I really like Linux Mint. I believe now that I have been using Linux for awhile, I’m hooked. I hope that it does not happen anytime soon, but if Linux Mint stopped, I think I would (and could) switch to another distro of Linux. Maybe some one could share how hard it was switching from one distro to another.
I do it all the time - switching distros on my primary computer. Quite few things to consider:
- Some browsers save their data in the /opt folder, so you might want to back it up
- SETI@Home most times keeps its data in the /var/lib/boinc folder, so you might want to back it up
- Customizations of Grub and a couple other system settings are in a few folders /boot/grub and /etc/default or /etc/apache2 or /etc/php7, so you might want to back it up
- The /home/%user% holds the bulk of your data, so you might want to back it up just in case
- Learn how the current choice of distro configures the hard drive with partitions and use a custom setup that DOES NOT FORMAT but mounts the /home partition (you may have to add it because the old system may not have used a home partition so you might want to format it then if your data is backed up somewhere else)
5a) By using a separate home partition, you can change distros easier without restoring your data from back up. It will just be there from the last time
- The home partition and the Desktop Environment you choose is linked. My favortie for a long time is KDE, so my home folder has all the tweaks I did to KDE and they just work in the new distro if I do the home partition correctly. Rarely do I have to back up my home directory so that I can format fresh my home partition.
I have tried OpenSuSE, Linux Mint, Fedora, Debian, Kubuntu, Zorin OS and others with very little data loss. My favorite distro by a huge margin is OpenSuSE. OpenSuSE is designed to make it easy for the gui dependent and command professional both to configure their system easily and quickly. Their forum has many experts reading any and all questions supplying all the right answers.
easyt50: make it a habit to store any data you’d like to have preserved in another location–Dropbox, MEGA, Google Drive, an external drive, etc. Then you can change distros to your heart’s content. I usually back up my Home folder to an external hard drive, format the internal drive, and make a fresh install of the next distro I want to try. The other alternative is to download an iso of the distro you’d like to try and load it on a USB drive or a DVD and just try the live version–nothing is touched on your computer.
The only thing I’d recommend is to refrain from becoming too attached to any desktop settings, but rather use whatever the new distro provides. When I make a permanent change or upgrade, I usually install Synaptic Package Manager and load the programs I use: Kmymoney, Dropbox, VLC, and GIMP. That usually gets me going again pretty simply. Have fun with Mint!
I do a lot of distro-jumping, although Mint19.1,MATE,64b, remains my primary distro. Been using it for over 10years. What you can do is as I do, when I want to checkout and/or “play” with a distro. I download th iso, and with using the program "“MultiBootUSB”, (http://multibootusb.org/page_features/)load it (and others) on a flash drive. Note that there are several other programs similar to MBUSB, that work very similar. I tried several, but prefer MBUSB. Try it, you’ll like it.
Just as a side note; don’t but into the propaganda and articles going around suggesting Mint should “go” or that the project may shut down. The whole situation has been blow way out of proportion and people need to not panic and jump on the hype train. Mint isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
That being said, I do try out many different distros in virtualbox just to stay fresh with the latest flavours out there and see if there’s any other distros I might want to switch to. It’s good practice to stay familiar with other distros/platforms if that’s something you enjoy.
If Mark Twain was to answer you he would say:
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
So, don’t worry about that.
And even if it did disappear, you’d still have Ubuntu, the basis of Mint.
Yet, I think the guys that already answered didn’t catch your question.
I think you just want to hear experiences about the trials and tribulations of changing distros.
Well, I’ve changed a few times and always returned to my favourite ('till now)… Linux Mint. (just like you)
I can tell you that it’s not that hard… Even if you use the CLI. But if you use a lot the CLI, then you should stick to the Debian base.
The most common DE are usually found on many distros… So if you’re used to one specific DE you can use it on another ditro.
You have the Menu with many Applications (and you can get more or the ones you’re used to) , the Desktop, some Applets (or not).
Read the tosim91 advice and go for it.