Linux Mint project released version 10 of its popular Linux distribution. Though based primarily on Ubuntu 10.10 packages and kernels, the new release advances Linux Mint’s position as an Ubuntu-variant well worth considering when choosing a full-featured desktop Linux OS.
To check out the Linux Mint 10 release, I installed it on DeviceGuru’s Neuros Link
system (pictured on the right; click image to enlarge). The box
contains an Asus M3A78-EM microATX motherboard, fitted with a 2.8GHz AMD
Athlon LE-1660 processor and an ATI Radeon HD 3200 GPU, plus 1GB of
DDR2 SDRAM and a 1TB hard drive. The desktop was set to 1024 x 768
resolutions, in deference to the available ViewSonic VA520 LCD monitor.
The first experiment, was an attempt to upgrade from an already-resident Mint 9 installation
to the new Mint 10 OS. To do this, I edited the sources.list file for
the Mint 9 configuration, changing ubuntu designations to “maverick” and
mint designations to “julia,” and then ran “apt-get update” followed by
“apt-get dist-upgrade” (from the command line, as root) to perform the
The box chugged and churned for a couple of hours and then indicated
that some packages could not be installed. However, it rebooted into a
functioning Mint 10 that appeared to work ok, but which returned error
messages following “apt-get update” and “apt-get upgrade” commands.
After a few attempts to resolve the package installation problems, I
resorted to what I knew all along was the smart way to upgrade: a fresh
To begin the fresh install, I downloaded the ISO image for the Mint 10 32-bit CD from one of the download mirrors, burned a CD from the ISO, and then booted the Link system from the CD.
The installation process went smoothly, including getting Mint 10 to
install on the same partition where Mint 9 had previously resided (there
were four total OSes on the system, in separate partitions).
Thankfully, Mint 10 claimed the top priority in Grub’s boot order, which
was what I would have requested had there been an option to specify
boot order during the installation.
Incidentally, for this “upgrade” there wasn’t anything on the earlier
installation that needed saving, so no backups were needed. But
normally, you’ll always want to carefully backup your settings and data
using whatever methods you prefer. You might want to take a look at the
Linux Mint website’s upgrade tutorial for some suggestions on how best to manage a Mint version upgrade.
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