This page is a generic guide to upgrade Ubuntu from version 6.06 and up, with the exception of end of life versions. For more information please refer to the upgrade notes.

Before you upgrade..


Please make sure you have a backup of your important data. You can make a backup of your disks/partitions using clonezilla.

Disable power management

Ensure you have disabled Suspend and Hibernate before beginning your upgrade so it doesn't kick off in the middle of it.

Release Notes

Read the release notes before upgrading:

Upgrade policy

Check the file /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades. Prompt=normal is needed when upgrading from any version to a newer version, Prompt=never will never upgrade your OS. Prompt=lts will make sure you upgrade from LTS to LTS. You need to be root 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 an older version of Ubuntu is to start the Update Manager

  1. Go to the menu: System > Administration > Update Manager

  2. If an upgrade is available, the Upgrade button will be active. Click on it to begin upgrading

Server / Command line Upgrade

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

Upgrades via alternate CD

This method will describe an upgrade without actually burning the ISO to a CD. When you have burned the disc, just plug it in and run ./cdromupgrade from /media/cdrom. Please run ./cdromupgrade --help for more details regarding upgrades via the alternate CD.

Desktop / GUI Upgrade

mkdir /mnt/alternate
sudo mount -o loop /path/to/alternate-cd.iso /mnt/alternate
cd /mnt/alternate
# Gnome
gksudo ./cdromupgrade
kdesudo ./cdromupgrade

Server / Command line Upgrade

mkdir /mnt/alternate
sudo mount -o loop /path/to/alternate-cd.iso /mnt/alternate
cd /mnt/alternate
sudo ./cdromupgrade --frontend=DistUpgradeViewText

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 or run an LTS version of Ubuntu.

Please do not advise others to use this method to upgrade other versions of Ubuntu. You'll teach them how to upgrade to a development 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 an alternate CD or via the Debian (manual) way. This is left as an exercise for the user.

See Also


Upgrades (last edited 2014-01-02 15:12:31 by penalvch)