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Thread: Linux: Upgrade version or reinstall?

  1. #1
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    Default Linux: Upgrade version or reinstall?

    A few of my Ubuntu systems run 18.04LTS and I figured it was time to upgrade to 20.04LTS. Since I partition the hard drives off into "/" and "/usr" partitions, I did an experiment. On two, I simply wiped and re-installed 20.04 and various packages on the "/" partition and I was pretty much good to go, mutatis mutandis.

    On another two, I did that "do-version-upgrade" script route.

    The results were interesting. The 20.04 install from scratch went pretty much without incident, although some local configuration files needed adjusting. On the "do-version-upgrade", there were a couple of "huh?" issues. One was having the upgrade hit a brick wall because of an old symbolic link installed way back in 16.10--ignored in 18.04, only to resurface. Removing the old file and link and creating a new symbolic link to the current version of the file fixed that. However, grub-pc was unable to upgrade, no matter what. Purging, removing a directory and re-installing grub-pc fixed that one. I don't know if other issues will rise to the surface.

    My lesson was "when upgrading versions, install from scratch". Another one was "if there are problems with the boot (e.g. grub), do not reboot the system; fix the problem first.

    Don't know if this will be useful or not, but I thought I'd pass it along.

  2. #2

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    Funny you posted this as just yesterday I decided to upgrade one of my 18.04LTS systems to 20.04. I figured if the upgrade failed I could always reinstall from scratch. In the past, it was rare for the upgrade to complete without issues. This particular computer, a 2010-ish Mac Mini, is a pretty bog standard 10.04 installed fresh with the exception of my Apple2Pi services running from systemd (a risky proposition when upgrading). With only a couple of questions when upgrading the packages, it ran through the script and rebooted. The reboot took some time so I headed to bed, expecting a mess to clean up in the morning. This morning I was met with the login screen and the keyboard and mouse on my Apple II were functional. Aside from some themeing color options, I don't see a great deal of difference between 20.04 and 18.04, but the upgrade process was as easy.

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    I had the reverse. My HP miniserver won't start USB and won't even talk to the keyboard and mouse. I feel a re-install coming on....
    Dave
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    I think it depends on how crufty your system is. If it started a few releases back, you're probably going to have issues doing a release upgrade.

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    its crusty and has lots of junk/...
    .. I have been intending to wipe it any way...
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

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    I do upgrades in place from Fedora version to Fedora version, but the changes are usually less because it's certainly got more churn than an LTS distro.
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    I, as a rule, never upgrade my OS from one major version to another. Does not matter if this is Linux, Windows or eve MacOS. Fresh install is a bit more work, but almost always ends with way less frustration. At work, all my Linux Server VMs are 18.04LTS, and if/when I decide to move 20.04 I will do clean installs and move my software setups over to them, super easy to do with most of them. Same will happen when I move aware from Server 2012R2.

    This thread merely strengthens my resolve on this.

    And yeah, let's stay on topic, this is a thread about Linux, no need to drag Windows into it and turn it into another hate/love windows flame war....

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    One other small nit that I've noticed with the do-release-upgrade route. I use the XFCE4 desktop. When I go through a release upgrade, some desktop icons disappear and are replaced with the generic "no-icon" icon. This may be XFCE-peculiar, but it's annoying. The last time this happened, I put all of my icons in a local folder and edited the launchers to refer to that. That worked this time.

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    Please--if you want to have an OS-war, do it on another thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Please--if you want to have an OS-war, do it on another thread.
    Apparently that's not possible because reasons. Sigh.

    Going way back to your initial post, I am curious what went down with grub fouling up. I had occassional issues with this around the 2007-2010-ish timeframe myself, but I largely chalked it up to the particular machine I had the issues on being an original 2006 Mac Pro, which was kind of a Very Special Case with, well, pretty much any OS *including* the ones that show you a big Apple when booting up. (I had some custom configuration re: boot menus and disabling splash screens that seemed to get under APT's skin.)
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