m trying to go 16 to 17 Mint, and in case using Ur scripts successful, I’ll write it down.

  3. Jest says:

    Very nice step by step tutorial.

  4. Angelo says:

    Can I use this same procedure to upgrade from Olivia to Qiana simply replacing Soucy with Raring?

    • mihai_tm says:

      you may upgrade fro Olivia to Qiana following the procedure … I just tested! ;)
      I had some with indicator-bluetooth, engrampa and engrampa-common… I had to remove them during the procedure…

  5. Matei Cezar says:

    Yes you can use this procedure to upgrade your system but I strongly recommend that you backup you data and do a fresh installation release of Linux Mint Qiana.

  6. Robin says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! In my case there was a version conflict with the gnome-settings-daemon. Seems to be a bug. What helped me resolving the dependencies was the second solution (denied the first suggestion) from

    $ sudo aptitude install gnome-settings-daemon

    Just in case, someone experiences the same.

    @Angelo: Olivia to Qiana is Saucy to Trusty. Raring was 12.04 … Just want to point out you’re not clear. Don’t know if you can jump from Raring to Trusty directly the same way.

  7. NicholasR says:

    Software Sources no longer opens.

    $ software-properties-gtk
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/bin/software-properties-gtk”, line 101, in
    app = SoftwarePropertiesGtk(datadir=options.data_dir, options=options, file=file)
    File “/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/gtk/SoftwarePropertiesGtk.py”, line 98, in __init__
    SoftwareProperties.__init__(self, options=options, datadir=datadir)
    File “/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py”, line 109, in __init__
    self.reload_sourceslist()
    File “/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py”, line 599, in reload_sourceslist
    self.distro.get_sources(self.sourceslist)
    File “/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/aptsources/distro.py”, line 89, in get_sources
    (self.id, self.codename))
    aptsources.distro.NoDistroTemplateException: Error: could not find a distribution template for LinuxMint/qiana

    • Rob Irizarry says:

      Error: could not find a distribution template is addressed here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/49040/apt-could-not-find-a-distribution-template-error

      Make /etc/lsb-release look like this:

      DISTRIB_ID=LinuxMint
      DISTRIB_RELEASE=17
      DISTRIB_CODENAME=qiana
      DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION=”Linux Mint 17 Qiana”

      It should open fine after that.

      • NicholasR says:

        Thanks I managed to fix that,
        My Software sources had to be loaded from the gnome version :/

        I’m still getting visual bugs though, possibly related to Mate with Compiz Fusion.

        The start menu hovering at start up when opened, and mouse left click not functioning until I open a browser with hotkeys.

        Also mint-meta-mate_2014.05.20_all.deb won’t install, it’s looking for libX11-dev, which is already there.

        I’ll likely end up doing a clean install.

  8. Yaro says:

    There’s NO REASON whatsoever to use sudo to cat anything in etc. You don’t need root to READ files in /etc.

  9. Olivier says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for this, that was very useful for me and the upgrade from 16 to 17 went really smooth, without a problem.
    I even did not make any backup when I read the steps ;) (I did not have lots of custom ppa).
    I think the upgrade took something like 45 minutes on an old laptop Core2Duo 2.26 Ghz (old MSI Gx620) with a 256 GB SSD.
    Thanks for that, really appreciated, keep up the good work ;)

  10. str4what says:

    W: Failed to fetch gzip:/var/lib/apt/lists/partial/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_trusty_universe_binary-i386_Packages Hash Sum mismatch

    E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

    please help me

  11. Edson says:

    Hello,

    I’m having problems after the update.
    Follow the above procedure to upgrade from Linux Mint 16 to 17.
    When booting now the error message appears: Failed to load session “cinnamon”
    My Linux mint is 64 bit.
    Can someone help me.

    • Jim says:

      My upgrade from mint 16 to 17 also failed, with similar errors. Guess I will try the clean install from ISO. Lost all settings and software, though. I admit I am struggling with LInux.

