Almost everyone knows that Ubuntu 9.10 is coming. So I have a question: is it safe to upgrade my current Ubuntu up to version 9.10 via apt-get or it is better to reinstall it from scratch? As I know for Windows it is always better to reinstall from scratch than upgrade it to higher version and get unstable system.


I have been updating Ubuntu ever since 6.04. There was always a little bug that got introduced, but it was always possible to find a workaround or a fix.


  • Don't use apt-get. Use the update manger as recommended.
  • Don't upgrade as soon as possible. Wait a couple of days (or better yet, weeks) until others have stumbled across the obvious bugs.
  • Absolutely, wait a few days / weeks before you upgrade. I upgraded this morning, and due to a graphics issue on 9.10, that wasn't in 9.04, I'm moving back for now. Will try upgrade again in a few weeks when more people have done it... :) – Nick Haslam Oct 30 '09 at 12:36

Updating Ubuntu is perfectly fine.

The only somewhat important feature you might lose out on is EXT4. If your current file systems are EXT3, you can convert them to EXT4, but those will not gain some of the benefits (extents as I recall) of a freshly created EXT4 fs. You'll still be able to create new EXT4 fs with all the features of EXT4.

If you've installed horrendous numbers of third party packages from external repositories or .debs or source, you might have issues with those packages, but the main system should still be fine. This is, really, the only scenario what should preclude using the upgrade option.

While it's mostly a requirement to do a fresh install with windows and even some linux distributions, Ubuntu is not one of them.

And, yes, use the update manager as recommended.

And, yes, wait a few days or a week or two before the update. While this has been in beta for a while, and lots fo bugs are worked out, there'll be more right after mass adoption begins.


I don't see what you have to lose from the upgrade. If it doesn't work out well you end up reinstalling, so why not give the upgrade a try?

I will say that I've never had to reinstall a *nix. I haven't tried a major Ubuntu upgrade but every other *nix seems to upgrade in-place just fine. I'm running Ubuntu right now and it seems as good as the others...


is it safe to update my current Ubuntu up to version 9.10 via apt-get

Probably, but as usual you should back your documents up first. Better: docs and home directory on a separate partition.

The reliability of dist-upgrade has improved since the bad old days, but I still lost a virtual machine upgraded from Intrepid to Jaunty.

or it is better to reinstall it from scratch?

Yes. It is always best to install any OS from scratch, Windows or otherwise. Again, with your stuff on a separate partition, an OS change is a cinch.

Apart from the usual stability worries of an upgraded OS, some features of Karmic won't get installed by default on an upgrade, in particular GRUB 2. (You can install it later manually.)

  • So, I will not get all new stuff/features during upgrade or it is relate only to incompatible features such as GRUB 2 ? – Kirill V. Lyadvinsky Oct 28 '09 at 20:02
  • Well the ext4 driver and grub2 software are present, its just your existing filesystem isn't changed to use them. – bobince Oct 31 '09 at 17:33

I tried upgrading and I can tell you - don't do it if you are doing it from a laptop. Forums are full with people that have problems one way or another.


Simple; don't use 9.10 at all on any notebook.

Example: Fresh installs on Acer, HP, and Clevo.

Weak and intermittent sound.

Restricted driver issues.

Boot problems galore. Black screen of death on new Clevo.

Kiba-Dock_0.1-1.2_i386.deb works fine with all other previous releases but karmic turns it to mush.

Video grainy and cuts stream off.

Go back to Jaunty, Ibex, or Hardy.


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