Moving from Mint Mate 17.3 to Mint Xfce 19.1


I have a quite old laptop that I use occasionally. When I started it I noticed that Mint 17 support was ended. Then I need to move on from Rosa 64 bit. I downloaded Mint 19.1 Xfce 64 bit and tried it from a usb and it runs fine.
Then I want to make a fresh install but to keep it as close as it is right now.
I have an external hdd with almost 1Tb free space, that is twice the size of the laptop’s hdd. The laptop has 3 partitions: /, /home and swap.
What I need to save to keep it as close as it is now? Let me be more specific; keep all my data and basic configurations when possible (as Mate is not Xfce), be able to install the same software and keep their configurations, and so on…
Thanks in advance


For that you need to mount the old /home paritition (instead of formatting it) during the installation process.

There will be some loss, as you don’t have a separate /usr and /usr/local partition. You will have to reinstall all the software and possibly adjust some of its configuration, as maybe not all the configuration is saved within your /home partition.

Basically, what you should do:

  1. Back up all partitions to a safe location.
  2. Select Custom installation during the installation process of Linux Mint.
  3. Create a / (i.e. root), /usr and /usr/local partition, respectively.
  4. DON’T create a /home partition.
  5. DON’T format your old /home partition.
  6. MOUNT (no format) your old /home partition within the same window where you formatted the partitions from step 3.
  7. Continue installation as usual.
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You asked to backup all partitions to a safe location. Some questions here:
Which software is recommended for such backups?
Should I save the partitions as such or just the contents?
If everything goes fine may I delete the backups or are some use for them?
But if something, or worse yet everything, fails how do I use my backup?


That is up to you. If you, for whatever reason, what to be super safe on a paranoid level, then you may as well keep the back up forever. However, it is not needed. Once everything is confirmed to work, you should be able to delete the backup with a clear conscience.


thanks again! I will give a try to Borg.


I tried to install Borg but no avail!
First I did apt update & install borgbackup and got not found.
And it is as it should be as almost all my software sources are off.
So I will try LuckyBackup that is already installed. Maybe not as good as Borg but it is what I get.
Is there any way to get a list of my installed software?

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I’m sad, that you didn’t check out the guide I sent you. It says nothing about the command you mentioned. The guide is tested and confirmed, it works the way everything is demonstrated. I would be happy if you would actually read the guide.


synaptic package manager can do that.


Sorry for the long delay. I had a kidney problem, but I am back.
My last reply was misleading. Resuming to be clear: it is not possible to install any dependencies on Mint 17 as all repositories are OFF.
Wonder that I installed Mint 19 on an external disk and BorgBackup installed flawlessly. I already create the repo and the backup archive.
Installation will be next rainy day. Weather has been awful and I have to do many repairs outside the house and the most important on the house roof.
By the way my real name is Nestor and I am in Atlantic Canada.
Hope you will be happier now!

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Hi Nestor and welcome to our community. I am sorry to read about your kidney problems, having had stones in recent years I can empathise with you on that.
Back on topic thanks for the update on things, I can’t really add much to it as I use 19.1, but I am interested to see the solution you arrive at when you get to it.

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