The reason I ask, is because wouldn't it be easier if you could just upgrade it like Ubuntu rather than having to do a clean install?

2 Answers 2


ChrisD93, welcome to the elementary OS forum!

In theory, performing an update from Loki -> Juno could save time and some effort. However, taking shortcuts is not always in your best interests. I, personally, considered Loki ready for my in-production mobile test platform (a Razer Blade Stealth). The new revision, Juno, included a new version numbering system, major updates to the AppCenter, Scratch became Code (with a focus on programming), upgrades to Files, Music, Photos and Terminal. Along with the updated UI "look and feel" came additional security updates as well.

There is an entire article about this from the elementary OS dev team here.

ChrisD93, I can hear you saying "but what does all of that have to do with upgrades"? During my time in enterprise IT, my team (and yours truly) had to manage over 1400 workstations and over 1000 mobile clients. Each summer, we would reset our labs for use in the fall. Computer imaging has changed greatly over the years from monolithic imaging (replacing the OS and all of the applications), to modular imaging (replace the OS and "push" out applications) to thin imaging (just apply settings and applications over the existing OS). By avoiding upgrading OS over an older OS we didn't have to fight old configurations, settings, services, applications and whatever was "left over" from the old installation. Simply put, in today's age of cyber-security what you don't know will (and can) hurt you. Having a stable and secure computing experience is enough for me to perform a "clean" installation. I'm not just singling out elementary OS. I apply this same process to macOS and my Windows clients as well (both personally and professionally). I believe this extra effort on the front end equates into a more stable and reliable computing experience overall.

Whew, that was long! Other people will have different points of view and that is OK! I just have never been disappointed with the "clean installation" approach. I do so much customization after the installation that I need to be sure that I'm building on a solid foundation.

That's my two cents!


Though elementary OS is based on Ubuntu LTS but it doesn't have rolling release. Which means you'll have to perform clean install to install a newer version rather than upgrade.

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