After seeing and answering many posts/threads in the last few weeks about upgrade vs. fresh installs -- and also seeing quite a few frustrated victims of less that successful upgrades, I have posted this thread to save some typing time.
I know many of you have successfully upgraded without appearant incident. Very well, but this is not the place to argue in favor of that method, or post those stories. This is a place for a little plain speaking about this issue, from the fedora point of view.
1) First, the cold simple truth is, although fedora does provide the means to do an upgrade, and this can and has been successfully done, it is NOT
the recommended method.
2) Performing ANY major system changes, without first performing a full and complete backup of your data is a fools bet! You do so AT YOUR OWN RISK!
3) The reason for a complete fresh install is inherent in the fedora project concept. So is the near maniacal development and release rate. THIS IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE.
If you need a longer lived installation, try CentOS or RHEL.
4) ANY upgrading of the kernel will break things dependent upon it, such as custom installed video and wireless drivers. You are not "saving your work" by trying to do an end-run-around by ugrading to the new kernel version. The only way to not lose those kernel mods, is to not change the kernel.
5) If you are using fedora in a server/business environment, just because a particular fedora version has hit, or is approaching "end of life" does NOT mean it automatically breaks! The easiest way to duplicate/imitate the stability of CentOS or RHEL, is to choose your updates wisely, and just continue using the installed system until change is actually required rather than just wanted.
6) If you are not a fedora/Linux adrenaline junky, (Like most of us) a good means of helping preserve your sanity is to have a little patience before installing a new version. Let the "vunderborks" surface and wait for some fixes/workarounds to appear here on the forum before you take the plunge.
7) If, in light of all these admonitions and warnings, you still decide to try the upgrade anyway, do your homework first! The fedora project has one of the most extensive wikis on the web, and the release notes are amazingly complete documents. Use them!
If anybody has knowledge of further resources relating to this issue, (one way or the other,) please post them here. However, as I said above, you are welcome to argue the case FOR upgrades in another thread.