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I know this question is subjective, but I'll ask:

I've read about various fails during upgrading to the newest version of Ubuntu. (i.e. from Raring to Saucy) That's why I want to know: What is the safest way to upgrade? I've found the following methods:

  • sudo do-release-upgrade
  • Using the provided GUI upgrader (which I guess uses do-release-upgrade)
  • Burn a DVD/Make a bootstick with the new version and upgrade via installer.

Please add other methods, if there are any. I'd like to have explained answers, and not "Way X is the best!". Again: I know it's subjective, but I think there are many people with the same question so I think is worth an answer.

PS: I don't want to do a reinstallation.

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My opinion would be to install Ubuntu from a fresh installation, you will cut down any chances of coming up against problems during install. – scouser73 Oct 28 '13 at 18:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I strongly recommend that you do a "clean installation", whereby you back up your data, and then install from scratch, and restore your data.

But, since you have already said you don't want to do that, then I suggest you use sudo do-release-upgrade from one of the TTYs, which you can get to with Ctrl+Alt+F1. Login with your sudo-capable user, then do sudo do-release-upgrade.

Like with any OS upgrade, I strongly advise you to back up your critical data that you don't want to lose. It is possible to lose your data during an upgrade, and you should ALWAYS back up your data.

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I alwaya back up all my data before doing such things... I already experienced a great data loss when replacing WinXP by Win7. – the_Seppi Oct 28 '13 at 18:05
It's a generic warning I put out there. – Thomas Ward Oct 28 '13 at 18:05

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