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I have previously upgraded from 16.10 to 17.04 but it didn't go well at all.

I used deja-dup to restore my settings and this resulted in a messed up connection manager, the inability to change the wallpaper anymore, and random app crashes.

What is the recommended way to upgrade Ubuntu? And if reinstalling from scratch, what is the point of the deja-dup backup if it can't be restored without creating issues? How else do you migrate your settings?

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considering programs/config files get changed/upgraded with distribution id do:

  • backup homefolder, various databases from /var
  • clean install then cli script for installing programs
  • restore relevant folders from homefolder(no config files/folders)
  • reapply settings for interface.. desktop and programs.. by hand

you can only safe apply straight backup if you dont switch/upgrade distribution or if you have 0day backup scripts tailored to your needs

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Generally, making a clean and fresh install is the best way to upgrade Ubuntu. When you upgrade from a previously installed version, almost always, you will get the problems you describe (broken apps, wrong desktop behavior, etc). To preserve your documents, just backup the relevant folders and files in an external drive, or partition. Do not backup .config or hidden configuration folders, just the data folders.

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My preferred method is to place /home on a separate partition and use aptik to back up my software installs. Various parts of /etc need to be saved as well. Upgrade process is to do a clean install using Something Else option leaving /home untouched. Then reinstall ppas and programs with aptik and /etc entries as required.

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