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I have got into the habit of using "ping" to make an image of the used blocks of my partition, and keeping it on a 10gb partition. I also use "aptoncd" and the mint backup for my home stuff. But I will certainly give the upgrade tool a try!
The mintUPgrade tool is something that is being worked on to make the process of upgrading the distro easier, and safer. At the moment, a full reinstall is the that is recommended, as is making a separate home partition. Mint, like Ubuntu which Mint is based from, is not a rolling release, meaning, you should reinstall to upgrade to the latest and greatest. If you decide to use the mintUpdate tool, or do a dist-upgrade, we will try to help fix anything that may have gone wrong, but there are reasons that we recommend doing a full reinstall to upgrade.
I don't particularly mind doing a complete install as it cleans up the rubbish in my system. Since Mint does't take too long to do this, I can live with it. A safer upgrade too however, is necessary, I agree.
Just an FYI on upgrading....I just tried to upgrade Linux Mint by puttting in sources for Jaunty and doing an apt-get upgrade.
Killed it dead!!!
That is because we have not set things up in the Mint repos, as we have to wait for Ubuntu to freeze the code, before we can really start doing any work on the Mint release(s). So when you do that, it wants to use things that were made for Intrepid, in Jaunty, and that causes all sorts of issues, it also causes alot of the configs for Mint to be overwritten by the newer Ubuntu ones. This is also why we DO NOT recommend doing an upgrade in that manner.
I am a recent migrant to Linux Mint after years of using native Debian...I actually started using Knoppix about version 3.1 which I would much modify using Debian repositories instead of Knoppix so I am used to breaking things with upgrades. Usually you can install/upgrade individual apps successfully but not apt-get upgrade...so I was kind of expecting to break it.
I intend to do the same with Mint (to a lesser extent) as there is just too much setup involved doing total installs even with a separate home.
I am familiar with Debian terminology (experimental-unstable-testing-stable)....although they are also using "Etch, Lenny, Squeeze" etc, "stable, testing & unstable" always work even if Lenny for instance moves from testing to stable.
What is the equivalent in Mint & Ubuntu?
also, Unbuntu repositories use the terms restricted, universe, multiverse...what are these terms.
P.S.: The reason for switching to Linux Mint is that it was the only distro that could get the wifi on my new Acer netbook to work...even then it was a problem, first needing driver from compat-wireless but even that wouldn't work after I killed/reinstalled the original install so I had to use ndiswrapper. I tried several other including Ubuntu 8.10, Kubuntu & Debian Lenny. Even though all are related, only Mint would work. I have no idea why...but that is another reason I want to upgrade rather than reinstall.