Linux Mint 20 has been out for a few months now, released late June 2020.

Now I have installed in myself, going from 19.3 to 20. I have installed both the Xfce and the Cinnamon versions, but not on same laptop. The procedures for Xfce and Cinnamon are identical. But I write down notes for each machine below.

I still have an issue with scanner. But despite that I am amazed how fast and easy it is to install Linux Mint.

If you never have done an installation of any operating system and in particular any Linux operating system on your laptop or desktop, you should read some more about it, or talk to someone who knows. I am a beginner of Linux, but have done installation a couple of times before.

Maybe my notes and comments inspires you to try Linux Mint, or any Linux distribution.

Maybe my notes helps you if you run into trouble. If you get problems, don't forget Linux Mint has an active international user forum, and in some countries local user forums as well, like the Swedish user forum.

Methods to update if you have an earlier version of Linux Mint

Upgrade of Linux Mint from 19 to point releases 19.1, to 19.2 and the final 19-release 19.3 were all very smooth. It was handled by the Update manager. But going from 19.3 to 20 is more complicated. Linux Mint has an instruction and developed an Upgrade tool and I considered to use that. The other option is to make a new installation, one way or another. I asked the podcast MintCast about their thoughts, and via them also Big Daddy Linux talked about the alternatives in one of their pod episodes (the European edition).

I decided not to use the Update tool. More details below for each machine. What is best for you, you have to decide.

Remember to have a fresh backup of all your files. And notes about all softwares you need, maybe configurations and more, to make the start easier.

Linux Mint 20 Xfce Ulyana on Lenovo IdeaPad 100s-14IBR

On this cheap laptop, I only have Linux Mint 19.3 Xfce installed; no other OS. Originally it was a Microsoft Windows 10 machine. You can find my journey from Windows to Linux on several blog posts on this site, starting with Short life time for my cheap laptop. I decided to make a fresh installation; wipe the drive - do what people call "nuke and pave" (nuke n pave).

Before you start the nuke and pave installation, remember everything will be gone from the drive, so note all software you have installed, important configurations and of course back up all your files you have on this disk (which you must do also if you use the Upgrade tool).

I downloaded the new release via Linux Mint web site. I verified the file (info is available on their website) and flashed the USB stick.

Then basically I did as follows:

  • Enter Boot menu at 12:05, 12 Sep 2020
  • Select the USB stick
  • Start Mint 20 Xfce as Live; running from the USB
  • I started WiFi (password can be tricky due to not yet configured correct keyboard - there is an option to make the password visible, which is useful)
  • Start the "Install Linux Mint" button on the desktop
  • Select Language (for me that is Svenska, Swedish)
  • Select keyboard
  • Select Install multi media add-ons
  • Select Erase the drive and Install Mint.
    • Advanced option: Selected Encrypt the new Linux Mint installation. Observe I made mistake, read about it below.
    • Strangely the installation did not detect any OS. Now I'm guessing, if that could be because the disc is encrypted?
  • Select Time zone
  • Input Who am I, password etc.
    • I did not mark Encrypt home folder (it should be covered by encryption above. But not clear in the installation how I should do, it would be an improvement if help text in the installation gave some guidance about encryption of home folder if you have opted for encryption of the full disc).
  • Next step installation starts (12:18). In meantime, screens telling about the Linux Mint; included software and more.
  • Installation ready (12:31); and I restart the laptop now.
    • Remove installation medium and Enter.

Linux Mint 20 Xfce 64-bit starts and I logon 12:34! It is remarkable how fast it is to install a Linux operating system. After login to Linux Mint 20:

  • Welcome screen starts and I do the first housekeeping tasks now and wait with other:
    • Go to the Update manager and proceed with updates.
      • Restart after updates.
    • Check Drivers
    • Turn on Firewall

However the encryption appear not to be in place - what did I do wrong? I start the Live USB again and find I should have marked Both Use LVM and Encrypt. Therefore the encryption of the hard disk did not work. It was my mistake. But I think they could have made it more clear on the screen. And also that both those options are hidden under an Advanced button can make you miss this option. In my first installation I did not notice that I must first mark:

  • Use LVM with your new Linux Mint installation and then mark
  • Encrypt your new Linux Mint installation for extra security, you decide security key in next step

LVM stands for Local Volume Manager. I have started to read and learn what it means, pros and cons, but do not know enough to comment further today.

So I run the installation process again, same procedure as first time above but the additional tick box marked. Now it worked well with the encryption too.

