There are several ways to upgrade a Linux installation. With Ubuntu, the recommended upgrade method is to use the
do-release-upgrade command. This command is the official method for upgrading the Ubuntu version.
Ubuntu Upgrade Command
Canonical has built a native method for upgrading an Ubuntu installation in an automatic fashion. This basically is a script that automates all the Debian commands that would otherwise be necessary to upgrade to a newer release of Ubuntu; thus making it really easy to run.
All you need to do is run the
do-release-upgrade command using
sudo, like the following:
When executing this command, the Ubuntu version upgrade will be kicked off. Keep in mind that you will be prompted a couple times to accept things along the way. So, running this command (like stated above) wont be able to be run completely in the background without user action.
After this command has finished executing, your Ubuntu installation will be upgraded to the latest release.
This is the recommended way to upgrade Ubuntu Server edition installations. This does not have any graphical dependencies, so it can be run on both Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop! Additionally, this tool is installed by default with Ubuntu. If you find it’s not available on your installation, then reference the description below on how to install it.
“For further stability of an LTS release, there is a slight change in behavior if you are currently running anSource: Official Ubuntu Server Guide
LTS version. LTS systems are only automatically considered for an upgrade to the next LTS via do-release-upgrade with the first point release. So for example 18.04 will only upgrade once 20.04.1 is released. If you
want to update before, e.g. on a subset of machines to evaluate the LTS upgrade for your setup the same
argument as an upgrade to a dev release has to be used via the -d switch.”
Upgrade to Development Version
If for some reason you get a
No new release found message, then append the
-d flag to the command to essentially force an upgrade to a development version of Ubuntu. This is not a flag you’ll want to use in a Production environment, unless you are fully aware of the potential consequences.
Caution: It is not recommended to use the
-dflag and upgrading to a development release when upgrading a Production system.
do-release-upgrade command is made available as part of the
update-manager-core package. As a result, the Ubuntu system will need to have this package installed prior to being able to run the upgrade command.
Keep in mind that the
update-manager-core package is installed by default with Ubuntu, so it should be already installed. In case it’s not installed, you can install this package as follows:
sudo apt install update-manager-core
Update Packages First
It’s a good practice to update all your installed packages first. This is done using the traditional
apt-get update and
upgrade commands. You can also use the
dist-upgrade command to update the distribution.
It’s recommended to run these commands first, prior to performing an upgrade to a newer version of Ubuntu. This should help reduce compatibility issues, and get you closer to a state that more closely mirrors the test cases the Canonical team uses for testing upgrades.
To update and upgrade all the installed packages on your Ubuntu installation, run these commands:
sudo -s apt update apt upgrade apt dist-upgrade