Clem Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project, has announced that the team has been working on Upgrade Tool, a new bit of kit that finally makes it easy to upgrade to new major versions of Linux Mint. Previously, you could upgrade via the terminal but it certainly wasn’t very friendly and users were just advised to perform a clean install to ensure that nothing went wonky during the upgrade process.
With the new Upgrade Tool, users will interact with a fully graphical program that checks everything is ready for the upgrade to begin such as having enough storage space and that you’re connected to AC power. Further, it preserves your update mirrors and custom repos where possible so that you don’t have to mess about. If there are any orphaned packages or issues with your repos, you’ll be notified and be given Fix buttons to address the issues.
The Upgrade Tool will first be available for LMDE 4 users looking to move to LMDE 5 before August when LMDE 4 reaches end of life. It will also be available for those on Linux Mint 20.3 to upgrade to Linux Mint 21 "Vanessa". The plan is to release the tool as fast as possible but it’s still considered an alpha product. It will undergo a short beta phase before being graduated to general availability.
Not being able to upgrade easily between major Linux Mint versions was the only thing really the matter with Linux Mint but with this tool, the problem is gone and puts it on a more equal footing with the other user-friendly Linux distribution, Ubuntu.