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Is a clean install better than upgrading?

Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) will be out soon. Should I upgrade it using Update Manager or using fresh installation? Which one is better? What the pros & cons upgrading using Update Manager?


1 Answer 1


I will assume you are talking about after 11.10 (Oneiric) has been released - as per this question, it's pretty buggy.

This is highly subjective, but I always do a fresh install, for a number of reasons:

  • Ubuntu gets somewhat bogged down after 6 months.

  • A fresh install (as opposed to a upgrade) keeps possible dependency conflicts to a minimum.

  • I like playing with new shiny features without having old configs/packages around to screw up.

How do I do it?

  1. Download release via torrent, seed for a few days (I'm running Ubuntu+1 by then anyway)
  2. Once I notice that demand has dropped off, I create a new folder on my /home partition and call it something like Stuff I need to keep.
  3. I create my bootable USB key.
  4. I install.
  5. After that, I boot into my new install, and start transferring data from that directory I made earlier.
  6. Done!

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