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I am talking only about fixed release distros NOT ROLLING DISTROS>
Which method is the safest way to do
1.Install a new version or
2.upgrade an existing(previous) version to next version?
The operating systems and distros considered are : Linux in general,Debian Stable,Ubuntu LTS and Ubuntu non lts versions .
So,please tell me clearly which method is better/safer/more stable?
upgrade will probably upgrade the packages you have, the fresh install will use a default set of packages (and of course you can modify it in both cases). Usually a fresh install works and an upgrade may fail sometimes.
FWIW - I have never had an upgrade work correctly without breaking something in the process. This is on Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora, and CentOS. I have ALWAYS ended up wiping the system and installing the new version from scratch eventually anyway, which ends up fixing all of the problems that were introduced during the upgrade.
I know it sounds like an ordeal to wipe and re-install, but in my experience it actually takes me LESS time to wipe, reinstall, and set all of my programs and settings back up than it takes to upgrade and fix the associated problems and failures. Just keep good backups and good documentation, and setting your system back up after a reinstall should only take a couple of hours.
Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 02-04-2013 at 01:14 PM.
Also FWIW, I have had nothing but good experiences upgrading Debian stable between releases.
I have one production server that started life as Etch and is soon to be Wheezy, with Lenny and Squeeze and a new mb & hdd in between.
The excellent release notes provide methods that have been thoroughly tested and warnings about any configuration changes between versions.
Provided you don't have 3rd party packages installed, it is really pretty painless and reliable.
I'd say it depends on the distro. Often they express their opinion somewhere, and I'd always take their advice. Another guide is how its done.
If you upgrade by just switching repositories and using some tool, I think that can easily go wrong because its basically unintelligent. Salix, for example, gives a guide to upgrading manually and it involves deleting some things and adding new ones, not just replacing all existing packages by newer versions.
If you have an installation disk (like the Fedora DVD) that offers upgrading as an option, then someone has worked out a script to do what needs to be done and it's usually successful.