Printer and scanner

After early troubles, it works now. My journey in summary:

I have earlier written about printers and scanners with Linux, in particular from HP in my case. See the article New life for scanner and printer with Linux. In Linux Mint 20 is HPLIP of later release included. Although not the HPLIP GUI. But that is available in the software repository. I installed the GUI, and the additional add-on. I have uninstalled, reinstalled, tried some other things I have read about. But I have not managed yet to get my HP LaserJet M1120MFP work as a scanner (printer works). It is supported and detected, but does not start. For time being, I rest my case and maybe there will come a Mint (or Ubuntu) update, or HPLIP update, that address this issue. As I understand I am not the only one with problem. The other printer, HP LaserJet 1018, have I not tested.

Update 2 October 2020: Linux Mint Monthly Newsletter, September 2020 issue under the heading USB Printer, describes issues for users of Linux Mint 20 that was working in 19.3. They suggest to remove the package "ippusbxd". I tried this, and magic the scanner was working! Printers as well. Then I installed the "ippusbxd" again, with the outcome that scanner still works...! Considering the installation on the other laptop below, my conclusion is that an update of something after the installation, has solved the issue for me.

Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon Ulyana on Lenovo ThinkPad T430s

My second machine with Linux Mint 19.3 on is this ThinkPad. This laptop I use mostly for learning Linux. I have multiple operating systems on it. The latest installation was Linux Mint 19.3 very shortly before 20 was out. Read more in my article Exploring Linux OS: Linux Mint, part #1. So on this laptop I had to act differently than on the IdeaPad above.

But again I decided for a fresh installation, not using the Upgrade tool. First I thought I should install it directly over the 19.3 installation. But then I reconsidered that I would not unlikely get issues with the Grub, so why get into potential troubles if I can avoid them. As I had enough space on the drive, I instead decided to keep 19.3 but shrink it, and install 20 on the remaining part. I may very well delete 19.3 later.

I had already downloaded the new release via Linux Mint web site. I checked the file (info is available on their website) and flashed the USB stick. Then I basically acted as follows:

  • F12 Entering Boot menu 12 Sep 2020 at 18:05
  • Select the USB stick => Start Linux Mint (live)
  • Connecting to WiFi (password can be tricky due to not yet configured correct keyboard - there is an option to make the password visible, which is useful)
  • Starting Boot Repair tool (it is a tool on the Live version. Not that I needed it, this was only to explore it))
  • Click on the Icon on Desktop "Install Linux Mint" at 18:08
  • Install language (for me I changed to svenska, Swedish)
  • Select Keyboard layout
  • Select Install multi media add-ons
  • Select Install Linux Mint along with existing Operating systems.
  • Next Allocate space for Linux Mint 20 by decreasing Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia. This means I keep 19.3. One reason is not to damage Grub during installation. Instead I will probably delete 19.3 another time. I allocated 19.6 GB for Mint 19.3 and 46.1 GB for Mint 20.
    • No option to encrypt the full drive, because of multiple OS.
    • Install now.
  • Select Time zone
  • Insert User name etc. I decided for no encryption of home folder.
  • Installation starts at 18:16.
  • Installation ready at 18:23, restarted at 18:24.
  • GRUB menu is updated, but only as small text rows.

After login to the new installation of Linux Mint 20:

  • Check Drivers
  • Turn on Firewall
  • Update manager - do all updates
  • Install "Grub2-theme-mint". Grub looks better now (after another restart)! It looks like before. I do not know why the theme was not included in the installation this time - when I installed 19.3 it was there out of the box. There is also a "grub2-theme-mint-2k". I read in the known issues about that the Grub menu can be very small, that is where I found how to update the Grub menu theme. Both themes are available to download and install from the software repository

Checking that all other OS still works (starts): Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, elementary 5, Ubuntu Studio 20, Debian 10 and Linux Mint 19.3.

Printers and scanners

In short, they work. But not in the early days of the release, but now later after some ordinary system updates.

I have only checked that my HP scanner is not working, But I have not tried to solve it yet on this machine, see above how I have started to analyze it on my IdeaPad. When I solve on one of the machines, I do it on next machine. In the meantime I have other options when I need to scan.

Update 2 October 2020: When I try today, scanner as well as both printers works! My best guess is that an update of something after the installation has solved the issue. Otherwise, the Linux Mint montly newsletter, September 2020 issue under heading USB Printer Support describes troubles occuring in Mint 20 that worked in Miny 19.3, and suggest that removal of package "ippusbxd" can make it working again.

Henrik Hemrin

16 September 2020

3 October 2020 (additional info about fix for printers and scanners)

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