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I am using 11.04 which I started off with a Command Line System via Alternate CD then installed apps on top. When I upgrade to 11.10 soon, isit possible to upgrade just the OS, probably with the core files (Unity etc) but without the extra apps (Office etc, unless I have them installed already)

Or do I need to installed from scratch from a 11.10 Alternate CD again?

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The official way to upgrade Ubuntu from the command-line is intended to work the way you want: it should only upgrade the packages you've already got on the system.

If it does install new packages, it is because some upgraded packages have new dependencies. This applies especially to the package ubuntu-desktop, which will depend on all the new default applications. I doubt you have ubuntu-desktop installed though, as you installed the server edition.

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No actually I got the CLI system from Ubuntu Alternative CD, I think it should be Ubuntu Desktop –  Jiew Meng Oct 22 '11 at 0:26
    
The link I shared is for Ubuntu server and works from the command-line, I've edited the answer to make that clearer. –  Flimm Oct 22 '11 at 0:31

It is possible, though more complicated. Interestingly thought his method can be safer if you know what you are doing (I trust you know what you are doing?).

If you have Synaptic installed (I suggest you use Synaptic for this process):

  • open Synaptic
  • then open software sources, and change all entries from natty to oneiric, then reload your sources.
  • Manually upgrade your packages (either bit by bit, or all at once, though I suggest bit by bit).
  • When you are done you will be running 11.10, should all go smoothly.
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Usually I use apt-get not synaptic. So isit the same as open /etc/apt/sources.list then find/replace "natty" with "oneiric"? So "deb us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu natty main restricted" becomes "deb us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu oneiric main restricted"? RE "Manually upgrade your packages ... bit by bit". What do you mean by bit by bit? I think the opposite will be apt-get upgrade?. How do I do it bit by bit then? If I do it this way, might I be missing any files/apps required by the "updated" Ubuntu? –  Jiew Meng Oct 9 '11 at 5:09
    
Also I have upgraded a Ubuntu 11.04 on Virtual Box using update-manager -d then removed packaged I see in Software Center I don't need, finally ran apt-get autoremove. That should clear up the mess right (esp. what I don't see in Software Center or those Technical Packages)? So I should now have a result similar to your upgrade method? –  Jiew Meng Oct 9 '11 at 5:36
    
@jiewmeng: using update-manager -d and apt-get autoremove can work but it is not a certain method. I would suggest using something like synaptic if you can. Apt-get upgrade can work, but you are more likely to run into problems. So unless you have something against synaptic, I suggest you use that (trying to save you trouble here :). –  RolandiXor Oct 9 '11 at 12:26
    
I have no problems with Synaptic, just unfamiliar, how do I start? I tried Settings > Repositories, but how do i change to oneiric? Then how do i update bit by bit? –  Jiew Meng Oct 9 '11 at 12:54
    
@jiewmeng: I will have to update my answer when I have more time. Until then, you can get some help in the chat room (I have to get ready for church at the moment). –  RolandiXor Oct 9 '11 at 13:07

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