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I need to know the safest way to install 16.04 from 14.04, retaining all the files, apps and config folders. I have downloaded the file named "ubuntu-16.04.1-desktop-amd64" and I'd like to install it by booting from a USB, however in the manual page, it states:

There are bugs that affect the Ubuntu Startup Creator, when you run it in Ubuntu versions 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, 15.10 in BIOS mode and try to create USB boot drives with other versions

Since I only have 14.04, what do I do now? Is it okay if I use the Startup Creator? Is there a 100% chance that I would retain all the files and install it properly if I do so?

  • No, it's not ok to use the startup creator, but you can write the ISO to usb with the dd command. – mikewhatever Aug 6 '16 at 22:06
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First of all, Backup Everything. I suggest to backup because you never want to run a full system upgrade without the safety of knowing your data is protected somewhere.

Ubuntu recommends to use the Ubuntu Software Updater rather than downloading the ISO.

Here is the small tutorial from Ubuntu's website. http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/upgrade


While I too suggest using the built in upgrade functionality of Ubuntu, if you want a reliable ISO "burner" tool then Etcher is a great option. Etcher is simple to use and has automatic validation after the process.

  • It says that it could take upto 4 hours with my connection if O=I go with the updater, and I have the ISO file ready right now. – Harsha Aug 7 '16 at 2:54
  • So, here's my concern now. I downloaded the ISO and tried to install it, and there are three options it provides me: 1. To create a separate partition if I need to retain all the data in it. 2. To erase disk completely and install, 3. The data of ubuntu 14.04 would be removed and 16 would be installed. I need to retain all the data and install 16 instead of 14, not create a separate partition for it. So How do I go about it? What does the third option mean when he said files related to 14.04 would be lost? Could you provide any help?Thank you. – Harsha Aug 7 '16 at 2:54
  • 1. is to make two installed versions side by side || 2. is to lose all previous data || 3. is to theoretically save some data like photos, music, etc but to replace system files from 14.04 with 16.04. || #3 could be a possible option but it I can't guarantee it will provide what you are wanting exactly so certainly should make backups of all your important data. (essentially /home folder) || I still highly recommend to upgrade with the Software Updater regardless of the time required to do so, it is the safest option and that's what you requested in your first question. – Michael Tunnell Aug 7 '16 at 4:44
  • Okay, so what if the power goes off during the installation? Would it be fine? – Harsha Aug 7 '16 at 7:34
  • Is power failure likely to occur? If not then worrying about it will only delay it further. – Michael Tunnell Aug 7 '16 at 14:11
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You don't need to use the Startup Disk Creator. Use dd:

  1. Plug in your USB stick;

  2. Backup everything you need from it (all its current content will be lost after dd);

  3. In a Terminal window, run dmesg | tail. It should display a few messages about your USB drive recognition, something like [sdb] Attached SCSI disk. Take note of what's inside [] (in my case it's sdb);

  4. Still in the terminal, proceed to run sudo umount /dev/sdX*. Replace sdX with the name you've taken before. Don't forget the asterisk!!! ;

  5. Run sudo dd if=/path/to/iso of=/dev/sdX bs=1M. Replace /path/of/iso with the path to the desired ISO file, and sdX with the name you've taken before. It may take a few minutes, but when the command finishes it will display something like "XX MB written in XX minutes" and the USB stick is ready to boot!

  • Thank you.SO what's the difference when I do it this way? – Harsha Aug 7 '16 at 1:50
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    Nothing. Startup Disk Creator is just a beautiful end-user familiar user-friendly front-end cute GUI for doing the exact same as dd does for 40 years already (hehe I love being a caveman) – Eduardo Cola Aug 7 '16 at 1:52
  • I downloaded the ISO and tried to install it, and there are three options it provides me: 1. To create a separate partition if I need to retain all the data in it. 2. To erase disk completely and install, 3. The data of ubuntu 14.04 would be removed and 16 would be installed. I need to retain all the data and install 16 instead of 14, not create a separate partition for it. So How do I go about it? What does the third option mean when he said files related to 14.04 would be lost? Thank you. – Harsha Aug 7 '16 at 2:55

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