A Fresh Install of Mint 20.x On Machine Running 18.3

I want to do a fresh install of the latest LTS version of Linux Mint on a computer currently running Mint 18.3 Cinnamon, and I want to preserve the current profile, data and settings. Can I copy specific folders from the current system and use them to replace similar folders in version 20.x and expect it to work? If so, which folders must I copy? If not, what is the best way for me to proceed?


Dell Optiplex 9020 i5 Quad Core 64 bit

Preserving data is one thing but keeping the same settings could be troublesome and there is no guarantee that it will work. Why? Because some applications will have new versions, old profile and data may conflict. Not saying it cannot work but it might not be as smooth.

Why not update 18.3 to 19 and then to 20?

Alternatively, make a list of applications you are using, see if there is a way to save the settings of those applications and then copy them on external USB.

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@snalmond …If the old PC is able to handle another drive, you could do a fresh install of Mint 20
on one drive and dual boot Mint 18. You could then copy all your data to your /home and install
the apps you have and see then if they work in Mint 20 as they work in Min 18. Just because
MInt 18 goes out of support doesn’t mean you still cannot use it.

Abhishek, thanks for your response.

<Why not update 18.3 to 19 and then to 20?>

When I decided to upgrade, I looked for some guidance and found the tutorial noted below.

How to Upgrade to Linux Mint 20 [Step by Step Tutorial]

Last updated October 29, 2020 By Abhishek Prakash

I saw in that tutorial the statement below and, in view of that, presumed it would be better for me to do a fresh install of 20.x.

“If you are using Linux Mint 18, I advise you go for a fresh installation rather than upgrading to several Mint versions.”

That’s why I initially chose to do a fresh install if profile, data and settings could be preserved. Since it’s more likely that they can be preserved by updating stepwise from 18.3 to 20.x, I will proceed by that route.

Thanks again for your response.


Thanks for your response and recommendation.

Well, I upgraded to 19.x and all appeared to go well, but, after the upgrade, the system would not boot. After that, I decided to do a fresh install of 19.x. Same result. after installation was completed. It would not boot. Frustrated, I reinstalled Mint 18.3 and it is working normally.

I remember having read somewhere that there is a problem with the installation or, perhaps, updating of version 19.x that results in failure to boot. and a comment that one of the update items is the source of the problem, and that update had been made a level 5 to prevent or discourage most users from installing it. I guess, for now, I will continue using Mint 18.3 on that 32 bit machine.

Zorin and Debian still have 32bit support and I think MX Linux also. If you like independent then
Mageia has 32bit support. If you want to take a week installing, then try Gentoo!!!

Thanks, 4dandl4. Those are worth keeping in mind… except for Gentoo, of course.

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Thought you might like that!!! :grinning: