Ham on Linux – be reluctant to upgrade

Freedom from Winders isn’t exactly “free” on Linux. Freedom *always* comes with a price. This is particularly true when it comes to doing a major software upgrade – whether you are running Winders, Linux, Unix, MAC OS, etc.  There will always be some “stuff” that needs to be overcome. (At least Linux doesn’t call home to the mother ship). 😉

Previously, a few of us were talking about waiting to try an “upgrade” from Linux Mint 17.3 to the new 18.0 version. I very much agree with avoiding jumping on the “bleeding edge” just because its there.  Linux Mint 18 is a major upgrade and a long term support (LTS) version, one that will be supported for years to come (2021).  In the past, each time I have gone to a new LTS, I’ve had problems with those programs I chose to install “in addition to” their normal support. (I was on Ubuntu for years and ran into this more than once). It pays to keep track of those “special” items as you add them, including any “PPAs” and stuff like the 64 bit version of Chrome from Google, CQRLOG, CHIRP, Oracle Virtual Box, etc.  Chances are you may need to do a reinstall of them.

This is particularly true if you are running CQRLOG. If you are building a fresh install, everything goes perfectly well at present, however, if you attempt to upgrade or reuse your old configuration (~/config/cqrlog), you will run into tons of errors. This has already been reported on the Program Author’s CQRLOG forums as several have attempted to jump the gun. In the end, it may be necessary for us to do a fresh install of CQRLOG anyway, then restore our data from backups. (You *are* backing up your data right? Right?) 😉

In the mean time, my old 17.3 continues to run CQRLOG and CAT our IC-718 quite satisfactorily, and there is simply no reason for me to mess with the our Shack computer – it is doing everything I/we need it to do. Any testing I’m doing with the new stuff is on a separate virtual machine.

PCWorld put out an article on this stuff yesterday – 11 July 2016 – here is the pertinent part – although they say “Soon”, that doesn’t mean the extra items you have installed outside the “normal” system upgrades will work, (i.e. any PPA’s, etc.):


The Linux Mint project released the final version of Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” on June 30. The project is now working on an upgrade path for Linux Mint 17.3 users.
Linux Mint 17.3 users can upgrade soon

As usual, two editions of Linux Mint are available: one with the more modern Cinnamon desktop and one with the more traditional MATE desktop.

This release is a big one, being the first major new version of Linux Mint in more than two years, and a release that bumps the underlying code from Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04. That means lots of polish and new features for Linux Mint users.

At the moment, you can only get Linux Mint 18 by installing it from scratch. The Linux Mint project is working on an easy upgrade path from Linux Mint 17.3, the previous release and final version of the Linux Mint 17 series. Linux Mint 17.3 users should get a notification in Linux Mint’s Update Manager when it’s ready.

Also in July, the Linux Mint project will be working on versions of Linux Mint 18 with theKDE Plasma and Xfce desktops. If you prefer one of those desktops, stay tuned to Linux Mint’s website for more details.


UPDATE:  Well, its July 15, 2016 – and I see Linux Mint now has an upgrade path from 17.3 to 18.0 – via using the command line, the apt tool, and installing an upgrade tool named “mintupgrade” they have prepared.  Lots of command line work, and if you haven’t used “terminal” and the “apt” command – you might want to reconsider doing this.  I have not run this in our Ham Shack – (did you know Linux Mint 17.3 will be supported until 2019?) – instead, I will eventually consider doing a fresh install and simply rebuilding that system, restoring data from backups.  If you must, here is a link to their article:

How to upgrade to Linux Mint 18

Did I mention you should reconsider? 😉

This entry was posted by dave on Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 at 10:37 am and is filed under Amateur Radio, Ham on Linux . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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