Can I upgrade the kernel instead of upgrading Linux Mint distribution?

I had problems upgrading to Linux Mint 20. I find it all frustrating. I’ve been told you can’t really do it in Synaptic. So could I just upgrade the Linux Kernel instead? Isn’t that enough?

i think that depends on what you mean by enough and what your end goal is.


End goal is not to upgrade because I’ve had problems. Even that Nicholls guy admitted it was hard:

I wanted to wait until 21 comes out. Just an idea.

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my understanding is that mint follows the ubuntu life cycle. since mint 19 is based on ubuntu 18.04, it will be supported until april of 2023. mint 21 will be based on ubuntu 22.04 so it should be out near this time of year in 2022.

i don’t believe you would be able to upgrade straight from 19.x to 21 so if you wait, that would likely mean you would need to do a clean install of 21.


Yeah… I am disappointed by Linux. I don’t see the point to it anymore. It’s always something I’ve got to do and it’s hard! I could go rolling release, but I had problems with one distribution because of not being able to get WIFI working.

Everything seemed easier with Windows, but all OS have their damn problems! :frowning:

Welcome to “It’s Foss” @atto. Sorry to hear you had problem with Linux Mint. I follow the upgrade guide

and it took a bit of time, but for me the upgrade from Mint 19.3 to Mint 20 went fine. The only real problems was with some of the PPA’s, but they let you know that up front. Like Chromium would not be included. Remember to have a Timeshift backup and/or a stand alone backup before you make any major changes to your system. :smiley:

I’m been with Linux Mint Cinnamon now for about 2 years, since Mint 18.3 I believe. And if you decide to stay put for another Mint life cycle, the next cycle (Mint 21) should be out in about 2 years. As @01101111 pointed out Mint 19.3 will be supported until April 2023 and Mint 21 should be out sometime in 2022 so you will still be supported with Mint 19.3

“Everything seemed easier with Windows…” :laughing:
I had the same thought when I first started with Linux. I knew how to do what I wanted to do in Windows, but had to learn how to do it in Linux. But I think the learning experience is worth the time to learn a new OS. Good Luck.


My advice to the Original Poster, and everybody else too, I guess, would be to cut Canonical out of the loop and go with LMDE 4. I used LMDE 2 for a while when it was the current release, but when LMDE starting using Stable packages instead of Testing I dumped LMDE and used Debian Testing for a few years. Then I used Mint 19 for a while but now I am back.

I have 2 operating systems on both my computers, 1 each of LMDE 4 and Debian 10.4. One of these is set up as a main system, where I do my research and writing and the other is more for admin. I developed this system during my distro-hopper period…

So I gave up on Mint 19, never did try Mint 20, and I won’t. I am quite pleased with LMDE and I used Buster when it was testing, even named my puppy after it. He’s just over 2 now.

I think I have almost reached my goal of freeing up a lot of the time I have been spending tinkering with computers so I can find some paying work. And I strongly recommend LMDE over Mint 19, and again that’s without trying Mint 20. I use Cinnamon and that’s where the differences between LMDE and Debian come from. What I mean by that is that Cinnamon for Debian based Mint is set up a little differently than Cinnamon for Debian.


Thanks your comment helped. I actually looked up on the Linux Mint website about upgrade instructions… that’s the irony. They need to make the process easier. Believe me I’ve spent a lot of time on Linux and reading all up on it. I do know a fair bit now. I am kinda inbetween beginner and intermediate. I stand by what I say that Linux is not easy sometimes. .Deb files make it easy. I hate getting dependencies. If I ran a Linux distro it would be more like android or ChromeOS but respecting the privacy of users like in a Linux Mint way.

Thanks for your help. I’ve decided that I will use Manjaro in 3 years time as something that’s likely because it’s rolling release. I’ve decided to stay because every operating system has its problems. I’ve decided to stay because I much prefer the way the desktop environment like Cinnamon or KDE (if I get Manjaro) look! I might get a Chromebook too, but who knows! I want to roll with the punches, and I think that’s kinda evident that I’m inbetween a beginner and intermediate user.

