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Old 06-03-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
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Ubuntu upgrade question

Currently, I am a Fedora user. I have heard of the all the praises for Ubuntu and thought I would try it. However, I have heard that there is no upgrade path from one version of Ubuntu to another. Basically, to upgrade, you have do a complete install. Is this true? I know with pure Debian, you can upgrade over the internet. Also, if the upgrade fails for some reason, you can do a rollback to get back to where you were. Does Ubuntu provide this functionality as well?

This is not meant as a flame. I am trying to separate the fact from the fiction before I make my final decision.

Thank you.
Old 06-03-2008, 01:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by unixpgmr View Post
I have heard that there is no upgrade path from one version of Ubuntu to another. Basically, to upgrade, you have do a complete install. Is this true?
No this isn't true.

You can directly upgrade to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS from Ubuntu 7.10 or from Ubuntu 6.06 LTS.

Old 06-03-2008, 02:54 PM   #3
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You can always upgrade from one version of Ubuntu to the next.

There are some versions from which you cannot upgrade to the latest version, which just means that you have to perform several upgrades.

Upgrading Ubuntu online requires you to run the update program, click the "upgrade" button and at some point to enter a password. You can even continue to use your computer while the updates are downloading.
Old 06-03-2008, 07:19 PM   #4
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There are instances of users trying the upgrade path, and due to "who knows what" problem, are left with only being able to do a fresh install. A good resolution to accommodate problem resolution is to have a separate /home. Then, if you do have a problem in the upgrade path you could do a fresh install and NOT reformat /home. Your personal settings will be preserved while the heart of your system is transplanted. Just a thought.

Last edited by jglen490; 06-03-2008 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Oops!
Old 06-03-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
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Upgrade process is fine, if time-consuming. I went from Gutsy to Hardy without problems.

Yep, a fresh install would probably have been quicker, but there are sensible reasons for keeping what you had before - with all the benefits.

Just make sure you keep your current Ubuntu up to date, by letting the update manager do its stuff. If your system is ok, updating is a breeze - unless you're using dial-up!!!

Do the daily update thing and Ubuntu will tell you that you can do a distribution upgrade.

But never fall more than one distro behind: you can upgrade online from gutsy to hardy, but you can't upgrade from feisty to hardy.

*edit* Well, you can, but you still have to fill in the gaps. In my opinion, if you like Ubuntu you'll not miss out on any upgrades.

Last edited by eoinrua; 06-03-2008 at 10:27 PM. Reason: More info
Old 06-07-2008, 10:24 PM   #6
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I agree with everyone else here mostly, if you keep up to date with your updates, you should be fine. However, it should be noted that some of the applications / servers you may run on your system can benefit from a fresh install.

This may only be relevant if you are using many servers, or databases on a production machine. If it's a desktop you are looking at, then honestly you have no problems, in fact keeping ubuntu up to date is easier, IMHO, than Fedora. And I have used Fedora in the past, with great success! Still using CentOS as a Server OS, find it excellent, so size it up?

Maybe worth running ubuntu as a VM in XEN on fedora for a little bit to get a feel for it?
Old 06-07-2008, 10:32 PM   #7
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Hmmm! I have read many times that Ubuntu upgrades are very unreliable. Not so according to the apparently knowledgeable folks here. I suppose if you know what you are doing, the likelihood of success is increased considerably. Generally speaking, Ubuntu users are not known for that trait, but it sounds like the OP and the responders here have it.
Old 06-07-2008, 11:40 PM   #8
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rickh is right to be cynical, and in fairness, canonical (developers of ubuntu) are known for changing how things are done between major releases. However, you are not upgrading from Breezy or Dapper to Hardy, and canonical, including mark shuttleworth, have committed to a relatively long support period for the last three releases.

Check ubuntu's website for more info on this..
Old 06-08-2008, 02:54 PM   #9
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There is an upgrade path, but...

It is a pain to perform a clean installation. In order to do that, you have to do some form of the following. That is you have to travel around your system, and other than /home which should be backed up without a second thought, locate and backup your modifications, like changes under /etc, and any binaries you installed under /opt; and then perform the clean install.

Folks in this and the Ubuntu forums have seemed overwhelmingly to advocate a clean install, and as much as I like to believe in upgrades, I'm with the clean install folks, these days.

However, you don't have to pessimistic and just jump to that conclusion, because it makes sense to back everything up anyway, and then you can try the upgrade. If that fails, perform the clean install.

I tried a 6.10 --> 7.10 upgrade via 7.04. I wound up performing a clean install. I credit the system acting flakey to not letting the upgrade overwrite the default config files. I tried the same thing on a desktop at work, 6.10 --> 7.10 via 7.04, and let the install overwrite the config files. Everything worked fine.

7.10 --> 8.04 was a different matter. The upgrade failed on one system, and no upgrade was possible on another; it just would not run. A clean install worked on the same system on which the upgrade failed, but neither an Ubuntu, XUbuntu, nor Kubuntu alt-mode install would work on the other system. Both are laptops, and both run fine with 7.10.

I am learning more about submitting bugs in Ubuntu, and whatever happens in your install or update, if there is a failure, tar up your logs in '/var/log/dist-upgrade/' and attach them to a bug in Ubuntu launchpad.


installation, launchpad, upgrade

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