This page is a guide to upgrade supported releases of Ubuntu to other supported releases. For more information please refer to the upgrade notes.

Before you upgrade


Please make sure you have a backup of your important data. For more on disk cloning, please see here.

Disable automatic Power Management

Ubuntu can be configured to automatically suspend and/or hibernate after a period of user inactivity. If Ubuntu is configured as such, the user starts a release upgrade, and leaves the computer unattended during the upgrade, then Ubuntu stops in the middle of the upgrade. This can causes issues, and in the worst case, cause a corrupt install. Therefore, before upgrading Ubuntu, disable any power management feature until the upgrade process is complete. In Ubuntu with Unity, you find this setting in the System Settings application, inside "Power".

Release Notes

Please read the release notes before upgrading. They contain important information for the task of installing a given release, or upgrading to it. For example, they document high-impact bugs and their workarounds.

Upgrade policy

Check the file /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades. Prompt=normal offers upgrades from any release to a newer release; Prompt=never never offers release upgrades; Prompt=lts only offers upgrades from LTS to LTS. You need root privileges to edit this file.

Via the GUI:

  1. On the Update manager, click on Settings...

  2. Select the Updates Tab

  3. Where it says Release Upgrade, Show new distribution releases choose Normal Releases or LTS Releases

Upgrading Flash

If you want to upgrade flash, please add the following line to your sources.list:

# Change CODENAME to your release: lsb_release -cs
deb CODENAME partner

This will make sure the adobe-flashplugin package will be upgraded.

Network upgrades

Desktop / GUI Upgrade

The simplest way to upgrade to a newer Ubuntu release is to start the Software Updater (update-manager). In Ubuntu with Unity:

  • Open the Dash by hitting Super key on your keyboard. This may be done by either clicking the key between Ctrl and Alt that may have a Windows logo, or by clicking the Ubuntu logo in the upper left corner of the screen.
  • Type "updater".
  • Click the "Software Updater" icon under Applications.
  • If a release upgrade is available, the Upgrade button will be active. Click it to begin upgrading.

Server / Command line Upgrade

sudo aptitude install update-manager-core
sudo do-release-upgrade

The Debian way of upgrading

Please be aware that this method is valid, yet not officially advised by the Ubuntu developers.

# Upgrade all the packages to the latest versions
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude safe-upgrade

# Update our sources, save the original as /etc/apt/sources.list.ORIG
# This step is REQUIRED, otherwise the instructions below will not upgrade a
# single package.
# Change karmic/lucid to your required releases eg, dapper/hardy, hardy/lucid,
# jaunty/karmic, etc
sudo sed -i.ORIG 's/karmic/lucid/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

# Backup the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ folder and create an empty one.
# This will disable all Third Party/Launchpad PPA repositories.
# These repositories can be re-enabled after a successful upgrade.
sudo mv /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ /etc/apt/sources.list.d.ORIG/
sudo mkdir /etc/apt/sources.list.d/

# Upgrade your box
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude safe-upgrade
sudo aptitude full-upgrade

Upgrading to development releases

Please be aware that development releases are unstable, and not suited for people who do not want to fix/report/triage bugs. If you want a stable Ubuntu version, stick to the official released versions. For added stability, choose a Ubuntu LTS release.

Desktop / GUI Upgrade

update-manager -d

Server / Command line Upgrade

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core
sudo do-release-upgrade -d

Beside the network upgrades you could upgrade to a development release via the Debian (manual) way. This is left as an exercise for the user.

See Also


Upgrades (last edited 2015-05-05 23:18:10 by penalvch)