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I just ran the upgrade from 13.04 to 13.10, since it's going to be EOL sooner than I'd expected, and had some weird issues with it. Slightly puzzled about whether it's actually worked properly or not.

Essentially, the installer hung for ages on some font. I opened Firefox to check something quickly, and then when alt-tabbing to a different window the dash disappeared momentarily, and then an error about the package tex-common appeared. I submitted an error report, at which point another message appeared saying "The upgrade has aborted. Your system could be in an unusable state. A recovery will now run (dpkg --configure -a)."

After a short while, and a few terminal prompts asking me if I wanted to keep certain config files that had changed (I opted to keep all of them) it popped up again saying "The upgrade has completed but there were errors during the upgrade process"

I ran sudo apt-get purge tex-common as well as sudo apt-get autoremove && sudo apt-get autoclean, since I figured if I got rid of that package the upgrade would work this time around. Ran the software updater again, and it told me to restart the computer to finish updates. I did, and now that it's rebooted the computer seems to think that it's running 13.10 now; "About this computer" tells me 13.10, and there is a new icon in the topright corner that has to do with my keyboard layout, which I can only assume is new with this distro.... but I'm not convinced that it's worked properly.

So, is this actually running 13.10 now, or could it be some odd hybrid? Software Updater tells me the system is up-to-date, but I don't know how to be sure of this. Is there anything I can do to check or, as I've been dreading, is my only option to nuke from orbit and start again? (Thankfully I keep the majority of my data on a different partition to my install, but it's still rather a hassle to deal with a reinstall, considering how long I've spent tweaking this to get it working the way I wanted...)

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Short Answer

Your computer is technically running 13.10, but it still retains some of 13.04's packages and configuration for tex.

Long Answer

When doing an in-place upgrade of Ubuntu, your computer needs to find it's way around your configuration. Basically, while using Ubuntu, you and your software did their own configuration, and Ubuntu needs to find a way to cope with it.

This can be problematic when doing an in-place upgrade, since Ubuntu is likely to run into a problem it has no solution for. It will try to recover, but this will effect the rest of the installation.

This may cause Ubuntu to need to retain software from earlier versions of Ubuntu. Essentially, you are using version 13.10 of the Ubuntu Core, but some peripheral software is still running for version 13.04.

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Okay. With that in mind, then, would I be better off reinstalling from scratch? I can't really be doing with an unstable system, since I need Ubuntu for work... – Jez W Jan 18 '14 at 17:54
You may have trouble using tex, but other than that your environment should be fine. However, it is wise to do a clean install in the future so that you don't have any worse problems. – Dillmo Jan 18 '14 at 17:55

You can check the linux standard base in the terminal with lsb_release -a

This will tell you if there are any missing modules.

If you do have missing modules, you can reinstall the upgrade with sudo apt-get install lsb-core

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When running that command, it tells me "No LSB modules are available.", but then the release, codename, etc. all point to it being Saucy. Is this a good or bad thing? – Jez W Jan 18 '14 at 17:52
This just means that there are no modules installed. They are not strictly necessary. According to the LSB: The goal of the LSB is to develop and promote a set of open standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any compliant system even in binary form. In addition, the LSB will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to port and write products for Linux Operating Systems. – Zetrocker Jan 18 '14 at 18:01
They do help smooth out binaries between distributions. source. You can install the applicable modules with the sudo apt-get install lsb-core – Zetrocker Jan 18 '14 at 18:07

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