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I still have the Ubuntu 11.04 and I want to upgrade it to Ubuntu 13.04, but:

  1. I have a directory called /soft where I have several softwares that I have installed manually. If I make the upgrade on the operating system is there a way to mantain that directory, or ubuntu will just delete it all?

  2. And what about documents such as the /home/{myuser}/Documents, what will happen to them?

  3. Will the installed softwares remain intact?

  4. Is it advisable to upgrade the OS via terminal or is it better to format and install it all from scratch considering that there is a large gap between the OS versions?

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3 Answers 3

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  1. I have a directory called /soft where I have several softwares that I have installed manually. If I make the upgrade on the operating system is there a way to mantain that directory, or ubuntu will just delete it all?

    • I have no idea. However, I like to believe that it will not delete it. The upgrade process upgrades packages and libs and all that, but not delete directories. I think they're clever enough to know that people create directories, even in the root directory. Also, don't forget that when upgrading through the Update Manager GUI, Ubuntu gives you a list of the packages and libs that will be upgraded, removed, and no longer needed, at which point you can choose to cancel the upgrade. I also found this: How does the Ubuntu upgrade process work? Look at the second, long answer. I haven't read it all, but it could contain some insight.
  2. And what about documents such as the /home/{myuser}/Documents, what will happen to them?

    • Everything in your /home folder should stay as it is. I upgraded from 12.10 to 13.04 a few days ago, and everything in the /home folder was intact.
  3. Will the installed softwares remain intact?

    • Well, it's yes and no, but more yes. The software will remain intact, but they might be broken and not work properly. For example, after my recent upgrade, VMware Workstation was not working. I had to dig through the answers and the Ubuntu forums to find out what exactly needed to be done, and I eventually got it to work. On the other hand though, other softwares work perfectly fine.
  4. Is it advisable to upgrade the OS via terminal or is it better to format and install it all from scratch considering that there is a large gap between the OS versions?

    • It is advisable to install all from scratch, not because of the "large gap", but because of software being rendered inoperable. If it's feasible for you to backup your data, install from scratch, bring back the data, and re-configure everything, then I guess a fresh install is better. But again, an upgrade is much less of a hassle =/.

In any case, always backup your data before an upgrade.

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@pedro-victor-pontes-pinheiro, just curious, did you ever upgrade? Did it leave the /soft directory? –  Alaa Ali Jun 28 '13 at 17:52
    
I ended up formatting my pc and installed Ubuntu 14.04, so I still don't know if ubuntu deletes non-default folders on root. –  Pedro Pinheiro Nov 8 at 6:31

You can surely upgrade via the terminal. It will keep all the things in /home directory intact. But it is always advisable to take backups. I don't have any any idea whether the /soft directory will be there after upgrade but you can always take a backup of it.

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If you do an upgrade, there are chances (am not sure) that the /soft folder is retained. But in case you install it from scratch, Ubuntu will overwrite on it. Either ways, a backup is suggested.

Though logically you can upgrade from your version to 13.04, I would suggest a clean and fresh install. There are certain performance benefits some people have realized with a clean install vs an upgrade. Maybe when ubuntu settles down with a stable unity development, the upgrades would once again be at par with a clean install, but I would suggest the latter for now.

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