Almost every upgrade will go just fine nowadays. But still it's generally a good idea to be prepared for the worst, so besides backing up your data I wrote down some other notes that may help your upgrade.
So no rocket science this time, just a few tips from my own experience that will help you on your way once Gutsy's released.
5 Ground Rules for upgrading Ubuntu Desktop Edition
- Never use apt-get or aptitude.
Use update-manager instead (see how to below). Update-manager fixes common errors, removes old artwork, etc.
- Don't use any critical applications when upgrading.
Of course you can browse and such, but the system can't upgrade all the packages at the same time so if you're running packages that have dependencies you might get version conflicts and in the worst case a program can crash and you lose work.
- Take your time.
- Upgrading can easily take up to 2 hours depending on your internet connection and computer performance.
- Take into account that some programs might need some extra attention after the upgrade.
- Preferably have another PC with internet close by.
It's no must but this way you can always search the internet to find solutions for any problems that you might encounter. A live CD is also an option.
- Read guides.
For common installations this is not really necessary, but if you have custom drivers and 3rd party packages it really helps. They will show you common pitfalls. Learn from other people's mistakes.
How to upgrade Ubuntu Desktop Edition:
Press ALT+F2, a dialog will pop up. Type:
gksudo "update-manager -c"
And press run, like this:
-c means: Check for new distribution releases (upgrades).
Some people will tell you to use -d as well.
-d means: Development release. So it will look for distribution releases that aren't stable yet, and offer to upgrade to it. Don't use it unless you're into beta testing.