Tutorial: How to Upgrade from Linux mint 20, 20.1, or 20.2 to the new 20.3 version

 In a previous article, we recovered the most important new features that the beta version of Linux Mint 20.3 brings, and several days ago, the developers of the distribution announced the availability of the final stable version of Linux Mint 20.3, after  many usability issues since the beta release. And since the final version is the same as the beta version only with some quality updates, we decided not to write an article about the final version of the distribution because it will only be copy-and-paste from the previous article with nothing new to say.

On the other hand, after reviewing the official distribution site about the steps to upgrade from previous versions, especially from versions 20, 20.1, 20.2 to the new version 20.3, we noticed that they are not detailed and not sufficiently explained. That's why we decided to dedicate today's article to talk in detail about the stages of completing this upgrade so that the average user understands how to do it easily.

Note: This version comes with an updated mint-Y theme, if you want the previous version of the theme run the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install mint-themes-legacy

First, launch the update manager, and refresh the distribution's repositories to find the latest available updates for the current version you're using.

If there are any updates available, install them first, and restart your computer before upgrading your system.

If there are no updates available, go to the Edit menu, and choose the "Upgrade to Linux Mint 20.3" option.

Click the "Next" button in the window that will appear.

In the next window, you will find a link to the release notes, which will direct you to a webpage with some known issues with this version and ways to solve them if you encounter them after finishing the upgrade process. After reviewing them, close your browser window and click on the "Next" button at the bottom of the upgrade window.

In the next window, you will find a link to a web page containing the new features in the new version 20.3, of Linux Mint, most of which we talked about in a previous article. Check it out if you like, then close the browser, and click the "Next" button again at the bottom of the upgrade window.

Before proceeding with the upgrade process, you must first make a backup copy of your operating system so that you can restore it (by booting the installation disc to live mode) in case there is a problem that prevents your system from booting after the upgrade process. Linux Mint already has a tool that enables you to perform system backups called TimeShift. Search for it in the installed programs list and open it.

Enter your password in the window that will appear, and the main page of TimeShift will open. If this is your first-time running Time Shift, the following window will appear. 

If you chose the BTRFS file system when you've installed Linux Mint, choose the BTRFS option from this window: If you choose the ext4 file system or installed the distribution directly by selecting erase all your hard disk data option, choose the RSYNC option. Press the "Next" button after that.

Be patient for the program to estimate the size of your operating system, and then select the place where you will save the backup copies on your hard drive. You can leave the default options suggested by the program as they are and click the Next button at the bottom of the window.

In the next window, you can choose the frequency at which the backups will be created automatically (monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly). Choose the option that suits you, and then click on the Next button.

Choose in the window that comes next if you want the backup process to include your files in the home folder, or just make a copy of the necessary files for the system to work. Click the Next button again afterward.

Click Finish on the next window.

Note: Please always back up your personnel files to an external disk or USB flash drive before an upgrade. Time Shift may help you recover your system files, but there is no guarantee that it will do the same with your personnel files.

Now that the Time Shift configuration process is finished, click the Create button at the top of the program window to start creating a backup of your system. 

Depending on your device's hardware and the size of the files you chose to back up, this process will take some time.

After the backup process is finished, press the close button at the bottom of the window.

Close the TimeShift window, and back to the upgrade window. Select "I understand the risk, I want to upgrade to Linux Mint 20.3 Una" and click the Apply button.

Enter your password, and the upgrade process will begin.

The upgrade manager will download and install the necessary files to update and upgrade the system. This process will be done automatically without the need for any intervention from you.

 This process  will take some time depending on your computer hardware and your internet speed.

After the downloaded files are successfully installed, the system will tell you that the upgrade process was completed successfully. Just restart your computer and enjoy the new version of Linux Mint 20.3.

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