View Poll Results: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"?

Voters
71. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, clean installs are always advised.

    43 60.56%
  • From 9.10 and up, upgrade paths are safe.

    8 11.27%
  • From 9.04 and up, upgrade paths are safe.

    3 4.23%
  • From 8.10 and up, upgrade paths are safe.

    4 5.63%
  • Only from LTS to LTS.

    3 4.23%
  • Upgrade paths are always safe, and have been since at least 8.04.

    12 16.90%
  • Other (please elaborate)

    10 14.08%
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Thread: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

  1. #1
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    Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    Well, we all know the old conventional wisdom was to stick with fresh installs due to the high incidence of in-place upgrades (10%? 25%? depends who you ask.) causing problems.

    i haven't tried an in-place upgrade in years. What is the current wisdom on the subject?

    my mom is still on 9.04, and a friend is on 9.10. if i can tell them it's safe to follow the in-place upgrade paths with a reasonable degree of certainty, then they will be at a whole new level of self-reliance with Ubuntu.

    edit: i shouldn't have put the word 'novice' in the thread title, as it serves no purpose. either upgrade paths are safe, or are not safe. if there is a high probability of breaking, then a fresh install (with backed up ~) is almost certain to be a more efficient use of time.
    Last edited by earthpigg; August 17th, 2010 at 11:38 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    I don't know, but I was hoping on not doing a fresh install.

  3. #3
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    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    Since 8.04 been doing clean install. Upgrades are becoming safer but it's always nice to have a new clean system to play with.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    I did about three successful upgrades and got cocky- and went ahead and tried doing one on a dell min 10 w/ the infamous gma500 gpu, and had it fail most horribly. Then two clean installs later, a lot of hacking to get the suspend/hibernate working, and we are good to go.

    So- in my experience, if you have normal well supported hardware, an upgrade will probably be ok, if you've got something weird or goofy that requires custom configuring to make work, a clean install is probably safer- or just stay with what works and save yourself the headache.

    (note: I didn't vote in the poll - none of the options seemed to apply to my thoughts on the subject)

    BM

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post
    i haven't tried an in-place upgrade in years. What is the current wisdom on the subject?
    They used to be flaky, but they've become much more reliable these days. The system now handles repositories better. IMO with relatively standard system (ie: little software from outside the Ubuntu repos) then there's no reason to think you will have any trouble doing an upgrade. I've done numerous upgrades on various different machines over the last few versions and all have worked flawlessly.

  6. #6
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    Kubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish

    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    I've been doing upgrades since forever and I've never had a problem caused specifically by the upgrade itself. Upgrades are actually the recommended path to take and are tested more than clean installs.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    I think that novices should do a clean install. Not only as it means there is a much much lesser chance that something will break, or get messed up in some way, but also because it forces them to practise setting things up and learn how to configure things.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post
    Well, we all know the old conventional wisdom was to stick with fresh installs due to the high incidence of in-place upgrades (10%? 25%? depends who you ask.) causing problems.

    i haven't tried an in-place upgrade in years. What is the current wisdom on the subject?
    Regardless of what it seems to indicate, always take "the current wisdom" on popular topics such as this with a pinch of salt, as it tends to lack any technical basis, and be rooted in anecdotal evidence and hearsay.

    The officially recommended method for going from one Ubuntu release to the next has always been a release upgrade, and still is. A huge amount of effort goes into both automated and manual testing of the upgrade paths, and there's no compelling technical evidence with which you could make the case that a release upgrade is less safe than a fresh install.

    However, an operating system upgrade is inherently a sophisticated act, and it's more than just bits moving inside a machine; there are human factors involved. Some points to remember before attempting one from an old post I dug up:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...3&postcount=13

  9. #9
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    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    other - It depends upon your hardware, if the hardware in your system is commonly used and well supported, then by all means upgrade, though you probably want to wait a couple of weeks to a month after a release for bug ironing.

    If you have older and/or somewhat obsecure hardware then you might want to test the version your wanting to upgrade to via Live-CD and if all seems ok backup everything you want to save and try the upgrade but be prepared to do a clean install if it goes bad.

    Of course if you modified the system (e.g. compiled the lastest whatever package that the system would use, or some other version of it.) then you may want to consider a clean install.

    But meh, I'm no expert and I just clean install anyway to erase all doubt.
    Last edited by MasterNetra; August 18th, 2010 at 12:13 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Should novice users still be told to "clean install, not upgrade"

    Clean install !
    “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can".

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