  12. Edson says:

    /etc/mdm/Xsession: Beginning session setup…
    localuser:mediacenterpc being added to access control list
    Script for cjkv started at run_im.
    Script for default started at run_im.
    Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service
    Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service
    Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service
    Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service
    Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service
    Script for cjkv started at run_im.
    Script for default started at run_im.
    cinnamon-session[2297]: WARNING: Unable to find required component ‘cinnamon-fallback-mount-helper’

  13. Guy Rouillier says:

    Thank you for continuing to post this solution for each new Mint version. I’ve followed your instructions for 3 version upgrades now, and again this went without a hitch. I wish MInt would support this upgrade path officially. I have too much 3rd party software installed to start from scratch with each new version. The directions Mint provides for “fresh” installs fails to address this issue.

  14. Frank Starr says:

    I followed the above instructions, and in all instances of the question to install the new or package maintainer’s update, I answered “y” for yes. Then I got to this notice in terminal:

    Kernel panic – not syncing: attempted to kill init! Exitcode=0X0000000b

    Drm-kms-helper: panic occured, switching back to text console

    Things are locked there, and I must power off and back on to continue. I seem to have Linux Mint 16 still loaded, far as I can tell. The three lines at the beginning of this tutorial show Mint 16, but the last sudo cat /etc/os-release shows: NAME=”Ubuntu”
    VERSION=”14.04, Trusty Tahr”

    If I restart the update process, I get this error:

    dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘dpkg –configure -a’ to correct the problem

    When I do this, I get both kernal panic messages.

    Appreciate your help to resolve this.

  15. Matei Cezar says:

    @Frank Starr: Bump!…Fresh reinstall….I have explained that this method is not recommended, especially for a system with ppa enabled…Try save you data using a live DVD if you cant use it anymore and perform a fresh reinstall.

  16. Manuel L says:

    didnt work smoothly the first time.
    Used the -f paramater with install and dist-upgrade and repeated everything until everything was done

    only problem is that I have two network symbols in the taskbar :D
    any suggestions?

  17. Willem says:

    And this is why linux Mint (or any other distro) will never make it big…

    What user in his right mind, not being an IT professional or enthusiast is going to use the command prompt to enter ‘secret code’ so he or she can upgrade to a new version??

    I personally think it is very sad that we techies always end up drowing in possibilities and improvements.

    Make one thing and make it perfect. Take the focus a little longer on improving the OS and usability. Then worry later about that one package that doesn’t quite perform to expectations or that security risk you might have discovered.

    Usability people, don’t expose the tech-stuff to the user! :)

    • prodigydancer says:

      Because we only accept people who are at least smart enough to copy and paste (no, you don’t need to type anything) a couple of lines from a step-by-step HOWTO in our club.

      Because if copy-pasting is too hard for you, you are not an asset to the community. You are a liability.

    • Jani says:

      This seems to be the way how Mint can be upgraded, but distros are not all the same. Ubuntu for example can be upgraded from gui: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/upgrade

      • asdf says:

        Mint has a backup GUI for upgrades, but it has had a fatal bug for more than three years now. The official instructions for upgrade continue to require use of the backup utility and it and the Mint help forums ignore requests for help (or say, “just use some other tool” without changing anything). Like many OSS projects, Mint is mostly inward-looking. It’s intended as a newbie distro but the reality is that in practice it’s targeted at programmers and sysadmins who don’t want to spend too much time on care and feeding of their desktop environments.

        Rolling updates is much smarter, and while there are arguments against it, the bottom line is developer laziness.

    • Pieter says:

      I do agree with you Willem.
      Then again: how many regular users have updated from Windows 98 to Windows XP or from XP to 7 (or 8) by themselves without the help of “us, techies”?

      But upgrading is needlessly complicated and can (and should) be simplified.

      @Prodigydancer
      this is EXACTLY the attitude due to which many people stay away from Linux: the horror-stories of people needing help that are simply shot down with simple statements like “you can look it up yourself” or “do we really need to help n00bs” or other arrogant remarks like that.

