Ubuntu – How to upgrade from x86 to x64 without losing settings


Is there an easy way to upgrade the system to x64 from x86 without losing settings and having to repartition etc?

Best Answer

You can just perform an x86-64 install over the top of your existing i386 install. There's no need to reformat or repartition - the Ubuntu installer has supported keeping the contents of /home and (most of) /etc (and other data directories) for a couple of releases now.

That will get you most of the way there; you'll keep all your configuration, but you won't have the same software installed.

To do that, the guide from this answer should work:

  1. Before installing the x86-64 version, dump a list of your currently installed packages by running dpkg --get-selections > ~/installed-software in a terminal.
  2. After installing, restore the list of installed packages by running sudo dpkg --set-selections < ~/installed-software followed by sudo apt-get -f install. There will probably be some packages that can't be installed, as there are some i386 packages without x86-64 counterparts - libc6-686, the 686-optimised libc is the common example.
Related Question