Mint 16: How to upgrade from RC to Stable (MATE/Cinnamon editions)
by clem 36

Important notes

If you used PPAs during the RC, it is strongly recommended that you perform a fresh installation with the stable ISOs, especially if you used the xorg-edgers PPA.

Fix APT priorities

Open a terminal and type the following command:

In Cinnamon:


Once the file is open, remove the last paragraph which sets a priority 700 on Launchpad. Your file should then look like this:

Save the file and type the following command to reload your APT cache:

Apply all safe updates (level 1 and 2)

  • Run the Update Manager
  • Click on the “Clear” button
  • Select all Level 1 and Level 2 updates
  • Click on “Install Updates”

Downgrade Synaptic

Open a terminal and type:

36 thoughts on “Mint 16: How to upgrade from RC to Stable (MATE/Cinnamon editions)

  1. Hartmann Maier Nov 30,2013 10:18

    Thx Clem – well done!

    • hi Mar 18,2014 00:05

      You people think this is so cool. Well apple is going to sue this company.

      • rayratliff Apr 26,2014 15:05

        Please explain why Apple will sue, I do not understand?



      • Apple Fanboys Must Perish May 25,2014 20:06

        Yeah… Apple has no ground to sue anyone and they are shit company that instead of innovating they steal and litigate other peoples ideas. They have no claim to any linux distro. Apple OS X is for the posh. Windows and Linux both curb stomp OS X.

  2. Linoslav Nov 30,2013 14:49

    Thanks! Everything went smoothly!

  3. L.M.aka Linux Mint Nov 30,2013 15:41

    Ty – useful tut. Reinstall of RC solved the nm-applet crash. Petra seems to be good release. How long is support? 8 months?

  4. Mike Thorsten Nov 30,2013 16:28

    What if I only switched on xorg-edgers PPAs to grab nvidia-graphics-driver-331 and nvidia-settings-331, and immediately toggled the PPA off after this? I.e. I didn’t grab any org xorg-related packages from that PPA, and I didn’t do a system update/upgrade with the PPA switched on?

  5. Kiko53s Nov 30,2013 16:47

    gksu gedit /etc/apt/preferences.d/official-package-repositories.pref

    FYI, going to do a clean install but I did try this command and I get a blank file.


    Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon (current)

  6. Kirk M Nov 30,2013 16:49

    Many thanks for the info, Clem. The only PPAs I added to the RC (Cinnamon) was the ones added by the .debs for Google Earth and Google Chrome plus one from “Webupd8” to install the “gpaste” (the daemon and nothing else) that’s required for the “Gpaste” applet. That’s it. I’ve also update the RC via MintUpdate on a daily basis since release.

    I did change my “/etc/apt/preferences.d/official-package-repositories.pref” file as per instructions, refreshed the cache and ran Mint Update but had nothing to clear and nothing to update after clicking “Refresh” which makes sense since I already updated earlier this morning (MintUpdate to version 4.5.6–that was the only update).

    I also downgraded Synaptic, it now shows as version 0.75.12build1.

    All in all, it sounds like I’m good without having to install the final.

    I have a question about Synaptic though. Clicking “Settings/Repositories” brings up the old Debian style “software sources” window and not “mintsources”. I take it this is out of your hands? It’s completely understandable if it is.

    Again, a fine release. Mint just keeps getting better and better.

    • Monsta Nov 30,2013 18:09

      If Synaptic doesn’t find software-properties-gtk, it shows its own built-in dialog for editing the repositories. And of course, software-properties-gtk package isn’t installed anymore in Mint :)

      • Kirk M Dec 1,2013 15:19

        That’s pretty much what I figured although I had forgotten about Synaptic’s own built-in dialog, that’s how long I’ve been used to “software-properties-gtk” and now MintSources. I did notice that “software-properties-gtk” was on the list of “Recommends” but I certainly wasn’t going to install it.

        Heh, if I was younger I’d try my hand at a bit of programming and see if I could hook Synaptic’s “Settings/Preferences” to the MintSources dialog but younger was a long time ago. It’s all I can do to pay attention these days. ;-)

  7. Alex Dec 1,2013 03:50


    I’ve been waiting for Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon for months, only to find out today that there is a problem with Unetbootin. How can I make Unetbootin boot Linux Mint 16? The point is that I can install Linux Mint 16 using Unetbootin, but when I reboot and after I see the linux Mint logo, there suddenly appears a message saying something along the lines of “cannot find file containing system files or kernel or so”. So how shall I modify the files that Unetbootin installed on my hard drive to get into live mode?