      • Brian says:

        I agree with Willem and Pieter, this is one reason why Linux will never replace Windows! Most users want to be able to use there machines and install software by just a click, not learn how to be a programmer, as a retired IT Tech the reason I got on with most users in the organisation was because I could communicate on their level, not 10 levels above and talking down.

    • FrankK says:

      Overview Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5

      We highly recommend that you print this tutorial. Your PC will restart during the Windows 7 installation process, so having a printed copy will help you follow the steps if you’re unable to return to this webpage.
      Get Microsoft Silverlight
      Watch this video to learn more about upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7. (3:07)

      Introduction

      To upgrade your PC from Windows XP to Windows 7, you’ll need to select the Custom option during Windows 7 installation. A custom installation doesn’t preserve your programs, files, or settings. It’s sometimes called a “clean” installation for that reason.

      A custom installation is more complex, and it can sometimes take a couple of hours to complete. We created this five-step tutorial to help guide you through the entire process each step of the way.

  18. D'Ecosse says:

    “Because if copy-pasting is too hard for you, you are not an asset to the community. You are a liability.”
    :D Brilliant response!, prodigydancer.

    Excellent instruction and went (virtually) flawlessly for me in ~ 45 mins – the only slight curves were the lsb-release and having to add ‘-f’ to the upgrade command line (both immediately obvious I should add)

    Thanks for a valuable tutorial!

  19. matthewls says:

    I used the same method to upgrade from Mint 13 to Mint 17 and it worked fine. Some package changes needed tweaking, but so far so good. Thanks for the tips!

  20. Sully says:

    Got t the apt-get update stage and get the following:

    $ sudo apt-get update
    N: Ignoring file ‘official-package-repositories.list.bkp’ in directory ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d/’ as it has an invalid filename extension
    E: Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock – open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
    E: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/

    ??? And I can copy and paste. Even to and from a terminal! That said, Mint 16 is my first Linux since Ubuntu 8.04. Needless to say I am out of the loop.

    • Pieter says:

      Looks like you got two different problems here.
      First: “official-package-repositories.list.bkp” is a file in your directory /etc/apt/source.list.d. Apt doesn’t know what to do with it. If you don’t need it, (re)move it. And chances are you don’t need it, since it is a backup to the file official-package-repositories.list

      Secondly: sometimes the apt-process is run automatically in the background, if you manually run apt at the same time you will get the message “E: Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock – open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)”
      Rerunning the command (sudo apt-get update) after a minute or so usually works.

      • Anthony Rosa says:

        Thank you for letting me know how to fix my update problem. I guess the answers are out there, you just have to look for them. I despise Microsoft and refuse to0 pay for ANOTHER Win7 license. Linux seems to be the answer. Thanks again.

  21. Florian says:

    Worked very well for an upgrade of LM16 to LM17 xfce version (32 bit). The only problem I have encountered was that after the upgrade all xfce symbols very lost. This was solved by the command “gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache” after installing gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders.

  22. aang says:

    thanks for tutorial, nice post bro (y)

  23. jm says:

    I’m about to do the upgrade, and thanks for the Mint_Backup_Restore – exactly what I needed.

    Here’s the deal – I want the Linux community to become bigger. There are a lot of people who NEED Linux, not because it’s got a great command line and great, but very technical documentation, but because it is essentially free, and because it’s light.

    A classroom in a lower income neighborhood gets third hand computers, and can run this stuff without buying a MS license for office software, and should be able to upgrade twice a year easily through a prepackaged script that runs automatically, or gets invoked. No tricky settings, no CLI, it should just work, and self check, and try again, until its done.

    WordPress figured it out; a lot of the Ubuntu software packages already upgrade automatically, why not the OS? Linuxers should make this happen.

