Every time around a new Ubuntu release the topic of upgrade vs. fresh install always comes up.  I’ve noticed that there seems to be a general hate towards upgrades.  The most common thing I hear is that the upgrade totally breaks your system, it will make you lose all your money, and it will burn your house down.  Ok, well maybe not the last two things, but there seems to be a lot of “OMG upgrades are bad!!!!” out there.  Now I may be going out on a limb here, but I think a lot of people just repeat what others say about upgrades.  I’d be willing to say that a lot of the people that say the upgrade breaks the system have never actually done an upgrade, they just get suckered in by all the other people saying upgrades break your system.  And then it just goes in circles.

Now I’m not saying that Ubuntu’s upgrade process has never broken someone’s system, I’m sure it has, more than a few too.  Nothing is perfect.  What I’m saying is that the upgrade breakage is being blown way out of proportion.  Personally, I have upgraded 5 computers multiple times and I have never had a single thing break due to the upgrade.  My desktop machine has not seen a reinstall since Ubuntu 7.10 was released.  It’s been upgraded three times and it’s still running strong, never had anything break on it due to an upgrade.  So either I’ve been extremely lucky or it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.  I’m thinking the latter.



3 thoughts on “Upgrades”

  1. Yeah, I did successfully complete an upgrade from Feisty to Gutsy once, and nothing broke. Another time, I upgraded from a different Gutsy install to Hardy, and everything broke.

    I guess what they’re trying to say is that it seems more likely a clean install will work than an upgrade. Still, an upgrade would be much easier for a newbie.

  2. I actually agree with you, but when a new filesystem is out (ext4) and you have the current one (ext3) I must say that a clean install is a better choice. In most other cases, I’d say go for an upgrade.

  3. @digitalstance
    I completely agree with you in that case. You can convert ext3 to ext4 but you don’t get the full performance benefits. This is one of the rare instances where I would agree with a fresh install.

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