Difference Between Update and Upgrade

Update vs Upgrade
 

Update and upgrade are two important operations that happen in Software installations and the main difference between an update and upgrade is that, in general, an update provides bug fixes to existing software while an upgrade provides new features and functionalities to the existing system. However, update and upgrade can mean different other things too. An update is usually free of charge and is a task that can be achieved in a few minutes while an upgrade usually involves a new purchase where the operation is complex than an update and hence takes more time.

What does Update mean?

Update generally refers to a patch released for existing software to fix any existing bugs. An update can provide support for newer hardware, as well as performance tuning. However, the main target is to fix any bugs, errors , and security issues. Usually, updates for a software are free of charge for an already purchased software. For example, when you buy a Windows 8 copy each few week you will receive updates for the operating system that fixes various problems. Updates are usually not very much big size files and hence does not take that much time to download and install when compared to upgrades. Doing an update does not affect user settings, files or any customized property.

While above is the general meaning with respect to software, the term update means a different thing in the “apt” package management system in Linux systems. When the command apt-get update is invoked in Linux, the list of packages and their versions will be updated, but does not install anything new.

Difference Between Update and Upgrade

What does Upgrade mean?

Upgrades refer to a situation where the existing software is transformed to a new version. For example when Windows 7 is upgraded to Windows 8 or Windows 8 is upgraded to Windows 8.1, it is called an upgrade. An upgrade provides new features and functionalities rather than bug fixes. Usually, an upgrade needs a copy of the new version to be purchased, but there are situations where upgrades are also issued free of charge for existing customers. An upgrade generally preserves existing setting, programs and files when compared to a fresh installation. An upgrade is a more complex operation than an update and hence an upgrade package is usually big in size and takes a considerable amount of time to complete when compared to an update.

The term upgrade in the apt package management system in Linux has a different meaning in contrast to the above general definition. The command apt-get upgrade installs the newer versions of the packages currently installed on the system. apt-get upgrade must be done after an apt-get update as the list of packages must be updated before upgrading to newer versions.

What is the difference between Update and Upgrade?

• The main objective of an update is to provide bug fixes to existing software while it is not the case in an upgrade.

• The objective of an upgrade is to introduce new features and functionalities to an existing system while it is not the case in an update.

• An update involves installing a patch to the system while an upgrade involves transforming the old system to the newer version.

• Updates are usually free of charge while for an upgrade most of the time a license for the newer version must be purchased.

• An update is a simple operation when compared to an upgrade.

• An upgrade takes a lot of time to complete when compared to an update.

• The file size of an update patch is generally much smaller than the size of an upgrade package.

• An update does not change the major version number while an upgrade changes it.

• For an existing version, there can be many updates available while the number of upgrades is very few.

• In most software, updates occur automatically in the background without the intervention of the user. However, some upgrade does not happen automatically and the user should actively give the commands.

• Update packages are only available across the internet to be downloaded and installed while upgrade packages are available in media such as DVD apart from over the internet.

• In apt package manager in Linux, update and upgrade mean different things to the general meaning explained above. Here, an update means updating the available list of packages and their version numbers while the upgrade is the real operation that installs the newer versions and patches of the installed packages.

Summary:

Update vs Upgrade

An update provides bug fixes to existing software while an upgrade provides new features and functionalities. An update is a small patch to the installed software while an upgrade is a transformation to a newer version, which is complicated and time-consuming than an update. Updates are provided free of charge while upgrades can involve purchasing the new version of the product. While this is the general meaning, update and upgrade can mean different other things depending on the situation and company. For example, in apt package manager in Linux, update means updating the list of available packages and its versions while upgrade does the real installation of newer versions and patches.

 

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