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 How to upgrade to Linux Mint 19

A. Introduction

This tutorial explains how to upgrade to Linux Mint 19.

B. General considerations

B1. Do you need to upgrade?

Linux Mint 17.x (17, 17.1, 17.2 and 17.3) will be supported until 2019.

Linux Mint 18.x (18, 18.1, 18.2 and 18.3) will be supported until 2021.

If your version of Linux Mint is still supported, and you are happy with your current system, then you don't need to upgrade.

B2. Did you try Linux Mint 19 on this computer?

Each new version of Linux Mint comes with a new kernel. This means that it handles hardware differently. For instance, you may find out that a graphic card or a wireless adapter which currently works fine for you under Linux Mint, isn't recognized by the newer version of Linux Mint you're planning to upgrade to. In some cases, this could mean that upgrading to this release is the wrong decision, maybe you're better off skipping that particular release? There's only one way to know: you need to try it.

Linux Mint comes as an ISO image which can be burnt to a DVD or a USB stick. Thanks to this, you can try the newer release on your computer and see if your hardware is recognized without installing and before upgrading.

B3. Did you create a system snapshot?

If anything breaks or if anything goes wrong during the upgrade, you can go back in time and revert all changes by restoring your latest system snapshot. Whatever happens, you're covered.

B4. Did you make backups?

Your personal data is the most valuable thing in your computer. If anything happens and you break your operating system, it's not a problem, it can be reinstalled or restored via a system snapshot. If you lose your data or you're unable to access it... that's a different story.

To be safe, make a full backup of your data on an external device (USB stick or DVD).

C. Requirements

To upgrade to Linux Mint 19 you need to satisfy the following requirements.

C1. Experience with APT and the command line

Upgrading to a newer package base is not trivial and it should not be performed by novice users.

You need to know how to type commands and read their output.

You also need to be experienced with APT.  During the upgrade you'll need to understand the output of APT commands. You'll need to understand if a package needs to be removed, if it blocks the upgrade, if it conflicts with another package etc etc.

C2. Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon, MATE or Xfce edition

The upgrade tool only upgrades Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon, MATE or Xfce edition.

If you are running Linux Mint 18, 18.1 or 18.2, you first need to upgrade to Linux Mint 18.3 using the Update Manager.

C2. Timeshift snapshot

To install timeshift, open a terminal and type:

apt install timeshift

Then launch "Menu -> Administration -> Timeshift".

Follow the wizard to select a destination for your snapshots.

In the toolbar, click on the "Create" button to make a manual snapshot of your operating system.

If anything goes wrong, you'll be able to restore your operating to this current state, either from within Linux Mint, or by launching Timeshift from a live Mint session (live DVD or live USB).

C2. LightDM

To know which display manager you are currently using, open a terminal and type:

cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager

If the result is "/usr/sbin/lightdm", you can skip this step.

If the result is "/usr/sbin/mdm", you need to switch display managers by installing lightdm and removing mdm. Open a terminal and type:

apt install lightdm lightdm-settings slick-greeter

When asked to choose a display manager between MDM and LightDM, choose LightDM.

Open a terminal and type:

apt remove --purge mdm mint-mdm-themes*

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

sudo reboot

D. How to upgrade

D1. Update your Linux Mint 18.3 system

Using the Update Manager, click on "Refresh" to refresh the APT cache and apply all updates.

D2. Give your terminal unlimited scrolling

Open a terminal.

Click on "Edit"->"Profile Preferences"->"Scrolling".

Check the "unlimited" option and click "OK".

D3. Install the upgrade tool

To install the upgrade tool, open a terminal and type:

apt install mintupgrade

D4. Check the upgrade

To simulate an upgrade, open a terminal and type:

mintupgrade check

Then follow the instructions on the screen.

This command temporarily points your system to the Linux Mint 19 repositories and calculates the impact of an upgrade.

Note that this command doesn't affect your system. After the simulation is finished, your original repositories are restored.

The output shows you if the upgrade is possible, and if it is, which packages would be upgraded, installed, removed and kept back.

It is extremely important that you pay close attention to the output of this command.

If it shows packages which are preventing the upgrade, remove them (and take note of them so you can try to reinstall them after the upgrade).

Also note any important packages in the list of packages which would be removed, so you can reinstall them after the upgrade.

Keep using "mintupgrade check" and do not proceed to the next step, until you're happy with the output.

D5. Download the package upgrades

To download the packages necessary to upgrade to Linux Mint 19, type the following command:

mintupgrade download

Note that this command doesn't actually perform the upgrade itself, but just downloads the packages.

Note also that this command points your system to the Linux Mint 19 repositories (if you want to go back to Linux Mint 18.3 after using this command, you still can, with the command "mintupgrade restore-sources").

