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I am planning to upgrade my operating system Ubuntu 10.04 to Ubuntu 10.10. I want to know whether this upgrading will delete all the data or not?

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It will only upgrade programs that are installed. –  LnxSlck Oct 27 '12 at 18:57
    
It is not recommended to upgrade a still supported LTS release (10.04) to a no longer supported release (10.10). Think of upgrading to 12.04 LTS instead. –  Takkat Oct 27 '12 at 19:25

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As 10.10, and 11.04 even, are now end of life, while 11.10 will be in ~6 months, you should probably just upgrade direct to 12.04 instead.

An upgrade will only upgrade programs which are installed, though some old, unused, or no longer supported applications and libraries, may be removed during install; though you will have the option to keep them if so.

If you do an install from USB/CD-ROM/etc… then it will depend on how your system is currently partitioned, and whether you format or repartition any of it for the installation.

In either case, there is of course still risk of losing data, as there is no guarantee from Ubuntu that your hardware or power won't fail during the upgrade, or that some other external factors will not happen.

You should always back up any important and non-recoverable data.

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Specifically, an upgrade with Ubuntu installation media (USB, DVD, etc.) will erase your home directory if you do not have a separate /home partition. Unless you chose otherwise, I don't think Ubuntu makes a separate /home. Even if /home is separate, a reinstall from Ubuntu media will overwrite any extra programs you have installed, although their settings will be kept. –  thirtythreeforty Oct 27 '12 at 20:09
    
Where did you get such information? An upgrade should most certainly not erase your home directory, whether it is done via installation media, or through the update manager. –  dobey Oct 27 '12 at 23:40
    
Oops, I didn't realize Ubuntu can do a proper upgrade from CD. I've never done it that way before. To clarify: a proper upgrade will preserve everything, but a reinstall ("paving") will not. –  thirtythreeforty Oct 27 '12 at 23:51

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