I have Ubuntu13.04 on my laptop. I have to upgrade it to the next release or else I would install a fresh release after deleting my current system.

I have already installed and configured my current system a lot and I can't take the burden of doing it all over again if I install the next release. Now I would like to know that what all back-ups are required to be taken beforehand so that I would recover all my files/installations/configurations etc. In other words I should have everything on my new system (simply by restoring from back-ups) that I possess currently.

My current system has /, /boot, /home & swap partitions which were created by me when I had freshly installed the O.S.


Upgrading your system will make changes to your / and /boot partitions. Your /home will not be touched and your swap is irrelevant. If you want to make backups before upgrading, just backup / and /boot.

Sharing the same /home between different versions (or even different distributions) is fine and should not cause any problems.

  • Thanks terdon. This is what I was looking for since many days and now I got the answer. – Ravi Dec 18 '13 at 16:11

The beauty of using a Debian based system as Ubuntu is, is that upgrades between versions are very easy and safe.

Simply edit /etc/apt/sources.list (and/or /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*) to reference the new version that you want to upgrade to (see a list here). If there's no new appropriate version available for any particular source, remove it. Also be sure to check the upgrade notes for the version you're upgrading to* for any known issues.

Then run:

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade

Grab a cup of coffee, and put your feet up. When it's done, reboot. Congratulations, you've upgraded.

* I don't recommend skipping releases. It is possible to do, but not well tested.

  • The hyper link is missing please where you wrote see a list [here][ubuntu] – Ravi Dec 9 '13 at 9:03
  • I would like to add that I had earlier got replies in this site only that upgrading may result in breaking of some parts of the system. – Ravi Dec 9 '13 at 9:15
  • Yep, sorry forgot that. Updating... – bahamat Dec 9 '13 at 9:15
  • WRT upgrades breaking things: That's said out of an abundance of caution. Theoretically turning on your computer can cause it to fail (e.g., simply spinning up disks on the verge of failing can cause them to fail). In all practicality upgrading a Debian system is generally extremely safe. I've done it more times than I can remember. Whatever problems do happen are usually minor and are certainly fixable. – bahamat Dec 9 '13 at 9:22
  • Is it unsafe or is it O.K. to work on system while I upgrade from current O.S. (Ubuntu 13.04) to the next release. – Ravi Dec 9 '13 at 12:47

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