Scott’s excellent installation report is particularly informative if you have similar software requirements and you’re upgrading an older laptop to this new Mint release.
Linux Mint 18.3 was loaded on all my laptops when Mint 19 was originally released. I installed this first edition of Mint 19 on my testing laptop to see what advantage there might be in moving to this new release.
It didn’t take long to discover that the original Mint 19 had a couple of serious bugs. These were not of its own making but inherited from upstream sources out of its control. The fly in the ointment that kept me on Mint 18.3 with my remaining laptops was that Wine, the open-source Windows software environment I use to run a couple of important Windows programs in Mint, was next to impossible to install in a usable manner on Mint 19.
Linux Mint 19.1, the revised and updated version of Mint 19, was released the week before Christmas. I upgraded my testing laptop from Mint 19 to 19.1, and found this newest release once again up to the standards that Linux Mint is famous for.
The upgrade from Mint 19 to 19.1 was fast and easy. I used the Update Manager in Mint 19 to apply all available updates, then rebooted. Once back in the Update Manager again the Edit menu contained a new item showing the upgrade to Mint 19.1 was available. I confirmed one more time that I really wanted to upgrade. Once I did that the actual upgrade process took only a few minutes to complete on my machine.
Once the upgrade completed I rebooted and the Welcome to Linux Mint 19.1 window came up. If this is new to you it’s worthwhile exploring this Welcome window a bit. The First Steps section has some interesting information and provides access to certain useful utilities such as the Driver Manager, Desktop Layout selection, System Settings and Software Manager. These of course are available via the desktop menus, but it’s handy that they're available at first boot as well.
Next I upgraded one of my laptops which was still running Mint 18.3. That was more of a chore. The code base for Mint 19.1 is different from 18.3, and that makes the process more time consuming.
I've done all my Mint installations with a three partition setup on the hard drive I’m using. This consists of a relatively small partition, approximately 15% to 25% of the drive, assigned to “/” root, then a swap partition equal in size to the RAM installed on that machine, and finally the remainder of the hard drive (the larger part) partitioned as “/home”.
Installing Mint 19.1 in place of 18.3 on this setup I used gparted in the Installation Manager to format *ONLY* the Mint 18.3 “/” root partition, leaving the existing “/home” partition unformatted.
The installation is essentially from scratch, in that it entirely replaces Mint 18.3 in “/” root with Mint 19.1, while leaving my software and settings in place in the untouched “/home” partition.
I do my installations from a USB stick on which I’ve burned Linux Mint 19.1 Mate’. This installation process is absolutely straightforward and easy to complete. Once done it was a simple matter to reconfigure a couple of programs that needed a nudge to get them meshed with the new Mint 19.1 installation. All the rest worked flawlessly as is.
The Mate’ version of Mint 19.1 that I use works incredibly well. Installing it the way I do was beyond simple, and after applying available updates through the Update Manager everything worked as it should.
Boot time on my machines is quick. Older slower machines aren’t quite as fast so keep that in mind if you’re installing on an older computer. Once a slower machine is up and running you’ll find the performance is actually good.
Linux Mint 19.1, given all I know about it first hand, is exactly what Mint users expect from the Linux Mint development team - a solid release which has been careful thought out and developed.
Bottom line, Linux Mint 19.1 is genuinely a pleasure to use.
If you wonder whether it’s worthwhile to upgrade, or you’re not running Linux Mint at this time and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, take a moment and read this New Features in Linux Mint 19.1 Mate'
document. Think carefully about what is described there, consider how it is written and the time and exceptional care that have gone into the development and distribution process that makes Linux Mint so widely renowned.
Linux Mint 19.1 is an impressive product in every way, and it shows..