How to Upgrade from Linux Mint 17.3 to Linux Mint 18

Last month, the Linux Mint development team released stable version of Linux Mint 18. Many users of this modern, highly-polished and comfortable Ubuntu-based Linux distributions where eager to try out some of the new features and improvements that it came a long with.

This either required users to upgrade from their older versions or to do a fresh installation of Linux Mint 18, but, by that time, a direct upgrade from Linux Mint 17.3 or 17.X versions was not recommended. This was because, the Linux Mint 17 and 17.x versions are based on Ubuntu 14.04 yet Linux Mint 18 is based on Ubuntu 16.04.

Upgrade Linux Mint 17 to Linux-Mint 18

Upgrade Linux Mint 17 to Linux-Mint 18

For those users, who want to do a fresh installation, they can follow: Installation of Linux Mint 18

Upgrading from a completely different Ubuntu-base to another would require some special or advanced instruction set, which the developers promised to release this month and they have done just that.

Therefore in this how-to guide, we shall walk through the recommended steps you will have to follow to upgrade from Linux Mint 17.3 to Linux Mint 18, that is if you wish to upgrade.

Some Considerations before Upgrading

  1. Is it necessary for you to upgrade? Because Linux Mint 17, 17.X versions will be supported until 2019
  2. Have you tried out Linux Mint 18 before planning this upgrade?
  3. Have you performed a backup of important data on your machine? If not, then you need to do that before moving forward.


  1. Good understanding of APT and vast experience in working from the command-line.
  2. Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon or MATE editions only, other desktops such as Linux Mint 18 Xcfe and Linux Mint 18 KDE cannot be upgraded as of now.
  3. Up-to-date system

How do I Upgrade to Linux Mint 18 from Linux Mint 17

Let us now move into the actual steps to upgrade your system to the latest version of Linux Mint.

1. Your system must be running an up-to-date Linux Mint 17.3 for the upgrade to work perfectly. Therefore, open the Update Manager and perform level 1, 2 and 3 updates by clicking on the Refresh to refresh the APT tool cache.

Linux Mint Update Manager

Linux Mint Update Manager

Alternatively, you can run the following commands from the terminal to upgrade the system:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt dist-upgrade

2. Launch a terminal, then click on Edit Profile Preferences Scrolling and select the unlimited checkbox and mark “scroll on output” option and finally click “Close”.

Check Unlimited Scrolling

Check Unlimited Scrolling

3. Next, install the upgrade tool by issuing the command below:

$ sudo apt install mintupgrade
Install Linux Mint Upgrade Tool

Install Linux Mint Upgrade Tool

4. Next do a upgrade check by running following command.

$ mintupgrade check
Linux Mint Upgrade Check

Linux Mint Upgrade Check

5. After running the command above, you need to follow the instructions on the screen to proceed, it does not cause any changes in your system yet.

Linux Mint Upgrade Process

Linux Mint Upgrade Process

Calculating Linux Mint Upgrade Packages

Calculating Linux Mint Upgrade Packages

Linux Mint Upgrade Package Summary

Linux Mint Upgrade Package Summary

Importantly, you must also pay close attention to the output of this command, as it presents some vital information concerning how you should deal with the upgrade process.

The command will briefly point your system to the Linux Mint 18 repositories and performs an appropriate calculation of the impact of the upgrade.

It helps to you to show whether an upgrade is possible or not, an in case it is possible, which packages would be upgraded, those to be installed and removed plus the ones kept back.

It is also possible that some packages will try to prevent the upgrade process, identify such packages and remove them, then keep running the command after making any changes until it provides a satisfactory output for a perfect upgrade, then move to the next step.

5. Download the packages to be upgraded.

$ mintupgrade download
Download Linux Mint Upgrade Packages

Download Linux Mint Upgrade Packages

After running it, this command will download all the available packages to upgrade your system to Linux Mint 18, but, it does not perform any upgrade.

6. Now it’s time to perform a actual upgrade.

Note: This step is irreversible, therefore, make sure you have followed and checked everything necessary up to this state.

After successfully downloading all the necessary packages, proceed to perform the actual upgrade process as follows:

$ mintupgrade upgrade
Linux Mint Upgrade Command

Linux Mint Upgrade Command

You will be asked for a second time, to download packages, but, all packages have been downloaded, simply enter yes and proceed.

