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Magento 2.1 Release Candidate 2 was released yesterday: http://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.0/release-notes/ReleaseNotes2.1_RC2CE.html

And according to the release notes:

You cannot update from Magento 2.0.x to Magento 2.1.x with Sample Data.

I'm wondering what's the reason behing that ?

It caught my eyes because I assume sample data are the same as any merchant data and thus, means you can't update from Magento 2.0.x to Magento 2.1.x

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there is currently an issue with the Sample Data upgrade, that our team is fixing at the moment. So for 2.1 GA the Sample Data upgrade case is planned to be supported. At the moment, you can install 2.1-RC2 with the Sample Data to play with the platform.

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Because it does not use the Module Service Layer and depends on private implementation that can be changed in minor version.

But you can remove sample data modules and then upgrade magento form 2.0 to 2.1.

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There is now a workaround for the sample data upgrade issue. Please let us know if it works for you.

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