I wish somebody smarter than me would publish a guide on how to upgrade to elementary OS 6. I know it's save data and install. Here's what I'd like to accomplish:

  1. I have multiple user accounts per computer. I'd like to seamlessly transfer to the new install.
  2. I have account settings for email clients, chat clients, and calendar clients that I want to seamlessly transfer.
  3. I've installed Steam. I'd like to seamlessly transfer games and game settings w/o having to reinstall.

Tell me what folders to save, and how to insert them in the new install.

I really like elementaryOS. I've bought it and I've encouraged others to adopt it. But this, now that I'm fully invested in the OS, this inability to upgrade like other Ubuntu-based distros, or Windows, or Mac, just might be a deal breaker. I don't want it to be, so any good gauge would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


This is what I found out in answer to my 3 questions:

  1. I think you'll have to do it for each individual account.
  2. Some account settings transferred and some did not.
  3. Steam was problematic. I had to do a new install from Flatpak, and none of my downloaded games transferred.

Steps to upgrade from elementary OS 5.1 to elementary OS 6.0

  1. Make a note of all the apps you want/need to retain/re-install
  2. Back up your home folder to an external drive (I used deja-dup) and exclude your on-line storage in the backup
  3. Create elementary OS install media (I used balena etcher)
  4. Install elementary OS (make sure you keep the same user name, it’s important for restoring the home folder backup). Interestingly, I could only install from the try before install as opposed to direct install. I’m installing on an HP ZBook 15 G2.
  5. Restore your home folder from the external drive (if you used a backup utility, you will have to install it first).
  6. Reinstall your apps, using flatpaks or snaps where applicable (that’s how I reinstalled Steam, which was originally installed from a .deb; I couldn’t get it to function properly, so I deleted the .deb install and installed from flatpak instead)
  7. Reconnect your accounts where required (for instance, I had to do with BlueMail, but I didn’t have to do it w/ RamBox)
  8. I recommend following the Top 14 Things to Do after Installing elementary OS 6 (https://www.linuxtechi.com/things-after-installing-elementary-os/).
  9. I was pleasantly surprised that my fragments torrent tool transferred, along with accounts, bookmarks, and settings for Todoist, ExpanDrive, Opera, and FreeOffice file formats.

After having done all this, I feel okay about it, but I like noodling. For your average user, this is probably a deal breaker. elementary OS has gone to the time and trouble to develop an excellent distro that doesn't have a clear/easy upgrade path, unlike ZorinOS, Ubuntu Budgie, or PopOS! This does not a fabulous UX make.

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