I am using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. I want to upgarde to Ubuntu 16.04 via the software updater application. I have lots of data in my laptop. Also I am having useful softwares related with my work. Now I wish to upgrade my system without losing any data and software. Ca n I do it?. or else what is the procedure to upgrade Ubuntu without losing old data.

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    I do recommend AT ALL COSTS to BACK UP YOUR DATA. I have worked with so many people with "I lost my data! Help!" that have been unable to recover it that I always say, "Back up your data!" The only data you don't need to have backed up - regardless of any updates - is data you want to lose. That being said, data recovery is one of my favourite arenas - except when it doesn't work.
    – anonymous2
    May 30, 2016 at 15:49
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    It's probably a good idea to wait until the first point release 16.04.1 - then a prompt to upgrade will originate with software updater. No matter your decision - BACKUP your data first.
    – pfeiffep
    May 30, 2016 at 16:22
  • "I have lots of important data" together with "I don't have a backup" should never appear in any phrase... backup. Daily. If it's really important, in two different media.
    – Rmano
    May 30, 2016 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


As @Mark Kirby says, this is a probable duplicate of "Can I smoothly upgrade from one LTS to next LTS release?". The basic answer, is yes you can upgrade smoothly from one LTS (long term service) release (say 14.04 LTS) to another (say 16.04) without installing intermediates.

You can do this for Desktop LTS releases with the commands:

sudo do-release-upgrade


sudo update-manager -d

... and for the Server LTS releases with the commands:

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core
sudo do-release-upgrade

HOWEVER, I would say that I've watched plenty of "tested" software that's relatively widely used break, malfunction, or otherwise work improperly, so I would suggest a basic backup of your home directory to an appropriate form of external storage, i.e.

mkdir /mnt/<external storage>/May_30_2016_Backup_Ubuntu_16_04_Upgrade
cp -rf ${HOME}/* May_30_2016*/ &

This is generally a good practice, as even if everything works perfectly, maybe your hard drive dies tomorrow (also has happened to me). Now you'll be thankful you have that backup, even if you didn't seemingly need it.

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