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By Unobscured Vision
[Note: I've taken my post from the earlier thread regarding Linux Mint 18 Beta and created a new thread for it so that it can be easily found.]
If you're upgrading from 17.3 to 18.0 and the process stops with a package upgrade failure of any kind you'll need to do the following or you'll end up with a broken installation. Please keep in mind that the Linux Mint Developers are almost begging users to backup their data and perform clean installs instead of upgrading due to all of the issues people are running into. The following instructions will help mitigate most of those issues, but not all of them.
Step 1: Force-install everything queued up for the upgrade.
sudo apt-get install -a -f -y This command will force all packages in the queue to install (even ones that have already installed -- and no, it won't hurt anything) and to automatically say "yes" to any prompts that appear -- otherwise you'll be sitting for half an hour (or longer) waiting for perhaps the ten of them that could have been handled automatically.
After that paint-drying session, you'll need to move on to Step 2.
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade "Didn't we just do this?" Nope. This will handle the remaining stray packages. Shouldn't take long. Mine took less than two minutes. Better safe than sorry.
Step 3: My Cinnamon DE was completely hosed. It needed to be reinstalled. You can verify whether yours is hosed or not yourself by seeing if MDM lists it as "Cinnamon.desktop" or simply as "Cinnamon". If you've only got Cinnamon and it's showing the entry as a .desktop file, you'll need to drop to the Failsafe Mode (if it's available, or a command shell if it isn't) and do the next step.
sudo apt-get install mint-meta-cinnamon This will install whatever is messed up with Cinnamon, but more importantly it'll perform the configuration stuff that Cinnamon needs to get back up and running. Tweak the above instructions for MATE as needed. Chances are you know what you need to do already in that case. (XFCE installs seem to be functionally okay-ish, but my Desktop launchers had their icon labels off-position relative to their shading.)
Step 4: Next, reboot the system and make sure stuff is working. Things will be unsettled, so this reboot is going to take a bit. Don't panic. It'll get there eventually. 2-3 minutes on my system. Your results will vary.
Step 5: Log in, look around, make sure the ceiling hasn't fallen in. Chances are there's some weirdness going on (autostarting applications that shouldn't be, etc) ... fix it in a couple.
Step 5b: You might also need to check the Driver Manager and make sure there aren't drivers that need reinstalling. I had one. Do that, reboot, come back here to the next item.
Step 6: Next up, cleaning. Since mintupgrade terminated early, it's our job now.
sudo apt-get autoremove && sudo apt-get autoclean Usually I don't recommend doing an autoremove, but this time we'll allow it. There's a big mess to deal with and it's just easier this way. Afterwards, re-enable your PPA's and reinstall whatever stuff that got bulldozed.
Hopefully this helps those of you who (like me) did the laughable and ill-advised 17.3->18.0 Upgrade and got our heads cut for it.