This is an end of support announcement for users of Linux Mint 14, 15 and 16. Please upgrade to Linux Mint 17 as soon as possible!
Linux Mint 16 has reached end of support today, July 17th. If you are still on Linux Mint 14 or 15, those have reached end of support on May 16th and January 27th this year respectively (Linux Mint 15 had half the support period of Linux Mint 14). Linux Mint 17 is supported till April 2019; please upgrade to it as soon as possible.
What about Linux Mint 13?
If you are still on Linux Mint 13, you’re fine as it is supported till April 2017 (however, new versions of Linux Mint developed software like Cinnamon, MATE, and the Mint tools will not be available on Linux Mint 13. For the remainder of its support period, Linux Mint 13 only receives updates for security issues.
What does “end of support” mean for me?
End of support means that you will no longer receive updates for security issues on your installed software (be that your operating system or programs you use). Most critical this means you will not receive updates to your web browser (and haven’t received them in quite some time for Linux Mint 14 and 15), which as time goes by makes it increasingly risky and unwise to use it for anything serious like online banking. Your web browser is the weakest link on your computer.
Users of Linux Mint 14 and 15 may already also be noticing problems while updating or trying to install new software; the servers from which updates and new software is installed are being shut down. This will result in errors in Update Manager and Software Manager. While you can take steps to remove these errors, the fact remains that you will never be getting updates for Linux Mint 14, 15, and 16 again.
How do I upgrade to Linux Mint 17?
The recommended way is to do a clean installation, as described in this tutorial: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2. You can install Linux Mint 17 from DVD or from a USB thumb drive (for USB thumb drives, see this tutorial: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/744).
You can download Linux Mint 17 from here: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
When should I upgrade, right now?
The intent of this announcement is not to make you rush recklessly into upgrading 🙂 Take your time to prepare the steps, make sure you have backed up your important personal files and settings, but try and plan to do the upgrade shortly — say before end of July or early August.
For Linux Mint 14 and 15 you’ll understand there is some more urgency to upgrade, or at least be extra careful on the Internet as you’re using an outdated browser that has known security issues.
Will I have to upgrade again in 6 months?
Linux Mint 17 is supported till April 2019, so no you don’t have to upgrade again in 6 months. For the entire support period of Linux Mint 17 you’ll receive updates for security issues.
Between now and the release of Linux Mint 18, which you can expect mid 2016, releases of Linux Mint (17.1, 17.2, and so on) will all based on Linux Mint 17. Those releases will give you new versions of Linux Mint developed software like Cinnamon, MATE, and the Mint tools, and new versions of other popular software as well as enablement of drivers for newer hardware. You’ll have the option to upgrade in-place to those releases without needing to do a clean installation.