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I have limited internet and was wondering if it uses less bandwidth to upgrade to 12.04 through update manager or if it is the same dowload size as an ISO image downloaded from the website. Which would use the least amount of internet?

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faster than what? :) You're giving only one option... – Sergey May 2 '12 at 9:23
Fail! I edited it and gave another option =P ... (instead of downloading it from the website) – Anonymous May 2 '12 at 9:31

If you want it to be faster (more speed and less time) , do this

Install apt-fast from

and then run the command

sudo apt-fast dist-upgrade

Download size will be the same in this case but it will be faster because of multiple internet connections.

If you are still getting lesser download speeds, I recommend downloading the 12.04 CD and upgrading from it (backup required data in case something goes wrong)

The difference between two installations is

1)Update manager will update all the packages installed on your system to newer versions if available in 12.04

2)CD upgrade will try to update only some packages of 11.10 to match default packages of 12.04 and if not possible might update some dependencies as well but tries to be minimal.

So obviously, 2nd one is more faster

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I was wondering which would use the least internet (more internet more cost$$$) – Anonymous May 2 '12 at 9:32

Download size when using Update Manager depends on the number of applications you have installed on your machine - generally, I never saw the number below 700Mb and sometimes it was as high as more than 2Gb, so if all you need is a running Ubuntu 12.04 in any shape or form then a clean install would use less bandwidth.

However, if you're going to make a clean install and then re-install all applications you have currently installed (and it's likely you'll need to install updates to be able to do that too) - then the difference would be much less. Or maybe even the second method would take more bandwidth.

So, the final answer is "it's about the same, plus-minus a few Mb" :)

Cold hard numbers: I installed Kubuntu 11.10 in VirtualBox then tried to upgrade it to 12.04 - the upgrade tool said it needs to download 614 Mb. The ISO size was 701 Mb. So we may assume that upgrading requires slightly less bandwidth (<100 Mb difference) than downloading the ISO and then re-installing all the software.

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You won't need all packages on CD due to localization I guess. You can find out how much space is used by: for i in `dpkg -l | awk '{print $2}' | tr "\n" " "`; do apt-cache show $i | grep Installed-Size; done | awk '{SUM += $2} END { print SUM/1024/1024 }' and then decide (Attention this will take a while). Also I recommend to remove big packages before upgrading: You identify them easily with synaptic. All in all I recommend upgrade over new install in most cases as its easier. – math May 2 '12 at 9:47
@math: Yep, the logic says that there should be stuff on the CD which is not needed... but, as I said, in practice I never saw an upgrade to require less than the size of the CD. I'm wondering if I have a vanilla Ubuntu instance in Virtualbox to try to upgrade... – Sergey May 2 '12 at 9:53
As you said installed apps are usually consuming much more space as plain ubuntu installation. But you have to reconfigure all services and apps when you set up a new box. Usually you will use the box the same way as before so you need to install the "additional" apps anyway.. However I think we agree basically: Whats best for him would be: consider which apps your really need, keep only those and upgrade. – math May 2 '12 at 10:00
Yep, I agree - I hate when I need to re-install everything – Sergey May 2 '12 at 10:07

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