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And if so, how?

The only way I found was by a new install, and I'd like to know if there is an alternative like in previous versions.

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marked as duplicate by psusi, Rinzwind, Basharat Sialvi, belacqua, bcbc Apr 25 '13 at 19:21

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.… should answer all your questions. – Rinzwind Apr 25 '13 at 14:35
ubuntu 13.04 is no longer a development version. But I agree it might be a duplicate anyway – Uli Apr 25 '13 at 14:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are two ways to upgrade to 13.04 without loosing your data:

  • You can upgrade your current install

You will get a promt asking you to upgrade in a couple of days (2 weeks after release I think), or you can upgrade now by typing sudo do-release-upgrade in a terminal

  • You can install over your current installation without formating the drive

    • Download ubuntu 13.04 and create a startup USB disk or burn it to a CD/DVD.
    • Install as you normally would.
    • When asked select "Upgrade Ubuntu 12.10 to 13.04"

Your data should not be overwritten, but it is good practice to back up your data anyway.

If you have a more complicated set up (such as separate /home partition) you can select "something else" and assing your partitions as you did before. But make sure not to put the checkmark to format you "/home" partition

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An upgrade should preserve your data.

However you should make a backup of any important data.

Making a backup should not be considered optional, a best practice or recommended, I would say it is an absolute. If you need to buy an external drive, a bunch of USB sticks or whatever, this is something you just really really should do.

Regardless of version control systems or whatever, I always backup files before upgrades, running sed scripts, reorganizing files, etc.

Any task that might, conceivably mess up the files, will eventually do that. If it only has a 0.1% chance per day then once every 3 years it will (on average) happen.

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