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Is there an "easy" way to "upgrade" my existing Linux Mint 12 install to Kubuntu 12.04 beta 2?

I know I could reinstall. Usually I would do a clean install to avoid unexpected issues. But in this case, I don't have time to reconfigure everything from my printers to my installed software, so I am looking for the quick/easy way, but I also want to avoid big risks of an upgrade gone wrong.

I'm hoping to just change some repos and run a few commands from the terminal. I don't mind editing a few config files as long as I can find good HOWTOs. But I don't want to be the pioneer (arrows in back). I'm hoping someone has done this before and has a set of steps.

For context, I recently installed KDE 4.8 SC onto Kubuntu 11.10 using PPAs. This was on another computer. That wasn't a problem. But I decided to do a fresh install of Kubuntu 12.04 later. I like it well enough that I want to change my other computer from Linux Mint 12 to Kubuntu. (I'm going all-in with KDE. It's now my desktop of choice.)

This Linux Mint upgrade will be a move from Gnome and MGSE to KDE, so that will probably complicate things at bit compared to something like upgrading Kubuntu 11.10 to KDE 4.8.

Is it safe to install Kubuntu-desktop in 11.10?

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linux mint is a variant of ubuntu. They are different. You can't use them interchangeably. What you can do is use KDE as desktop manager in linux mint for now. – Web-E Mar 30 '12 at 19:21
Linux Mint 12 (and I presume Ubuntu 11.10 and other distros with similar kernels) have problems with my USB 3.0 hardware. So my goal is to upgrade to Kubuntu 12.04, not simply to switch to a KDE desktop. Kubuntu 12.04 appears to work better with my hardware. – MountainX Mar 30 '12 at 19:41
Dude.. Kubuntu is Ubuntu hence the -Buntu in KUBUNTU, so, regardless of which variant, spin or remaster you use if the problem relies in Ubuntu itself you would be doing nothing to fix it, now, what kernels did you try? – Uri Herrera Mar 30 '12 at 22:51
And.. you can't upgrade form mint to Kubuntu, because that's disabled there, if you actually do it you would end up with a messed up system, so no you shouldn't do that. – Uri Herrera Mar 30 '12 at 22:54
@Uri - to your first comment: that's precisely why I want to upgrade from an 11.10-based distro to 12.04. I made that clear in my question. I don't know where the USB 3.0 problem is and neither does Canonical support. So there is no point in trying to make 11.10 work. It won't. I need to move to 12.04 (or another distro, but I like Kubuntu). – MountainX Mar 31 '12 at 0:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yesterday during the installation I was browsing with firefox, tried to close it and the whole xserver crashed, and it did not come back.

At this point I am sure all the guys that said it was a bad idea, are drawing a smirk on their faces.

Well i was expecting issues, and it was simple to fix, I gave it the power button, booted in recovery mode/root shell and attempted from command line an apt-get distupgrade which failed because not all the packages were configured, but it suggested to run dpkg --configure -a
After that completed rebooted the machine, issued another serie of apt-get update, apt-get upgrade

And I am now on Ubuntu 12.04

I grant that it would not be as stable as a fresh install, but it is not as bad, also we are not mixing packages this is an upgrade and Mint 12 is "equivalent" to ubuntu 11, so most of the packages if not all were upgraded. I must admit there are a few leftover like mintupdate... but hey, it proves that it is indeed possible to do the switch.

Regards Jorge G.

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Congratulations! Great work! Thanks for letting me know. – MountainX Apr 10 '12 at 16:32

You can't.

Mint and Ubuntu, no matter how closely related they are (or aren't, as the case might be) are still two different operating systems.

This is a bad idea.

First, you're mixing two different distributions' packages together. For various reasons, this is a bad idea:

  • Security.

  • Stability.

  • Conflicting updates.

  • If you let updates go through, you encounter the first two problems, and then you're in deep trouble if say, as an example a kernel update comes through!

Also, this makes getting an accurate bug report or stacktrace almost impossible, if not entirely impossible.

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I'll accept your answer. But being told "you can't" almost makes me want to see if I can prove that "I can." I feel there must be a way. But I'm not in a position to attempt that right now, so this answer is good enough for me. Thanks. – MountainX Mar 31 '12 at 20:07
I accepted Jorge's answer because he showed that it can be done. True, it may be a bad idea, but it can be done, so "you can't" isn't the absolute correct answer. – MountainX Apr 10 '12 at 16:33
@MountainX I didn't say it was flat out impossible. I said that if you're expecting a stable/secure/up-to-date system, then you can't. – James Apr 10 '12 at 16:56
I quote your answer: "You can't." That was your first sentence. A reply like that invites people to prove you wrong. ;) It's human nature, I think. – MountainX Apr 10 '12 at 21:54

I am also trying the same And given that I did conversely (switched from oneiric to Mint Lisa) i believe it is "possible" but with a cost, mainly broken/un-resolvable dependencies, which will prove your skills with dpkg

Anyway, in my case to trick the system to "think" i was at oneiric, I changed the /etc/lsb_release file to contain a valid info: DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu DISTRIB_RELEASE=11.10 DISTRIB_CODENAME=oneiric DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 11.10"

replaced any occurrence/reference of oneiric to precise on /etc/apt/sources.list and then issued and update-manager -d which detected the new release

It is right now downloading 1GB of packages, if it boots i will let you know the outcome

But being a beta, i would expect issue even if it were not from Lisa.


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@Jorge--Excellent. I look forward to your update. If it works, I'll try it too. BTW, I'm running 12.04 beta2 (Kubuntu) on another machine and it is stable and running well. – MountainX Apr 9 '12 at 3:32
@JorgeG: Did this work? – gatoatigrado May 30 '14 at 5:22

Linux Mint = Ubuntu (core, byte for byte) + mint-meta-core + one or several of


So, in theory, if you uninstall all mint-* packages and purge, you get an upgradable core Ubuntu.

But that's in theory. The leitmotif of Mint being disguise, it cherishes runtime patches. And that cannot be reverted by uninstallation. If a data area was patched with a Mint executable name that gets uninstalled, something will fail.
It should be tried to see.

I personally installed Mint on top of a genuine Ubuntu (runs fine, but I should have walked the dog instead).
The best idea is probably to keep the system partition separate from user data and to make oneself a customization DEB to install on top of each new installation. Doing so also allows to copy a system partition for a hazardous experiment.
Installing one's additions in a /usr/local partition is in principle feasible but I don't know if it's possible to convince Synaptic to install something there instead of in /usr.

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