I'm working on Ubuntu 13.04 currently. I want to replace it with Ubuntu 13.10. For the same, please approve whether my approach mentioned below is right!

I have created a bootable usb stick having Ubuntu 13.10. Before proceeding ahead I would like to add how I prepared my usb stick. Using fdisk, I deleted all the partitions on the stick. I Created only 1 new partition to occupy whole 2GB of space of my usb stick. Then using mkfs created file system of ext4 type. Then using unetbootin created bootable ubuntu 13.10 from its iso.

When my laptop boots from the usb, the below options are displayed as shown in the photo. (Its not having the option for erasing the current O.S. Rather it has option for erasing the whole disk!!!) photo

I will select the option of ' something else' & proceed. Then I will delete /dev/sda5 (/boot) & /dev/sda6 (/) & swap partition & create the same partitions (/boot , / & swap) by allocating sizes. ( I think there is no compulsion to create home partition & so I wont create ).Then I will proceed to install 13.10 on these newly created partitions. After the installation completes, I will login to the 13.10 O.S. Then I will delete all files & folders under /home directory. Then I will edit /etc/fstab to mount the previous home partition /dev/sda8 (this I currently have on 13.04) on /home directory. Is that a right way please?

Also, may I create btrfs file systems this time rather than ext4 for the /boot & / partitions? This fs is new & I should try it out to see how it's better.

  • 3
    Why wont you upgrade? Jan 7, 2014 at 13:23
  • 1
    Any specific reason why you're using a /boot partition? Jan 7, 2014 at 13:24
  • Presumably, /dev/sda6 is / aka the root directory. /root is a different thing.
    – ignis
    Jan 7, 2014 at 14:49
  • 1
    Everything seems OK
    – totti
    Jan 25, 2014 at 14:40
  • 2
    Yes, it looks correct, also consider what Braiam wrote in his answer. With the swap partition you don't have to do anything, the new install can utilize that partition without any problem, not even formatting is necessary there, but you can do it of course if you want to do it.
    – falconer
    Jan 26, 2014 at 11:32

4 Answers 4


First of all, do backups. They are never extras. Then check twice and thrice what you are doing. Verify that the partitions you are removing are the ones you want to remove, by the way, is not necessary that you remove the partitions, just format them.

If you want, you can reuse the old /home just unticking the format option in the Something Else dialog. That will save you a step. Don't use btrfs for /boot, but ext4. BTRFS is still experimental and may have problems if you use it for GRUB.

  • 2
    @Downvoter: It is genuinely a good answer, please post the reason for your downvote.
    – jobin
    Jan 25, 2014 at 18:37
  • @Jobin I seem to be noticing a lot of downvoting around here, without many explanations being offered. Sad.
    – landroni
    Jan 30, 2014 at 17:12
  • "reuse the old /home just unticking the format option" Is this dangerous? Is there a chance that Ubuntu will create a new /home? Or are you supposed to have backups?
    – landroni
    Jan 30, 2014 at 17:13
  • 1
    @landroni you always are supposed to have backups inherently what you are doing (be them periodic or before the operation). And no, is not dangerous if you do it correctly.
    – Braiam
    Jan 30, 2014 at 17:14

I am assuming you want to preserve your personal files in the /home directory. This will only be possible if you do a system upgrade with the Ubuntu upgrade software or if you have a separate disk partition for /home and you manually parition your disk when you install Ubuntu.

When you select "Something else" at installation, simply set the /, SWAP, and /home paritions to their proper mount points (you can check these with the gnome-disk-utility included with Ubuntu, so take note as to which is sda1, sda2, etc.). Choose only the / partition to be formated. This will preserve your /home partition with your personal data, but will erase all Ubuntu system files and most applications you installed on top of Ubuntu 13.04.

I like having a separate /home partition and I wish Ubuntu did this by default; this would make re-installing much nicer, so I now partition my disks manually when I install Ubuntu. Depending on your disk size, I would give 10GB-30GB to the / partition. My Arch Linux install with GNOME 3.10 has 28GB for / with 21GB currently free.

Of course, you should always backup your data: the more important it is, the more copies and different places you should keep it!


If you have other computer with windows installed, or you have some neighbor,try to make bootable USB using Universal USB Installer. Sometimes,when I want to create bootable USB drive on Ubuntu,it won't work,but with this tool on windows,newer failed.

You can always try to upgrade your Ubuntu from 13.04 to 13.10. I think that this is best option for you,because you'll keep all your files and apps from previous version.


"(Its not having the option for erasing the current O.S. Rather it has option for erasing the whole disk!!!)"

This answer is only a tangential recommendation. Never trust automatic partitioning options in Ubuntu installers, as you may end up with nasty surprises. When installing Ubuntu I always prepare the partitions manually (as you seem to be planning to to do).

See Should I choose to Install alongside windows 8 or something else for an example on how manual partitioning can be approached.

  • O.K. good to know how you do. It also helps me to plan for my approach.
    – Ravi
    Jan 26, 2014 at 14:41

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