How to Upgrade from Linux Mint 17.3 to Linux Mint 18

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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92 Responses

  1. Frustrated Freddie says:

    Wish I had never upgraded. Wake-up from Suspend no longer works on fairly recent hardware. Yes, I tried updating the kernel and driver’s. Nothing helps. Disappointing.

  2. Bob Pegram says:

    Will this work with Mint with the Mate desktop? I realize I may have to switch it back to Mate from Cinnamon after the upgrade – not ideal, but OK.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      When you look at the requirements, it lists Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon or MATE editions only. So this method should definitely work for Mate desktop.

  3. PC says:

    Thanks for this. Just upgraded two computers from Linux Mint 17.1 to 18.3. Took awhile, but both were clean upgrades.

  4. donald says:

    can a direct upgrade from 17.3 cinnamon to mint 18.3 be made ?

    • yash says:

      Hi Donald,

      If you have partitioned the disk as given in my earlier post, then you can upgrade from any version to any version. However, you will need to re-install your additional software and setup. But you need to do this from an installation medium, not as a system upgrade automatically.

      Best of luck with this, and do post about your experience.

      In case you haven’t made a separate system partition, then it is worth the effort setting it up in this manner to make it as future proof as possible.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      Yes, you can directly upgrade from 17.3 cinnamon to mint 18.x.

  5. Yash says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for your tutorial. It seems to have worked for most of those who have posted.

    While looking for a way to upgrade from 17.3 to 18.1, but all posts in various blogs and sites point to the advantages of a clean install. Hence I wanted to share my experience with this, because the way I have set up the system, means for me, a clean install is not a big problem – the only issue is that I need to download the additional software once again (Virtualbox, Google Chrome / Earth etc).

    Perhaps there are lots of posts elsewhere, and I’m repeating what is given elsewhere, but here is what I did. Mine is a Windows 10 Machine, and I dual-boot it. Having been doing this for the last eight or nine years, without any problems

    Here are the steps I used.

    1. Shrink the C drive to 100 or 125 GB – This will be Windows system and software only partition.
    2. Create a D drive of say 100 GB – NTFS format for Windows use.
    3. Create a 30 GB partition – quick-format to fat32 (fat 32 makes it easy to identify) ( ROOT Partition \)
    4. Create a SWAP of twice the RAM
    5. The rest of the disk went to the home partition – quick-format to fat32.( HOME partition \home)
    6. While booting up and installing from the Mint (or Ubuntu) CD, I used the option of “Something else” when setting up the partitions.
    7. Use the 30 GB partition as "\" that is, root. Check the box that says format. Format to EXT4
    8. Use the “twice the RAM” partition as ” swap area” . There is no box that says format.
    9. Use the rest of the partition designated as home that is "\home" Check the box that says format. Format to EXT4
    10. Now continue the Install process with the usual options like username, password etc.

    Voila!! you have a wonderfully setup computer. There is no mixing up of any of the OS-es on the hard disk, and The biggest advantage I had was the possibility of a clean install and upgrade at any time. In fact, I did this to change over from Ubuntu 12.10 to Linux Mint at the time. Simply didn’t want Unity

    Now whenever I want to upgrade or change the distro, All I got to do is (a) Repeat the step Nos 7 and 8 above, including the option to format. The MOST important thing here is NOT to check the box to format the \home partition, but to USE as \home.

    Make sure that you give the same (existing) username and password. Once again, make sure that the checkbox to format this partition is NOT checked.

    I have done this quite a few times for friends and family. The Mozilla bookmarks, add-ons, history, everything stays intact. Even the desktop shortcuts and the background do not change.
    In fact, just to try it out, I once changed from Ubuntu to Fedora, and had absolutely not problems with any of the files. After a bit, I settled in to Linux Mint in the same manner.

    Of course, the biggest disclaimer / caution as always – Please backup your data, just in case something does indeed go wrong.

    If you are planning to the entire disk to install Linux (that is, without Windows, no dual boot) even then, you should follow steps no 6, 7, 8 and 9. Since there is no Windows partition to worry about, the partitioning can be just three partitions – Root (30GB) Swap (twice the RAM) and Home.. This way, when you upgrade / change the distro whatever, you need to only format the ” \ ” (root) partition, and keep the username the same.

    Hope someone finds this useful.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      This is wonderful and well explained, many thanks for sharing this. We also hope someone finds it useful.

      • Yash says:

        Thanks for your words of appreciation, Aaron. I have taken a few screenshots of the process, I’m not sure how to insert these into the post. Will be happy to share them with you if you can put them up sequentially.


  6. ade says:

    This looks really simple to follow but being a little bit cautious (and not massively knowledgeable about Linux in general), will an upgrade work for me as I’m using LM 17.3 dual booting with Windows 10, will Grub etc… be ok with this?

    Also, I’m using the KDE desktop, will the upgrade automatically give me the 18 KDE desktop?

    sorry if questions are a bit Donkey!

    thanks in advance

    • Aaron Kili says:


      It will work, however, make sure you perform a backup before upgrading.

      • Ade says:

        Thanks Aaron for the reassurance, already backed up to my NAS using “REDO Recovery and Backup“, will give it a go later and report back, got 2 dual boot pcs and 1 USB to do so should be interesting :-)

        • ade says:

          that went well then, got as far as “mintupgrade check“, I get “ERROR: Your edition of Linux Mint is ‘KDE’. It cannot be upgraded to Linux Mint 18 ‘Sarah’ – I guess that’s the end of that then?

          • Aaron Kili says:


            This guide is intended for Linux Mint 18 ‘Sarah’ – Cinnamon(default desktop environment). The KDE edition isn’t upgradable (Linux Mint 18 KDE uses a new and different desktop called Plasma).

            Try to fresh install Linux Mint 18 KDE.

          • ade says:

            thanks Aaron, I like Linux Mint when it’s all up and running but cannot believe how hard even the simplest task seems to be!

            Apparently, even if you get Linux Mint 18 on a bootable USB, you’re still restricted to only 4GB persistence, why/who on earth thinks this stuff up? think it’s time to look for a far less restrictive distro, thanks anyway

      • ade says:

        thanks for your help with this Aaron but decided to bite the bullet and install Ubuntu 18.04 and really like!

  7. Amit Chaudhary says:

    Thank you so much. Much easier to follow than the official instructions.

  8. Jason says:

    Me too. Perfect tutorial/process.

    Dell Mini 9 still chugging a long. (Like molasses in winter, but still working fine)

  9. youandtag says:

    From 17/3 to 18 with no problems.
    Thank You

  10. Armin says:

    Did upgrade 17/3 to 18/1 without problems. Thanks for easy to follow instruction / I as an 77+ years old was able to install upgrade,

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