How to update to a newer version of cockpit?

I wonder if this should be done via ftp and re-uploading the codes or there is a panel based setting.

There is an option in /settings/info in the right side bar, but the updater is hardcoded to the stable branch. If you use the next branch, this update would be a downgrade.

If you have access via SSH, the fastest way to update is git clone (install) and git pull (update).

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yes you can update your cockpit installation by just uploading the files of a new version via FTP - just make sure to keep your storage dir! IF you remove your storage dir all data will be lost - all other dirs are not relevant to data you put into cockpit

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Don’t forget the config folder if you don’t want to lose changes in config.yaml, modifications in your custom bootstrap.php or your translation files…

Not at all. The config dir is not part oft a fresh new cockpit installation and will be created at runtime if needed; so there is no danger of overwriting stuff you need/have created once when you update the instance.

See: -> no config dir