Follow these tips and I'm willing to bet your upgrade experience will be a whole lot more pleasant overall. Playing it safe is a healthy way to use your computer.
Usually when I write these articles, I find I get two types of responses. The first is that Ubuntu is horrible and how dare I even suggest it be used. The second is the idea that Ubuntu is infallible and the upgrade process works great for "everyone." Both statements are bunk and claiming otherwise does everyone a disservice.
To counter the first statement, I'll simply point out there are individuals who either have a legitimate grievance with Ubuntu from a developer's point of view or instead, simply can't handle the thought of Ubuntu being the "face" of the Linux community. As for the second statement above, suffice it to say the idea that "all upgrades go flawlessly" is just naïve.
The fact is, there are plenty of people out there who have had mixed experiences. And that's okay, it's the nature of software to have mixed experiences. But to claim something doesn't happen when it in fact does, gives the Linux community as a whole a bad name.
At the end of the day, upgrading to Ubuntu or any non-rolling release distribution can be really exciting. Some upgrades offer needed bug fixes, others offer brand new features that users are anxious to try out. In both cases, upgrading isn't a bad thing whatsoever.
To make it clear – upgrading is a good thing, I never made the claim that it wasn't. The key is not simply upgrading for the sake of upgrading. That would be silly and offers little value to anyone. Upgrade if you can gain legitimate value from the experience. Security, features, support or bug fixes are legitimate reasons to upgrade. And following the tips I've provided here will ensure that upgrade experience happens to be a pleasant one.