  24. Fred T says:

    Thank you for this page. I did use it to upgrade from Petra to Qiana.
    I was particularly impressed when I C&P’d

    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    onto my Terminal and it took more than an hour to run,
    including a self-timed 42 minutes doing the downloads.
    Generated an awful lot of lines on screen, so was, in its way, an ‘action movie’.

    Then also did :

    sudo apt-get upgrade

    and logged out. So far so good.

    Problems started when I logged in again.
    First, my desktop was a conky screen, essentially this one :

    http://www.noobslab.com/2012/06/install-infinity-conky-in-ubuntulinux.html

    I can understand that, since I DID previously TRY to install conky.
    The problem is though that I cannot get from that screen to anywhere else.
    The cursor is stuck right in the middle of the screen with the laptop’s mouse
    ineffective. Plugging in an external mouse to the USB slot allows me
    to move to the cursor but I cannot find anywhere ‘clickable’ to get to another screen.

    What can I do ? Thanks.

  25. Andrew says:

    Hi guys…I have a problem…I don’t have any “official-package-repositories.list” in /etc/apt/sources.list.d…is that normal?
    What should I do?

  26. FrankK says:

    Run bleachbit and sudo bleachbit first, in order to keep the backupfile small as possible.

  27. Uvo says:

    Under point 7, the third line is still

    sudo cat /etc/lsb_release

    but needs to be

    sudo cat /etc/lsb-release

  28. Uvo says:

    Nevertheless: Thank you for the tutorial! My system works just fine.

  29. ali ahmady says:

    thnx dude
    i did it successfully
    keep it up ^_^

  30. Vincent says:

    Thanks for the tutorial – it was really useful and worked well for me.

    FYI, there is a typo mistake in step 7 : ‘$ sudo cat /etc/lsb_release’ should be ‘$ sudo cat /etc/lsb-release’ with – instead of _

  31. Aris Boch says:

    I tried to do an upgrade from 16 to 17 via apt-get, but it just failed (it didn’t upgrade to 17, when I tried to use “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”).

  32. Erik Rey says:

    I’m currently dual-booting Windows 8.1 x64 with Linux Mint 16 Petra x64. Can I follow this guide to upgrade from Petra to Qiana without adversely affecting anything (i.e dual-boot settings and whatnot)?

    • I used this method on s system that dual boots Windows 7 and Mint with no problem on the dual boot.

      I went directly from Olivia (15) to Qiana (17). Only problem was with the window manager, I ended up removing MDM and installed lightdm to fix it, turned out the problem was to do with an obscure xsession lying around on the system mdm’s errors were not helpful but lightdm’s were. I suspect that if you just have out of the box xsessions you would not encounter this problem.

      Make sure you back up first on both sides of the dual boot though as worst case is needing to restore everything from scratch.

  33. Manfred says:

    It worked for me thanks !

    I had Linux Mint in dual-boot with an old windows XP and I was worried about the dual-boot but it worked fine without any serious glitch.

  34. krotta says:

    I’m a Linux newbie running Mint Mate on Aspire One (ZA3) and I’ve tried upgrading using these steps twice now. Each time this machine loses ability to resume after suspend.
    What am I missing? Default install of Petra works fine, so I guess something must have changed in the new release…

  35. Ugly Duck says:

    Hi, I have installed Linux mint 15 with Mint4Win as Dual boot with Windows 7.
    Then upgraded it to Mint 16 and it was running fine.
    But when I upgrade to Mint 17 (Qiana), after restarting the partition loop0 (or loopback0 or something like that) fails to load.
    It shows an error like, Press I to ignore, S to skip or M for manual recovery.

    Please tell me a way to fix this.
    Or let me know if it is not possible. TIA.

  36. Matei Cezar says:

    @Ugly Duck: usualy loop devices are cd/dvd (iso images) mounted on a system mount point.
    Did you had any of this kind of device mounted on your system when you started upgrade process?
    Please verify the content of /etc/fstab and /etc/mtab file and remove any entry that point to a dvd/dvd/iso filesystem.

  37. alquica says:

    thanks, now I have Linux Mint 17 in my pc

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