I've been using Linux for eight years, LTS releases of Ubuntu for five; I'm comfortable with the system, and okay with command line, but not an expert user by any stretch. I've reached a point where third-party software requires libraries that aren't available in my current 16.04. The libraries I need are
libc++abi-8-dev, and they are available in the
bionic-updates repository -- so, 18.04, with an optional (still from Canonical) library.
Every time I've attempted to upgrade a Linux install, however, I've had one or another failure that required a clean install to fix -- and my experience is that installing clean, re-enabling the necessary repositories/ppas, and reinstalling the software I choose to use takes a full day if it goes smoothly (might run into a second day if there are problems). I have two machines to upgrade; my desktop (with many third party applications) and my laptop (fewer third party apps, but slower processor and network connection), and I'm reluctant to run both upgrades or installs at the same time, because I want to have a working machine to use to look up solutions in case of a problem.
That means I have to allow at least a weekend to upgrade -- with the possibility of needing a second weekend.
Both systems are kept up to date, with update notification (so I can load updates when I'm ready, rather than having them interrupt other things). I'm aware of the Synaptic capability to export a list of my installed packages, and to import such a list to automatically install listed items, and have used that in the past. My
/home is in a separate partition, so I can easily drag in or create launchers for third party software that comes as equivalent of a
What else can I do to make this process smoother and less painful?