Replace Mint Cinnamon with latest Manjaro Cinnamon in a dual-boot setup

I have a dual-boot desktop system with Windows XP and Mint Cinnamon 17.3 I have been trialing Manjaro Cinnamon on a laptop and I like it a lot, it’s faster, has more recent apps, and I love the ‘Rolling’ release part (just to mention a few). So It’s time to upgrade my old desktop computer from Mint Cinnamon 17.3 to the latest version of Manjaro Cinnamon.

The current install is in ‘legacy’ BIOS with Windows XP on the first primary partition and Linux Mint in 3 logical partitions, been: /Root, /Swap, and /Home.

For now I still need Windows XP for some applications, so I want to keep it as ‘Dual-Boot’ I was wondering if I can keep the existing /Home partition when upgrading to Manjaro?
I know I could install a newer Mint version by using ‘Something else’ and overwrite /Root and /Swap, and point /Home to the existing /Home, don’t tick format and that will merge my existing /Home folder with the new one. I’m not sure I can do that when changing to a different distro?? Some of the issues I can think off are:

  1. The applications included in the latest version of Manjaro are most likely also newer versions than the once in Mint 17.3 and some that exist in Mint do not exist in Manjaro and vice-versa.
    Also some of the files from those applications are located in the /Root and some in /Home? Will that cause issues? as I will have a mixture of old and new files for a given application and old files of applications I don’t have anymore?

  2. I also added applications (that were not originally included with the distro) they also have files in both /Root and /Home what should I do with them prior to upgrading? should I backup the data to an external HDD and uninstall the application and then reinstall the application in the new install and restore the data?

  3. As it is a dual-boot with Windows XP, what extra steps/precautions should I take to make sure Windows will be left untouched and will still be available in ‘Grub’?

Thanks for your help

I’m definitely not an expert but I did come from mint cinnamon to manjaro-cinnamon so I’ll answer any questions I can.

You can manually partition manjaro and replace each partition with the the corresponding manjaro or remove mint partitions before installing…

Manjaro will detect windows and give you the choice to install alongside windows but my default os-prober is off in manjaro so you’ll need to update grub to detect windows.

I did a timeshift backup to external drive with cinnamon and then just restored the settings etc I wanted. Probably a better way but that’s what I did. Thunderbird wouldn’t accept any of my mint configs because manjaro was a much newer version.

Definitely prefer manjaro to mint, feels snappier and prefer the package management. But remember manjaro is a rolling release so regular backups and keeping the system upto date is a must

Me too, I initially switched from Linux Mint Cinnamon to Manjaro Cinnamon. @nightmare-2021 does a fine job of maintaining it. I use GNOME now, but don’t tell him that. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Why? EFI has been around for about 10 years or more. Is your PC older than that?

No, you don’t. XP is long dead and unsupported. Vista and 7 are following right behind. The security risk isn’t worth it.

What applications?

Backup your important files from the Linux Mint partition. Then when you install Manjaro, choose the Mint partition to install and it will replace it. It will use the existing swap parititon. Then you can restore personal files if you wish. DO NOT use the same home directory.

Well yes it’s from 2012 with a series 3 processor i5 3470

3 applications: MYOB, Chief Architect, FoofWorks
There are alternatives for MYOB that are 100% online, but they all have a monthly price
There are also online alternatives for Chief Architect, but I haven’t tried them yet
But there are no alternatives for FoodWorks (a nutritional labeling database for the Australian market)

All of those have updated versions that work in Win 7, 8, 10 but all at a significant cost!