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I have a laptop that currently runs Windows 8 and Ubuntu 16.04 in dual boot mode. Both OS are installed on the same HDD but on separate partitions. I would like to upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu 18.04 but keeping Windows 8. Is it possible to upgrade ubuntu without affecting the windows partition? If so, which is the safest way to do it?

Should I use a live USB/DVD? Should I use the terminal? or the upgrade program that alerts me of the new release and offers an upgrade?

My goal is to upgrade from 16.04 to 18.04 without affecting windows and without losing data (I have a backup of my files anyway).

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You can upgrade your Ubuntu using terminal and it will not affect your other partitions.
You can do that with: sudo do-release-upgrade

See how to do that in detail here.

Even if you install the newer or other version using live disk it will not affect your Windows unless you erase the whole HDD or edit the partitioning of your HDD. See how to do that here.
You can skip the "Create Space on Your Hard Drive" part.

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As Neo said it is possible to upgrade your Ubuntu to 18.04 without affecting the Windows partition.

You can use any of the method you stated yourself. Since both OS are in different partition they wont interfere with other partitions unless specified to do so.

In my opinion it is better to turn off the Firewall temporarily than to make a custom rule to allow a TCP connection. You can turn on your Firewall once the upgrade has finished.

By default your Firewall is turned off so you can first check its status then proceed.

To check status : sudo ufw status
To start Firewall : sudo ufw enable
To stop Firewall : sudo ufw disable

P.S.
If you do make a custom rule remember to remove it after the upgrade.

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