Back in the early days of Linux, the changes to the operating system were so dramatic that even when updating withing the same distro, in-place point release updates were problematic enough and it was always recommended that a major version release be done from scratch. There were just too many major changes to the underlying subsystems and package naming conventions. Doing an in-place update was just asking for trouble. Modern distros have matured quite a bit even though there are occasionally some major subsystem changes being made. Yet it's never been easier to do an in-place major version upgrade. I just did the upgrade on several Mageia5 systems and the results were consistent and satisfactory, not to mention simple. Step 0. Always backup critical information. Have a Mageia5 recovery disc on hand. Read the Release Notes , the Documentation and the Errata for Mageia 6. Other than updated applications, the biggest changes are support for UEFI and the move to GRUB2.