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The new release of ubuntu 9.10 is available.

I am using 9.04 but wondering what is better to upgrade or do a fresh install?

I have data on my computer that I don't want to lose. I know its always good practice to backup. However, if I upgrade will my data be overwritten?

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migrated from Nov 2 '09 at 4:00

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this should go on – Charles Ma Nov 2 '09 at 3:53

I almost always do inline upgrades of my Ubuntu (and Debian) systems rather than fresh installs.

It just works, and works quite well in my experience. I have a Jaunty 9.04 system that started life as an Ubuntu 4.10 system. It might have missed a couple point upgrades in there, but its still running strong. I've done test upgrades from 9.04->9.10 without issue as well.

During the process, local files that are different than packages expect might require user input to resolve.

If you want to move from 32-bit to 64-bit, you'll need to do a fresh install.

Make sure you have backups.

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just a matter of curiosity, why do you prefer upgrade to fresh install? is it the convenience of not having to setup programs and configurations? does a fresh install runs faster? – phunehehe Nov 2 '09 at 4:14
@phunehehe - convenience, its easy, I've been doing it with Debian/Ubuntu for over 10 years. – jtimberman Nov 2 '09 at 4:17
Upgrades will let you keep all your programs, files, customisations, and settings. Plus it's dead simple to do - a simple click on the Upgrade button in the Update Manager and it automagically installs itself with a single reboot. But don't do as I did; make sure you set a fast mirror as your software source. – zacharyliu Nov 4 '09 at 4:52

Only files that are system specific will be overwritten, so I'm pretty sure that you won't lose your data. Do backup, just in case, though.

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I normally just upgrade because I'm lazy.

However, one of the options you may be presented with during this upgrade is to upgrade from ext3 to ext4, with is the new default file system type in 9.10. If you have not backed up your data I would NOT elect to perform this as part of your upgrade. The notes on the Ubuntu site indicate that "maximum performance will typically only be achieved on new filesystems, not on filesystems that have been upgraded from ext3".

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I usually just do an upgrade, but make sure you do a full backups since upgrades can fail (even if they usually don't).

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I always do a fresh Ubuntu install. In the past I've read too many horror stories about upgrade woes and regrets. I've never had any problems. I back up, install, jump drive my backed up data onto the new release and I'm good.

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"woes and regrets" and would be easy to avoid if you back up first. Then you can do an easy upgrade and only bother with a new install if the upgrade doesn't work well. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Nov 10 '09 at 9:43

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