  8. gerry Dec 1,2013 18:00

    seemed to install fine for me.
    inxi -F
    System: Host: Kernel: 3.11.0-12-generic x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: Gnome Distro: Linux Mint 16 Petra
    Machine: System: Acer product: Aspire R3700
    Mobo: Acer model: TDPS05 R3700 Bios: American Megatrends version: P01-A1L date: 07/30/2010
    CPU: Dual core Intel Atom CPU D525 (-HT-MCP-) cache: 512 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 ssse3)
    Clock Speeds: 1: 1795.416 MHz 2: 1795.416 MHz 3: 1795.416 MHz 4: 1795.416 MHz
    Graphics: Card: NVIDIA GT218 [ION]
    X.Org: 1.14.3 drivers: (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) FAILED: nouveau Resolution: 1280×720@60.0hz
    GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on NVA8 GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 9.2.1

  9. Serge Dec 2,2013 03:34

    I’ve followed these instructions. But why is it necessary to downgrade synaptic and to modify the official-package-repositories.pref file? I’m curious, I don’t know why those steps are necessary.

    • clem Dec 2,2013 10:58

      Hi Serge,

      Synaptic, because the version in saucy features 2 bugs which make the application crash.

      The priorities… that’s a bit complicated. We wanted to make using PPAs easier so we elevated their priority to 700 (to match ours). This made PPA packages as important as ours. The problem, which we did not anticipate is that PPA maintainers are used to having their old packages obsoleted by newer versions in Ubuntu, they’re not used to have their PPA take priority over Ubuntu.. so if a PPA provides packages which are also in Ubuntu, with priority 700, that package takes priority over the Ubuntu version, even if it’s lower, which can cause package conflicts and incompatibilities between the PPA and the Ubuntu base. PPA maintainers focus on adding functionality, not on maintaining a repository which can pin Ubuntu. Making PPAs easier to use was definitely a good idea, but the way this was implemented in the RC was wrong, and so it was reverted prior to the stable release.

  10. roscoe Dec 2,2013 04:50

    I too have been waiting with bated breath for this new distro and when the RC came out I dithered, I was willing to wait the extra couple of weeks to get the final but the need for the new toy over ruled my usual behaviour as the months end drew closer
    I installed the RC on Thursday, so when the final came available I found this page on upgrading, so without wasting time i followed the directions, unfortunately I did not realise just how long it would take, so yesterday, Sunday, I tried twice to upgrade and I did not seem to be succeeding so I burnt a DVD, I was going to do a fresh install, I have some sad memories of trying to upgrade Ubuntu a couple of years ago and it was a failure, I had to do a fresh install. But this time I emailed a friend and threatened to visit him this morning, which i did and he had no problems at all, so I came back and did the operation again but this time after I entered the apt update command I went and cooked a meal, came back and entered the apt install synaptic/petra command and then went and read the paper and when i came back it was all finished
    I obviously did not allow the time required originally but now all is good
    Thank You Mint Team, it is the bestest distro so far bar none!

  11. Prabhat Jain Dec 2,2013 09:52

    Thanks for sharing.

    I have applied the changes, but how can I be sure that I indeed have the mint 16 and not the RC version of it?

    • clem Dec 2,2013 11:00

      If you followed these instructions you’re good to go. The RC and the Stable release provide the same version of Mint, the latter just contains more bug fixes, which you applied with these instructions.

  12. Monsta Dec 2,2013 16:51

    Hi Clem,

    Sorry for the little offtopic, but I saw you just forked indicator-sound and indicator-sound-gtk2, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask: can you please package them for LMDE later?

    These packages are missing in Debian repositories, and it would be very convenient to have them (for using with MATE, for example).

  13. Theo4free Dec 3,2013 03:07

    Hi Clem,

    Even RC work absolutely problem free….
    Every mint is better and better, and if you coninue this way mint will stay long on first place on distrowatch! And it should!!!

    Thanks, very much!

  14. jimbob Dec 3,2013 08:06

    is there a tutorial showing what steps are needed to perform a online upgrade from mint 15 to 16? I know there is an old one on the forums but seems out of date and I’m reluctant to follow it.

    • Hugo Masse Dec 10,2013 19:09

      As far as I know, Mint’s suggestion hasn’t changed even when the names of version sound outdated. That is: it is recommended that you backup your files (Mint provides a tool to do that that you can use) and perform a clean install, i.e. install LM16 from the iso file for the version you want to start using. Of course, before that you can try it out in a live dvd or usb.

