I use Ubuntu since version 6.x, and every time I wanted to do an upgrade, I experienced problems and issues, mostly related to packages and sometime related to hardware. And every time, I finally found that it would have been easier to simply reinstall Ubuntu, despite the fact that I then have to reinstall my applications. But I see several advantages to this:
- You have to backup all your data to another device, since a full install also means erasing your hard disk, unless you planned id and had your data in another partition. Having a backup is always a good idea, and never hurts.
- You only have the applications that you need, no more "left-overs" of other applications you installed. It is easy to install all kinds of programs as you find them. but do you remove them once you're done ?
- Given all possible programs and utilities that are installed, and may not be ready for the new version of the distro, an upgrade to a new version is unlikely to upgrade those packages. Incompatibilities, missing libraries, etc... that can happen so easily.....
- It also gives you a chance to cleanup your files, and if you re-do the file system you eliminate all fragmentation issues that can happen in any file system, under any OS.
Yes, more work, but also a better system at the end. And this is also true of other OSes. However with Linux, the $$$ cost is the same, whether this is an upgrade or a full reinstall: ZERO. Other OSes will charge you different prices depending on whether this is an upgrade or a full install.