Short answer: You don't need to care! Elive already includes an automated upgrader with which you don't need to do anything at all, and everything is kept as-is.
This is the same as any other OS out there, except that the others do ask you a lot of questions, where Elive will do it with less required input
Elive development is extremely high paced, and everything improves with every release.
Meaning things like:
- A possibly different packages selection for the OS in every version
- Default configurations improved in different ways (better defaults, stability in the app, features, etc)
- Better autodetections / configurations for hardware-specific machines, etc
This offers the user a choice to either use their original version, as how it was released at that moment, with it's specific features, settings and everything. Not having to care about anything, simply deploying the automated updates.
Or, users can download every new version to create a new system as detailed before (in the case that these changes are made to the system, the important ones will be listed in the CHANGELOGS of every version released on the website of Elive news)
Elive makes everything easier than any other distro, offering the options in different and clear ways. All of which are explained in detail in the howto How to update your Elive, the correct way
So there's simply an option to take these advanced steps to have more features, all of which are optional. Where no other distro even offers this path it displays the added value and user friendliness, that Elive has by comparison.