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I have just upgraded my processor to a 64-bit processor and I would like to update my Linux mint 17 to 64-bit. I have been googling for a solution but I cant find a reliable or cleanly explained how-to guide. Can you point me to a guide or help me with this?

$ uname -a 
Linux kmcodes-home 3.13.0-24-generic #47-Ubuntu SMP Fri May 2 23:31:42 UTC 2014 i686 athlon i686 GNU/Linux
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I don't know about Mint, but I don't think many distributions support that kind of upgrade. Technically it shouldn't be impossible, but there are some pitfalls that will leave you with an unusable system.

It's probably easier to do a new install.

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+1 for this recommendation. I'll just add: it is indeed possible. I've done it. But it is really, really tricky. – Celada Mar 26 at 12:39
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@Celada really? How? Wouldn't that involve reinstalling every single package to change the binaries to 64bit? And, if so, isn't that completely equivalent to reinstalling? – terdon Mar 26 at 13:08
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@terdon it's not equivalent to reinstalling because you get to keep all your config, which is valuable if stuff has been creeping into /etc and /var for years and you cannot possibly remember where it all is, and because you don't actually even need to reboot as long as you are already running a 64-bit kernel. As for "how?", well, I could outline it as a separate answer if you're really interested (short short version: you will break a lot of packages on purpose, and everything revolves sharply around dpkg), but really it's here be dragons territory. – Celada Mar 26 at 13:15
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It's called cross-grading, and while it's become easier over the years, it's still tricky... – Stephen Kitt Mar 26 at 13:48
    
I've done this too, but it is much simpler to just install over the top then it is to upgrade. Just don't format when you install and you will get the best mix of easy and working. – coteyr Mar 26 at 15:29

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