Ok thanks for that. I am seriously considering Manjaro. I tested it last night. Both wifi and the cable connection work.

I might get a Chromebook or Android. Sorry to disappoint people.

It’s most likely i’ll be a Mint guy for 3 years.

Your comment was interesting. I hate the Debian install though. I feel that I’ve been too hard on Ubuntu back in the past too.

Anyway, I feel better now. Every OS has it’s problems. I am disappointed with Linux, but not giving up entirely. They all have issues. I see why people use big tech like Windows and Mac though. But I think there’s an advantage to any OS and obvious bad things too. Linux is not a magic wand that I thought it was. And I swear to you all, I gave it a big shot! Android is popular for a reason. Don’t be offended by me saying that: learn. To all the developers out there. Try and be better for Linux. Android has privacy issues I know, but they don’t have those problems Linux has.

Anyway, I don’t want to ramble on longer. I just swear I gave Linux a big shot. It’s not all doom and gloom and it’s good that it’s there, its just disappointing. I think that sometimes Linux people are just not honest about things sometimes.

I better end it here.

I tried to get ChromiumOS to work and even that failed! But Manjaro as a live usage thing worked fine! But I do realize Chromium/Chrome OS (and Android) is not quite the same thing as Linux! At the same time, i think it’s unfair that Google don’t advertise on their site they are Linux based OS’s! If i owned Android, I’d still pay respects to Linux and give them a shout out – either in the instruction booklet, website or something. But that’s just me. I am a guy who tries to be fair!

You don’t want upgrade to Mint 20, due upgrade problems, but you want install Chrome OS or Manjaro?
Sorry my question:
Why don’t you try a Mint 20 clean install?

I have 3 OS in my PC:

  • Mint 20
  • Manjaro
  • WIN10
    They all have pros and cons

I get tired of clean installs because it means I will have to rely on Timeshift and Backup and kinda start over again. If I have a rolling release like Manjaro, I just only have to do it once and then that’s it. Obviously ChromeOS does it and so does Windows.


Just an advice but I think you already know:
keep using timeshift


… Until there is an issue with a rolling update and you need to do a clean install there, as well. :laughing:


i was going to make a similar point about my short-lived experience with manjaro 32-bit which ended when a gui as well as pacman update && upgrade including manual intervention didn’t work as described and left my system (before timeshift regression) unusable. an operating system like a package manager like a computer itself is a tool that sometimes needs more work than seems necessary perhaps, but i think part of the reason i stick with linux is that i no longer hold to the notion that anything i don’t buy new off the shelf with a warranty and solid return policy will “just work out of the box”.

that isn’t to say manjaro won’t work great, but to reiterate that rolling release is no more of a magic wand (just a different operational philosophy) than long term support. i wish you all the best in your continued search :slight_smile:


Thanks guys! You are really helpful and now I have to consider everything. I think it was @01101111 who made me rethink things… Really convincing bloke. Good grief. Appreciate everything and all the replies.


Instead of upgrading to the latest 20.04, why not just stick with 18.04 you have three years left? I for one in my opinion think that 20.04 is still way too young, even though tomorrow is supposed to be it’s first point release. The beauty about Linux is you don’t have to upgrade straight away, as really you’re not missing much in 20.04. I also wonder what the big hurrah is about GTK3, for me it’s ugly having those undershoot lines in the theming, still loads of life left in GTK2.

Why upgrade if you’re happy with what you’re using? I’m not going to upgrade to 20.04, till it’s at least two years old or even has had time to simmer down a little and look and feel comfortable to use, as at the moment for me anyway GTK3 is looking ugly and those undershoot lines in the theming are put there because of display issues when right clicking the panel, sometimes the panel list that comes up does not display properly leaving the top and bottom of the list unreadable. Before upgrading to 18.04 I waited till Mark Greaves from Peppermint had worked his magic. Like with all new releases there are teething problems and it’s us the community who tests them out. I’m sticking with Peppermint OS 10 Re-Spin 18.04 till it is end of life, simply because everything I chuck at it, it just works.