I am currently running Fedora 16 on my laptop, which is like 3 years EOL-ed. The reason that's the case is because it is not easy to upgrade to the current version in Fedora (at least v16) and it requires a complete reinstall. So everything on it it old and doesn't work too well and I am just too lazy to move my data on an external medium and rebuild the OS. Ideally, I would like to upgrade by running a simple yum/apt-get command.

So my lesson learned from this experience is that I would like my next Linux distro to be idiotically easy to bring up-to-date, not because I am incompetent to deal with Linux but simply because I am lazy and want to remain so. I also believe that, in this day and age, OSs should be very easily upgraded.

What Linux distros make upgrades easy to conform to this agenda? I specifically do not want to have to move the data or the file system to a separate medium before performing the upgrade.

I also would like the distro to support KDE, which is my preferred interface.

closed as primarily opinion-based by jasonwryan, Anthon, dhag, Celada, Michael Homer May 8 '15 at 21:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    OpenSuSE Tumbleweed is a rolling distribution. – SailorCire May 8 '15 at 19:02
  • 1
    Here's a question on longest-term security update support that might be interesting. – Anko May 8 '15 at 19:06
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    Are you looking for a rolling-release model or just one that makes big but easy releases? (As in what specifically does "easy" mean for you?) – Anko May 8 '15 at 19:07

Debian is probably one of the easiest to upgrade - even across major releases.

From the Debian FAQ, Chapter 9, Keeping your Debian system up-to-date there is this statement,

A Debian goal is to provide a consistent upgrade path and a secure upgrade process. We always do our best to make upgrading to new releases a smooth procedure.

Opinion: I have just upgraded a number of systems from release 7 ("wheezy") to release 8 ("jessie"). For the most part it just worked. One had previously been upgraded from release 6 ("squeeze"). This is one of the major reasons I prefer to use Debian.

More information in answers to the Question Will Debian Wheezy (stable) automatically upgrade to Jessie once Jessie becomes the stable release

Update: since you have amended your Question to indicate a preference for KDE, you might like to review KDE's software in Debian and these Live install images

  • 1
    Debian variants. I believe Ubuntu is just as easy. – SailorCire May 8 '15 at 19:00
  • @SailorCire I can't speak with authority on the ease or viability of the upgrade process used by Ubuntu and other Debian variants so I haven't done so. – roaima May 8 '15 at 19:03
  • I understand, but my understanding is that they are just as easy so if the OP is curious about others. I don't think you should change your answer. – SailorCire May 8 '15 at 19:06
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    @SailorCire According to this Upgrades between releases have to be done from one release to the next release (e.g. Ubuntu 13.10 to Ubuntu 14.04) or from one LTS release to the next LTS release (e.g. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS). Wouldn't that be a problem if you installed the LTS version? You would have to wait longer, until the next LTS is released. With Debian you just upgrade via apt. As easy as is updating. – Calculus Knight May 8 '15 at 20:20
  • With Debian you upgrade from one release to the next too. – Michel Billaud May 8 '15 at 20:54

I would recommend going with a rolling distribution. Meaning that there are no upgrades to higher version, you always have the newest version. Arch Linux is the one of the most popular rolling distros.

Obviously Arch is not the way to go if you insist on it being easy to use, as it requires considerably more effort to setup up the system. However Antergos and Manjaro which are both derivatives of Arch are easy to use. They are targeted towards the beginner and offer the same rolling release model. So there is no need to upgrade the distribution ever, just install updates and your operating system and software is up-to-date.

I just saw that you added the requirement KDE. Arch and both Antergos and Manjaro offer the most popular Desktop Environments (KDE, XFCE, GNOME, etc). Antergos even lets choose it during the installation process.

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    Agree with rolling distros! And i consider Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) the easiest and most user friendly rolling distro. – petry May 8 '15 at 19:20
  • @petry I agree. It might be the best option for those who want the perks of Debian while keeping it simple. – Calculus Knight May 8 '15 at 20:22

Most current distros have had easy upgrade capability for several years now. You might not be out of luck if you want to try upgrading your current distro. Have a look at this document:


  • I don't know what rolling release has to do with being easily upgraded. Current versions of Fedora can be upgraded with only a few commands. – NekkabCire May 8 '15 at 19:11

I use OpenSuse and upgraded from version 11.3 (from 2009?) to version 13.1 (2014) with no problem at all. Burn CD, run CD, done in a couple of hours. Well... almost... there might have been the need to upgrade some applications, I do not remember now, but that is not really the OS' fault.

Yet, there are probably quite a few of them, as others say. A couple of places to look for them may be distrowatch.com and linux.com - Distributions.

  • CD ? what's that ? aren't we supposed to use flash drives these days ? – amphibient May 8 '15 at 20:57
  • [citation needed] – Rolazaro Azeveires May 9 '15 at 14:42

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