Ubuntu 20.04 upgrade from older versions


The Ubuntu 20.04 distribution was released yesterday and you may want to upgrade to older versions of the Canonical operating system (19.10 or 19.04). Yes I do know that many administrators believe that no operating system is as good as the one installed from the beginning.

For this reason, you may prefer to install Ubuntu 20.04 from the beginning instead of doing an upgrade.

However, you may already be using some of the current versions 18.04, 19.04 or 19.10 that you will want to keep as is, but upgrade.

The following post will guide you through the process of upgrading older versions of the distribution to the latest LTS version, 20.04.

Note: It is rare for an Ubuntu upgrade to go wrong. However, it can happen. So before we get started it would be good to back up all your data and settings to your computer.

How to update and upgrade

The first thing you need to do is upgrade your existing system.

To do this, open a terminal and give the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

When done, restart the machine (if the kernel has been upgraded), log in again and get ready to continue.

Install Ubuntu Update Manager

The update-manager-core is responsible for managing upgrades. Hypothetically it is already installed on your system. To be sure, give the following command:

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core -y

How to upgrade

Give the order:

sudo do-release-upgrade

The upgrade process will start. If the command states that a new version is not available and you still want to proceed with the upgrade, you can use the -d option:

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

You will be asked if you want to continue with the upgrade
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Are you sure you want to continue?

Type y and press Enter on your keyboard to start the process. You will be asked if you want to restart the services during the package upgrades without being asked. Click Yes and press Enter on your keyboard.

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Depending on the software you have installed on your server, you may be asked if you want to keep the current versions or if you want new versions

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Think before you choose. If you have a custom application installed, you need to make sure that you maintain the existing version. If you are not concerned, choose to install the package manager version.

Finally you will be asked if you want to keep or remove old packages. It would be good not to keep them.

Reboot to complete the upgrade process.

It will take a long time - even hours. If your hardware and Internet are fast enough, the upgrade can be done in less than 30 minutes. If your network connection is slow, this time may be significantly extended. When the process is complete, you will need to restart.

After rebooting, log in again and enjoy Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa.


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