Ubuntu 10.04: upgrade or fresh installation?

06/05/2010 at 6:57 pm Plaats een reactie

Today, I had the opportunity to test the upgrade paths from two previous Ubuntu versions to Ubuntu Desktop Edition 10.04. A power outage destroyed the hard disk of one of my computers (an old Dell GX240 with an NVidia graphics card). I replaced the hard drive physically, and the machine was back on track again, or at least, it did not show the fatal message: fixed disk 0 failure. The hardware was ok now. To get the machine back on track quickly, of course, I could have installed the newest Ubuntu release (Ubuntu 10.04) with a fresh Live CD. But I decided to test the upgrade paths: if the upgrades went well, I would end up with a well working Ubuntu 10.04. So I started a new installation…with Ubuntu 9.04, which was released just one year ago. As extra packages, I installed the Ubuntu restricted Extras (that’s all about the extras that allow you to use flash, mp3 files, etc.), Sun Java, and Abiword. Ubuntu 9.04 allowed me to upgrade to the 9.10 version. I started the 9.04 to 9.10 upgrade.The upgrade would take 1 hour and 25 minutes, as indicated on the screen. During the upgrade, I did some gardening stuff, vacuumed the house, and filled the dishwasher. I came back about one hour and a half later, and just had to acknowlegde the removal of some outdated packages. The same story applies, two hours later, to the upgrade from 9.10 to 10.04. The upgrades from these versions, on this old Dell GX240, worked absolutely flawlessly!

However, when upgrading, and despite the above, just always take two precautions: always make a full backup  of your /home/username(s) directory, and, backup your Evolution e-mail data through Evolution itself.  Start Evolution, and click on File -> Create Backup Archive. Store the *.tar.gz file on an external USB disk. Also copy the rest of the /home/username data to the external USB disk.  In the case of a failed upgrade, it will always allow you to do a fresh installation, copying back the data and restoring your e-mail data quickly after having installed Ubuntu 10.04. For total security, you could even create a full image of your hard disk using Remastersys Backup, an excellent piece of Backup / Imaging software. If the upgrade fails and you want to revert to the previous Ubuntu version, you can always do that with Remastersys.

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