I have Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa installed on my PC. Now since Mint 18 was released I thought I could upgrade easy and execute do-release-upgrade. I have done this in Ubuntu for that past few years. But to my surprise there is no command like that on Linux Mint.

Can I upgrade my system to Mint 18 or do I need to make a clean install? (A clean install is no option for me. I don't have so much time at work that I can setup my whole OS from scratch)

  • Don't do it. TONS of people are reporting all sorts of problems with the "upgrade" option and many other "bugs" as well in Mint 18. Just stick with 17.3 until/unless all of the bugs are fixed further down the line.
    – user191830
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 0:08

6 Answers 6


Seems that the normal do-release-upgrade thing has been replaced by a smarter script. Try

sudo apt-get install mintupgrade 
mintupgrade check
mintupgrade download
mintupgrade upgrade
  • This is the most up-to-date and correct answer. Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 2:02

From their site, published June 30, 2016:

It will also be possible to upgrade from Linux Mint 17.3. Upgrade instructions will be published next month.

Link: Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” MATE released!

Assuming they do it as they did before, it'll show up as an option in the Mint Update Manager.


I did that:

sudo sed -i 's/rosa/sarah/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list
sudo sed -i 's/trusty/xenial/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list

And i commented

#deb http://extra.linuxmint.com rosa main


apt update 
apt upgrade
apt dist-upgrade
apt update && apt upgrade && apt dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get autoremove

→ Everything was fine, but strangely my mintsources remain in "rosa" and not "sarah"/


For the do-release-upgrade command to work, you need to have update-manager-core installed. sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

However, you can still upgrade without installing that package. You have 2 options:

  • through the update manager GUI
  • through apt-get

I suppose option 1 is not showing you any updates, otherwise you would have chosen that. So, for option 2, you might need to first update all your repos to point to new Mint.

Please follow these steps:

  • First make a backup of exisiting repo list: sudo cp -v /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list.bak

  • then replace the distro name with new one sudo sed -i s/rosa/sarah/g /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list

  • then run update and upgrade sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Having said all these, I still recommend you to use the Fresh Installation process, it is a little hassle, but that works the best.


I would also suggest that you comment out any third party repositories that may have been added to the file /etc/apt/sources.list, or added in the directory /etc/apt/sources.list.d

It is probably easier to turn off any third party repositories in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory using the software manager. Choose 'Edit' then 'Software Sources'. These third party sources are often tied to the 17.x release of mint, or the 15.04 release of Ubuntu.

After your upgrade you can turn them on, one at a time, and see if there are errors or conflicts. If there are errors or conflicts, keep them commented out (or turned off in software manager). You can search to see if there is a Sarah based version, or an Ubuntu 16.04 based version of each third party repository. It may take some time for third parties to release new repositories after a major upgrade of Ubuntu or Mint.

If you have a great many third party repositories, it may be better to do a back up, full re-install and a restore of your data. This is the preferred method of a major upgrade for Linux Mint. Even with the third party repositories commented out, the software installed from them is for a different version of mint (and Ubuntu), and could cause instability.

Always do a full backup before attempting a major upgrade.


You will also need to replace all occurrences of trusty with xenial. And comment out:

# deb http://extra.linuxmint.com sarah main

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