This page will explain how to upgrade an End of Life (EOL) release of Ubuntu to a supported system. This guide is not limited to Ubuntu Desktop - it is suitable for any Ubuntu flavor.

For upgrading supported releases please refer to this document.

If you want to know whether your release is EOL please have a look at the following resources:

These guides assumes that the user knows his way on the terminal, as no graphical tools are used. This said, the steps for executing all the commands are actually copy/pasteable so everyone, from beginner to advanced user running EOL releases of Ubuntu can execute the upgrade(s).

In case of problems you should be aware that most (if not all) of the releases which are mentioned in this guide are unsupported, and getting help may be a bit tricky since most of us have already upgraded to a more recent version of Ubuntu. As always, take backups of your disks/partitions before upgrading.

Upgrade or fresh install?

The advantage of upgrading is that you get to keep your current configuration as is. This is often desirable on production environments which you want to keep as stable as possible. At the same time, configuration applicable for older versions might not always work with newer versions.

If you format partitions when installing a newer version, you have the option to select a new file system, which might have benefits and required features compared to the old one. The new installation also gives you a clean platform to start building your system from; no old configuration files and potential upgrade-related bugs.

Reinstalling is usually easier and faster, especially if you would have to upgrade through several releases. It might also help you save some bandwidth, if that is a concern.

Note about hardware support

It is not certain that every release of Ubuntu runs on the hardware in question. Regardless if you are upgrading or doing a new install, it is always a good start to try the new release in a live boot. A live Ubuntu runs from a CD or a USB stick, and it does not change the installation on the hard drive.


Note: Before you start, check if your upgrade path is listed in this list. If it is, it's recommended to use the specific instructions on the appropriate subpage.

Update sources.list

To begin the upgrade, make sure you have a sources.list like the following, with CODENAME being your release, e.g. quantal.

## EOL upgrade sources.list
# Required
deb CODENAME main restricted universe multiverse
deb CODENAME-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb CODENAME-security main restricted universe multiverse

# Optional
#deb CODENAME-backports main restricted universe multiverse

You can use -backports and or -proposed if you want. For more information about repositories see this page.


You should also make sure some meta-packages are installed so the upgrade can continue without problems.


From version 6.06 and up you will need to install the update-manager and update-manager-core packages. Note: You don't want to install the update-manager package on CLI-only servers.

sudo aptitude install update-manager-core update-manager

For upgrading from an LTS release to a non-LTS release, make sure that the update manager is correctly configured to upgrade any release. This is not needed when upgrading from one LTS release to the next LTS release:

sudo perl -pi -e 's/^Prompt=.*/Prompt=normal/' /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades

Desktop meta

If you run a particular desktop version, you might want to reinstall this package to resolve any issue with dependencies of that package. You can (re)install these -desktop packages before or after your upgrade.

To find out if you which desktop package you want to (re)install: dpkg -l | grep tu-desktop. Or search for one by running aptitude search tu-desktop. The correct commands to install a desktop metapackage is (in this example, we're reinstalling the Kubuntu desktop):

sudo aptitude install kubuntu-desktop


sudo aptitude install linux-image-generic linux-headers-generic
# or
sudo aptitude install linux-image-server linux-headers-server
# or
sudo aptitude install linux-image-virtual linux-headers-virtual
  • 5.04: linux-image-386 and linux-headers-386

sudo aptitude install linux-image-386 linux-headers-386
  • 4.10: linux-image-386 and linux-kernel-headers

sudo aptitude install linux-image-386 linux-kernel-headers

Run the upgrade

After you've done the above, run the updates and then the upgrade as usually:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo do-release-upgrade

Known issues

Some issues are related to apt-get upgrade and dist-upgrade commands. If you get calculation errors when running do-release-upgrade you can resolve this issue by running do-release-upgrade -m desktop, or removing the ubuntu-desktop package. When aptitude is used there is no need for this.

If you run into individual dependency issues you need to resolve these individually. You can use sudo apt-get -f install for this. After resolving the issue, you can continue by running sudo ./feisty --frontend DistUpgradeViewTextm -mode=server; replace feisty with the release where you upgrade to.

Instructions for specific upgrades


EOLUpgrades (last edited 2018-05-30 21:34:20 by knome)