Do I need to step through the intermediate releases? Also would like to know if the overall upgrade to 6.1.7 affects the database schema, and that if so, that those changes are included in the overall process.
I'd strongly recommend reading the release notes for each version (5.2, 6.0, but you can skim the point releases as they're generally minor tweaks and bug fixes), and testing the process several times, but yes, your upgrade plan can be as simple as:
But seriously, test the process. A lot.
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