Downloading Linux Mint Upgrade Packages

Downloading Linux Mint Upgrade Packages

7. Then, in the next screen, enter yes and continue.

Performing Linux Mint Upgrade

Performing Linux Mint Upgrade

8. Next, also enter yes to proceed to start installation of the downloaded packages.

Linux Mint 18 Upgrade Summary

Linux Mint 18 Upgrade Summary

9. During the installation of packages, you will be prompted to restart certain services, simply select yes and hit [Enter] to proceed.

Linux Mint Package Configuration

Linux Mint Package Configuration

As the installation of packages progresses, keep watching the whole process, you may prompted several times for yes or no answers or required to provide your password.

When the installation completes, reboot your system and boom! You are good to go, using Linux Mint 18.

Linux Mint 18 Sarah

Linux Mint 18 Sarah

That is it, hoping that everything went on well, you can now enjoy Linux Mint 18 on your machine. For any queries or information that you wish to add to this guide, you can give us a feedback through the comment section below.

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94 Responses

  1. DS says:

    Had to finally do an upgrade on a rather minimal system – Your recipe worked nicely. Thank You very much!

  2. tom says:

    Thank you for this!

  3. Neil Murgatroyd says:

    thanks, very smooth process, all done

  4. Wm says:

    Got the RED X shield the other day and can’t update or upgrade. Have searched and tried may suggestions but will not update nor upgrade. Any suggestions? Thank you

  5. Brian says:

    I reached the end of the upgrade from 17.3 to 18 but the upgrade ended on: Download complete and in download only mode.

    45-AIO-M870 ~ $ 

    Do I need to type anything else to finish or just exit the Terminal?

  6. John says:

    from mint 17.3 to 18 ok

  7. humberto says:

    + Checking your Linux Mint codename…

    + Checking your Linux Mint edition…

    !! ERROR: Your edition of Linux Mint is ‘KDE’. It cannot be upgraded to Linux Mint 18 ‘Sarah’.
    !! Exiting.

  8. Alan G says:

    A pain free upgrade, thanks for the pointers.

    • Aaron Kili says:

      @Alan G

      Welcome, we are glad this worked for you. Many thanks for the feedback.

    • Bernard Puga S says:

      Our new concern now is how will move from 18 to 19. Inside the revision I use standard update but for main revision I use reformat and install all automatically using teejee Aptik Migration Utility.

      • Aaron Kili says:


        Once Linux Mint 19 is out(stable version), we will definitely prepare an article about how to upgrade from 18 or a another previous version to it. Thanks for the feedback.

  9. tiger says:

    Initializing machine ID from D-Bus machine ID.
    Adding the “systemd-journal” group (GID 127) …
    An immediate password change is required (forced by root)
    chfn: PAM: The authentication token is no longer valid; new is required
    adduser: “/ usr / bin / chfn -f systemd Time Synchronization systemd-timesync” returned the error code 1. Completing.
    dpkg: systemd package processing error (–configure):
    the subprocess installed post-installation script returned the error code 1
    Errors occurred while processing:
    E: Sub-process / usr / bin / dpkg returned an error code (1)

    !! ERROR: Failed to upgrade some of the packages. Please review the error message, use APT to fix the situation and try again.
    !! Exiting.

    $ sudo apt install -f

    apt-get: relocation error: /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ symbol _ZNKSt7__cxx1112basic_stringIcSt11char_traitsIcESaIcEE7compareERKS4_, version GLIBCXX_3.4.21 not defined in file libstdc ++. so.6 with link time reference
    tiger @ asusik ~ $ mintupgrade upgrade
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/ usr / bin / mintupgrade”, line 3, in
    import sys, os, apt
    File “/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apt/”, line 23, in
    apt_pkg import
    ImportError: /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ symbol _ZNKSt7__cxx1112basic_stringIcSt11char_traitsIcESaIcEE7compareERKS4_, version GLIBCXX_3.4.21 not defined in file libstdc ++. So.6 with link time reference

    So, instead of beauty and simple guide, upgrade process fail.
    Bad. Very bad.

  10. Marc says:

    It does not work but is it an error in your lines to install mintupgrade rather than mintupdate?

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