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One of the big "selling points", at least as far as I can recall, of Linux-Based OSs is the ability to upgrade the system without restarting. But when I tried to install the new Linux Mint version ("Uno") the update manager (via the "system report" application) has prompted me to reboot my PC for the upgrade to take effect. According to this post reboot is required in certain system changes, that as far as I know, the aforementioned system upgrades do not change. So, I really don't understand why a reboot is required.

Why is that?

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  • When libraries are upgraded, all services/processes that use that library need to be restarted. It technically doesn't require a reboot, but typically reboot is the easiest way to ensure everything that should restart does.
    – jordanm
    Jan 11 at 16:02

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In general your system needs a boot when your kernel or the system libraries are changed. I think you can upgrade even systemd without reboot.

Of course, if your bootloader is upgraded, you may want to make sure that the system boots and a reboot is advisable then. And I can think of a few other cases where a reboot is advisable, but not required at that time. And Mint, being more of an end-use distro, will certainly prompt you in those cases too.

It was indeed a big selling point for Linux in the days that Windows required you to reboot, sometimes multiple times, when you installed an application or connected a device. In Windows 95, I had to reboot three times before my printer worked. But nowadays, even Windows does not need a reboot for every action on the system. And yes, my Windows PC still needs more reboots than my Linux systems.

And it is a bit distro-dependent. Mint desires more reboots that Slackware, for example.

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