  15. LMcrf Dec 3,2013 15:51

    everythimg works prfect (HPCompaq 7600 sff)
    Select all Level 1 and Level 2 updates
    Click on “Install Updates
    After install updates is it better (for stable and security) to leave level 1 and level 2 only selected or select again level 3 ?

  16. Tom Dec 4,2013 23:00

    I love Linux Mint 15 and have been waiting for LM16 for months, but am frustrated because I cannot boot into the live environment of Linux Mint 16!
    Linux Mint 15 worked perfectly as a frugal HDD install via unetbootin and out of the box! (dual boot with WinXP). So I wonder why Linux Mint 16 does not work in the same way ;-(

    I am able to install Linux Mint 16 using Unetbootin, and when unetbootin prompts me to reboot, I do so. However, after I see the green linux mint logo, there appears the following message and it stops booting into the live environment:

    BusyBox v1.20.2 (Ubuntu 1:1.20.0-8ubuntu1) built in shell (ash)
    Enter ‘help’ for a list of built-in commands.
    (initramfs) Unable to find a medium containing a live file system

    I found an article online by someone who says that Linux Mint forgot to rename one folder (/boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu instead of /boot/efi/EFI/linuxmint) and that this is why there is some UEFI boot problem (I am no expert, so I do not know whether what that means or whether this problem has anything to do with my issue, but maybe I could fit the issue by renaming one folder in the iso? By changing it from “ubuntu” to “linuxmint”?) Here’s the article. Look forward to suggestions.



  17. newbiewon Dec 12,2013 16:07

    Dear Linux Mint Team,

    Your recomendations were to upgrade from the Mint Mate and Cinnamon editions.

    Will you make another recommendation on how to upgrade from the RC to Stable with KDE edition?

    While I love what you are doing with Cinnamon and Mate is what got me to come to you way back during Mint 5, I have really become a KDE user. So I want to download KDE RC but not if I have to completely reload with the stable version.

    By the way, your backup utility works great and I have used it to backup Cinnamon, Mate, and KDE versions.

    Last question and then I will let you go, how is the LMDE or Debian version coming along. Any chance you will have the next update package ready soon?

    I know, we never leave you alone long enough to finish anything…but you know you are loved by all or we would not care!


    • clem Dec 13,2013 08:57


      Yes, probably. Whatever happens there will be an upgrade section in the stable announcements.

  18. David Wardley Dec 16,2013 02:44

    Briefly – I may need to give up!! After a whole week of enthusiasm and install of mint 15 and mint 16 (both 64 and 32 bit)and on two generic PC machines I have no way of playing my music or using my Canon MG6150. I note too that hundreds of other keen users have these same problems, and even those who speak the associated foreign “geek” language rarely have the solution. I have a dedicated 250mb hdd for linux,and fully intended to adopt it. If anyone can tell me of a distribution that will run all the peripheral gear required to make a machine useful, please tell me. Like most I don’t have a uni degree in programming. Linux could literally take off overnight if it wasn’t riddled with these problems. Let’s have some honesty – whilst it can be great fun it is yet well short of acceptable in many respects as a serious working OS for the masses. If I can change this view by weeks end I will.

  19. David Wardley Dec 16,2013 02:56

    ERROR “I have a dedicated 250mb hdd’ Well that’s bit light even for Linux!

  20. Tom Dec 16,2013 04:48

    Hallo Clem,

    When I try to boot into the live environment of Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon, it says “cannot find file image to boot from”(not exact wording).

    Regarding the Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon release notes: You wrote:

    “Linux Mint 16 places its boot files in /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu to work around a bug in Ubuntu 13.10.”

    Therefore, can you explain where to copy the file or files to, so that I can boot Linux Mint 16, PLEASE? I had been waiting for LM16 for months and would love to finally use it!

    Thank you in advance.


  21. Paolo Feb 16,2014 03:31

    I read RC everywhere. What is RC?

    • ThePope Mar 24,2014 14:45

      Roman Catholic

      • clem Mar 25,2014 12:15

        Release Candidate (in other words it’s our first shot at a stable release, knowing perfectly well that you guys always find more bugs..).

  22. Wouter May 17,2014 08:08

    This version is soooo smooth!!!
    Everything working perfect out of the box and much less configuration
    to be done!Just feels even more solid than Petra. Cinnamon is now really
    growing up! Thanx Clem!!!

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