Use the "mintupgrade download" command until all the packages are successfully downloaded.

D6. Apply the upgrades

Note: This step is non-reversible. Once you perform it, the only way to go back is by restoring a system snapshot. Make sure you've made a snapshot before following this last step.

To apply the upgrades, type the following command:

mintupgrade upgrade

E. Workarounds

E1. Boot stuck at /dev/mapper/cryptswap1

If upon reboot, the computer fails to boot and the boot sequence seems stuck, type the left or right arrow to switch from the boot logo to the boot details.

If the boot is stuck trying to run the /dev/mapper/cryptswap1 job, then do the following:

  • Boot the computer with the Shift key pressed to force the Grub menu to show
  • Choose "Advanced Options" for the latest kernel entry
  • Choose "Recovery mode"
  • Once in the recovery menu, choose "fsck" and choose "yes".
  • Once fsck is done, press Enter to go back to the menu.
  • Choose "root" from the recovery menu and press "Enter" to start the root console.
  • Type "nano /etc/fstab" to edit the fstab file.
  • Find the line with "/dev/mapper/cryptswap1" and add a # sign in front of "/dev/mapper/cryptswap1"
  • Press "Ctrl+O" and then "Enter" to save the file
  • Press "Ctrl+X" to exit the nano editor
  • Type "reboot" to restart the computer

After a successful boot, the crypted swap might activate properly. You can try that by editing /etc/fstab again and reactivating the line for cyptswap (by removing the # sign in front of it).

F. Alternatives

If you cannot upgrade to Linux Mint 19, please perform a fresh installation.

Generic instructions on "fresh upgrades" are also available at

G. Notes

  • It is recommended to use the default Linux Mint mirror before upgrading, to make sure you're using the latest version of mintupgrade. You can check your version of mintupgrade with "apt version mintupgrade", and you can check what the latest version of mintupgrade is at You can also download it at
  • The upgrade overwrites files in /etc/ with default configuration files. You can restore files indivually by the Timeshift snapshot you made prior to upgrading.

Tags: upgrade mint 19
Created: 2 weeks ago.
Last edited: 1 week ago.

4 days ago


I just did a massive update on my old Chromebook running LM 19 as a result of "update". It had a problem with when starting gufw -- see previous comments. Now, gufw starts with no problems. So, never mind. One less item on your list.

I still see "Ubuntu 19" on the startup screen??

I would appreciate a link to a discussion or a comment on:
"It looks like 19.0 has moved from cron to a systemd timer.... setup. For example, my files in cron.weekly had their names changed -- fstrim became
fstrim.dpkg.bak. I suppose that means my fstrim is not being run or ????"

1 week ago

another tip...
during installation i suggest to work only with wired network connection, disabling wireless networking, both on new installation and upgrade.
in new installation install proprietary driver first, then disable wireless networking and then proceed to install.
in upgrade pay attention that wireless is removed and restored in active state during upgrade process, also if you disabled it, so when it become active again disable it as soon as possible.
without this trick i obtained a partial installed new system , without cinnamon and i was not able to install a working system also installing cinnamon-meta package (only fallback was working).
1 week ago

Hello Clem,

Thank you for providing this tutorial, just tried to upgrade from 18.3 to 19 and it turned out that the timeshift step was really crucial :)

Similar to RPeter52 I've had cinnamon complaining that libgl1 is missing (ldd was indeed showing no libgl1), however an attempt to install the libgl1 package actually removed cinnamon and a bunch of other packages. I've restored to the last stable snapshot, because the system was in broken state at this point.

I guess this is caused by the non-default mesa installed from the padoka-ppa some time ago (I've actually forgotten about this). Perhaps I'd need to first clean this up a bit and restore to the expected version provided by default in 18.3 (I guess 16.04 LTS).

I'll use another drive tomorrow to play around with the upgrade without padoka-ppa drivers. Thought it would be best to leave a not here for other users before an attempt to upgrade.

1 week ago


I tried running gufw (Firewall) from the USB stick and it runs fine. On my upgrade it fails -- see previous comment.

I have used unix systems for a time (since the early 1990s) so I looked around for more info on the "missing library". It is not obvious to me what the problem is. The upgrade's info about the library ( appears OK to me and nearly identical to that from the USB stick run.. See below! ANY bright ideas???

This is an old, slow machine, so I do not need it running anytime soon. BUT, it makes me hesitant to "upgrade" laptops that I use regularly.

