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I've seen these Upgrade Notes which say that the only upgrade path from 9.04 is to 9.10. And the same notes say that the only upgrade path from 9.10 is 10.04, and so on. It seems that I would need to perform at least 5 upgrades in order to turn a 9.04 installation into a 13.04 -- I hope I misunderstood something!

Given that I have a 9.04 installation that I want to move to the newest version, what's my best course of action? There isn't a lot of stuff on the machine right now, and data is backed up.

What happens to the current installation if I simply pop in a 13.04 CD and just install that?

Finally, if it really is better to wipe the machine and start from scratch, how can I best keep track of (or even preserve!) the installed apps, settings, and so on? Everything except user data itself which is backed up.

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If you simply pop the 13.04 it might end up with mismatching libs and many configuration files being not valid to the newer software versions. Doing a

dpkg --get-selections > ~/Desktop/packages

will provide you the list of installed files wich you can recover in a fresh install. A good idea is to backup your home with the .config folders and /etc/ to achieve this I suggest you a software like LuckyBackup.

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