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Having run into many snags and stability issues when upgrading (update-manager -d) from just release to release (For example: 13.04 - 13.10), I soon learned and have been told that it is always more reliable to just do fresh installs.

However, when it comes to LTS to LTS upgrading (update-manager -d), I was told by a #ubuntu op that this is AS RELIABLE as doing a fresh install. I have a hard time understanding how that can be. If just release to release is prone to instability, what makes an LTS to LTS upgrade any different? How can it be as reliable as a fresh install?

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the short answer is no. An upgrade is always a risk of something going wrong. You should always backup your files before you do an upgrade.

An LTS to LTS or normal to normal release doesn't really matter it's still the same risk of something going wrong.

the tip that LTS to LTS would be more stable has some truth in it. It's true that the LTS release is more stable than the normal releases if you have semi-new hardware that's well supported.
If you have the newest hardware then it wont be fully supported (in most cases) which will result in a more unstable system.

But a new LTS system is still a new Ubuntu version and is as unstable as any new release. which means bugs and problems can occur just as often as with any other upgrade. Therefor it's not more stable to upgrade to.

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