Running on the USB stick
mint@mint:~$ ldconfig -p | grep libwebkit2 (libc6,x86-64) => /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

mint@mint:~$ ls -las /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libwebkit2gtk*
0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 28 Apr 10 18:34 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ ->
41979 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 42986008 Apr 10 18:34 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
Running on the same PC using the upgrade:
ralph@ralphChrmBk ~ $ ldconfig -p | grep libwebkit2 (libc6,x86-64) => /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

ralph@ralphChrmBk ~ $ ls -las /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libwebkit2gtk*
0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 28 Jun 14 10:58 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ ->
41984 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 42986008 Jun 14 10:58 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
1 week ago

When I try to start the Firewall (gufw), it fails


** ( WARNING **: 19:27:27.489: Failed to load shared library '' referenced by the typelib: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
/usr/share/gufw/gufw/gufw/view/ Warning: cannot retrieve class for invalid (unclassed) type 'void'
self.web_content = WebKit2.WebView()
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/share/gufw/gufw/", line 30, in
gufw = Gufw(controler.get_frontend())
File "/usr/share/gufw/gufw/gufw/view/", line 79, in __init__
File "/usr/share/gufw/gufw/gufw/view/", line 117, in _set_objects_name
self.web_content = WebKit2.WebView()
TypeError: could not get a reference to type class

BUT, it appears that the library
(from above:' referenced by the typelib: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory)
is actually there!!

ralph@ralphChrmBk ~ $ locate libwebkit2gtk
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
ralph@ralphChrmBk ~ $ ^C
ralph@ralphChrmBk ~ $

1 week ago

I Upgrade to 18.3 to 19, the start screen says Ubuntu 19 & thers is no Hibernate option....  
1 week ago

BTW, the start screen says "Ubuntu 19" ????  
1 week ago

I did the upgrade from 18.3 to 19.0 on an old chromebook (Acer c720) and things appear to work so far.

It looks like 19.0 has moved from cron to a systemd timer.... setup. For example, my files in cron.weekly had their names changed -- fstrim became fstrim.dpkg.bak. I suppose that means my fstrim is not being run or ????

Could you tell me where I can read about this change and what I should do in the future?
1 week ago

I did the upgrade from LM 18.3. After the reboot it says that "Cinnamon just crashed. You are currently running in Fallback mode. Do you want to restart Cinnamon? Yes/No"
Choosing 'Yes' results in an error message repeat.

I changed the kernel i use and the message remains. Any suggestion?
1 week ago

I did this upgrade on a LM 18.3 box that was set up using full disk encryption with no vulnerable boot partition via Pepas' lmdescrypt v 0.986 script. It upgraded without a hitch and I experienced no adverse affects/problems regarding the encryption/lvm2 setup that already existed. Only hiccup I have found so far with this upgrade is that xed vanished after the upgrade and I had to apt install it.  
1 week ago

Hi Clem, congratulation for excelent work all team.
On fresh install with mint 18.3 on Virtualbox(cinnamon), executing the mintupgrade guide (conplete and whitout error's or package conflict), but at login start in fallback mode.
1 week ago

Update to my last comment for others that may experience this issue.

The answer at successfully re-enables the Hibernate option in the shutdown menu. Worked for both machines. I don't know if it is necessary, but I marked the new .pkla file as executable.

It seems strange that the live disk has the Hibernate option (it actually finds and mounts the swap partition), but the upgraded installation does not have it.

Cheers, Bart
1 week ago

Hi Clem,

Have just upgraded my desktop Dell T3500 also from mint 18.3 Cinnamon. Everything went smoothly, except that I now have no Hibernate option anymore in the shutdown menu (Suspend is there and works fine). The swap partition is active and is twice the size of RAM.

Just checked, and the laptop from my previous comment has also lost its Hibernate option. Its swap partition is also active and plenty large enough.

Any ideas?

Cheers, Bart
1 week ago

Thanks Clem. Just a typo, when numbering C subsections get stuck at C2. ;)  
1 week ago

Thanks for an excellent upgrade process.

Very smooth upgrade from 18.3 Cinnamon on a Dell Inspiron 7000 series 2 in 1 laptop. Only issue (trivial) so far was that the window title bar icons went back to default positions.

I would also suggest that you add an option to bypass the compulsory installation of Timeshift for the upgrade script. Some of us use other snapshot tools, such as Clonezilla.

Cheers, Bart.
1 week ago

Upgraded from Mint 18.3 Cinnamon to Mint 19 Cinnamon OK.
One issue my icon for Evolution email disappeared from the panel, but the application was installed and it was updated from the older version that was in Mint 18.3 to version 3.28.1-2. Not sure if this is a bug but thought I should report it.

Also can't select the same title bar in settings that I had in Mint 18.3 is this by design?

Other than that it all went smoothly following this procedure.

Thanks for a great release Clem.

1 week ago

Hi, successfully upgraded Cinnamon Edition from 18.3 to 19. Everything went well. After reboot, I got a message: "error: no symbol table, press any key". After a key a successful boot occurred. I fixed this by official Ubuntu instructions of reinstalling grub:

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