I did search for answers before this but what I found was slightly different so; Can I upgrade from 16.04 to 20.04 while retaining existing files etc? I have everything backed up but if able to do the above it would obviously be a lot quicker and easier.

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    I think you will need to upgrade 16.04 to 18.04 first then 18.04 to 20.04. Make sure you fully upgrade the 16.04 installation before doing the step to 18.04 and again before going to 20.04. However there are benefits in doing a clean install and restoring data. Whilst that might sound more complicated and time consuming the chances are the two approaches will take similar amounts of time – PonJar Jun 18 at 10:15
  • You can backup your home directory, then do a fresh install and restore home. Then you can reinstall all the apps that would require upgrading anyway. – C.S.Cameron Jun 18 at 11:06
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    I think a reinstall will be a lot faster. – pLumo Jun 18 at 11:31
  • Upgrade tools have two upgrade paths, from 16.04 to the next release (ie. 16.10 but it's too late for that as it's EOL), or to the next LTS or 18.04. No other upgrade path is fully QA-tested or supported. You can upgrade via re-install which is very quick & excellent for desktop installs, but not so good for server installs (system directories are wiped, and many server apps store configs in system directories; desktop apps don't putting them in $HOME). That is my usual backup strategy for a failed release-upgrade or my default if I'm in a hurry. – guiverc Jun 18 at 11:48

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