Problems upgrading Linux Mint

I am new to Linux, and have a laptop that was loaded previously with Linux Mint. I started it up after 6 years, and needed to update the Linux software. I found online a way to update the software from the command terminal, but when I did the sudo apt install mintupgrad and sudo reboot, the computer rebooted and now just has a black screen with the LM symbol in the center and is stuck. Any help with this would be really appreciated, as I want to learn about Linux and how to get away from windows programs.

Given that you haven’t used it in 6 years, my advise would be to re-install Linux. Mint is a good choice, as is Ubuntu and a few others.

Bookmark this page:

You can click on various commands to learn what they do and how to use them. Be careful though, some are dangerous to your data as they can wipe your hard-drive instantly.

Linux only has a certain shelf life. After a few years, you really cannot update in the usual way because the distro maintainers cannot host several copies of outdated software because it is tedious to maintain old code, especially with all the nasty vulnerabilities that get uncovered over time.

What you should have done was to export your old files into a USB and nuked and paved the old system. You may not be able to salvage old config and dotfiles because they may no longer be compatible with whatever present design paradigm your software currently using.

With that said, if its not too late, you could flash the most recent version of Linux Mint and try to transfer whatever personal file you may need into another USB.

Also a lot of things have changed and maybe yo should be interested in the more recent popular distros such as Pop_OS or Manjaro.

And, 6 years puts you back to a Linux Mint based on 14.04, and the upgrade from 14.04 to 16.04 had problems.

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Likely that files [OS / personal alike] gone corrupted / missing, with battery drain?
Better off with performing a fresh install

Just a clean install and you should be good to go pretty much.
Idk which cpu and how much memory the said laptop has?
If it has 4GB or less ram, then it might be a good idea to consider the Mate version of LM.
Because Cinnamon is a bit heavy on resources.

Linux Mint is still great.


This right here is one of the big barriers to Linux adoption on the desktop for many people new to Linux it can be a huge uh-oh moment when they try to update like they are used to in Windows. Even when the software update utility shows no new updates available but yet are still far behind and have vulnerabilities or incompatibilities. Mint is notorious for filling up your partition with old kernels with cryptic errors (depending on how you set it up) most new users don’t understand how to resolve that.

Most people are now used to a windows environment that updates seamlessly (for the most part) and cannot understand why they must reformat just to update against vulnerabilities or for compatibility with the latest software. Granted, there are windows users who advocate this method too but I’ll bet your average user doesn’t go through this until they get a new computer or something catastrophic happens.

Is there a utility out there for Linux that would help manage this process of copying configs, profile, and re-install software to the latest versions for newer users? I know it would make my life easier every time I have to reinstall everything.

I’ll note that some OSs based on Linux don’t have this issue. I’ve been using Unraid for a very long time and it always updates seamlessly, version after version without having to re-install everything. Granted it does go its own way on user accounts etc and dockers for software does make things modular should you ever need to re-install. I just wish your standard distro would work this way.

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Thanks for this information, I bookmarked this page

I downloaded the Linux Mint 20 and flashed it to a USB drive. I was able to redirect the boot directory to the USB and install Linux while deleting the version 14. Up and running now. Thank you for the great info

with most versions of linux people many people just back up their files and do a clean install of the distro or new one they choose.
you can however do a net upgrade but its often not worth the hassle and extra time it takes in comparison to a clean install.