Ubuntu – Upgrade the distribution, or reinstall the system


12.04 is coming soon, and I was wondering whether it is better to upgrade or completely reinstall the system. My home is in different partition from the rest, so complete reinstall would be easy to do.

So, are there any differences between upgrading the distribution and reinstalling the system*?

* Assuming the same packages are selected during reinstall.

Best Answer

I'd go for the upgrade. You'll receive a pop-up in about two weeks with the very question and all you have to do is click OK and enter your password. Upgrading gives you an identical system as you get with a full install, but the advantage of upgrading is that you don't loose installed programs and your configuration files.
Only if you've been making a mess of your install and want to get rid of things that you broke experimenting, then a full install is advisable.

Forget what you read about Windows upgrades and a full install being better. Upgrading Linux works in a different way.

Although all your files should be fine during an upgrade, always make sure you have a backup of you personal files before upgrading/install on a different disk/dvd/usb stick/...

Related Question