How to Upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Good news for Ubuntu users, Canonical has released Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on 23rd April 2020. As it is an LTS (Long Term Support) release so ubuntu users will keep getting updates and support till April 2025. So, it is worth to upgrade your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

In this article we will demonstrate how to upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS. There are two ways to do it either via command line or GUI (Graphical Interface). To complete the upgrade smoothly, a stable internet is required on your Ubuntu system.

Upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS via Command Line

We strongly recommend please the take backup of your existing Ubuntu 18.04, may be on some external drive.

Also Read : How to Use TimeShift to Backup and Restore Ubuntu Linux

Before start upgrading, let’s take a notw of existing Ubuntu Version, open the terminal and run below command,

[email protected]:~$ cat /etc/lsb-release

We will get the output of above command something like below,

Check-Ubuntu-Version-before-upgrade

Let’s deep dive into upgradation steps

Step 1) Apply all updates of installed packages

Rub below apt command to install all the updates of installed packages,

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt update
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt upgrade -y

Once all the updates are installed including the kernel then reboot your system

[email protected]:~$ sudo reboot

Step 2) Remove unused Kernels and install ‘update-manager-core’

Once your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop is available after reboot, then it is recommended to remove unused kernels to free up the space from /boot partition, run beneath command:

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt --purge autoremove

Execute below command to install “update-manager-core“, as it is required for upgrade, though on most of the systems it should be installed by default. In case it is not installed run below command,

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt install update-manager-core -y

Step 3) Start Upgrade Process

Run following command to view whether new 20.04 LTS version is available for your system.

[email protected]:~$ sudo do-release-upgrade

do-release-upgrade-Ubuntu18-04

If, in the above command’s output, you got a message that “There is no development version of an LTS available” then we can force the above command by passing the parameter “-d” to look for the new latest LTS version.

Now run the command to initiate the upgrade procedure,

[email protected]:~$ sudo do-release-upgrade -d

forcefully-upgrade-ubuntu18-04

During upgrade procedure, it will prompt you couple of times to type “y” to update package repositories and sometime “enter” to confirm to proceed with upgrade,

Enter-Y-During-Ubuntu-Upgrade

Once the upgrade process is completed successfully then we will get following message

Restart-Ubuntu-After-Upgrade

Above output confirms that upgrade is completed, upgrade tool prompted us to press ‘y’ to restart the system.

Step 4) Verify Upgrade

Once the system boots after the upgrade, open the terminal type following to verify the Ubuntu version,

[email protected]:~$ cat /etc/lsb-release

Upgrade-Verify-Ubuntu-Linux

Another way to verify the Ubuntu version, Go to Settings and then choose About

Settings-About-Ubuntu-Linux

This confirms that we have successfully upgrade our Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS via GUI

Note: The first important task is to take the backup of your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop.

Step 1) Apply Updates of installed packages and reboot

Search “Updater” from search dash and access it by clicking on its icon,

Search-Software-Update-Ubuntu18

If the updates are available, then we will get the following screen , click on ” Install Now”

Install-Updates-Ubuntu18

Once all the updates are installed, reboot your system once.

Step 2) Start Upgrade Process

Once the system is available after reboot, from the search dash look for “Software & Updates” and then click on its Icon,

Search-Software-Updates-Ubuntu18

From the Updates Tab, set “For long-term support versions” via “Notify me of a new Ubuntu version” drop down menu.

Notify-Upgrade-Option-Ubuntu18

If no upgrade appears, then type “ALT+F2“, enter the command as “update-manager -c -d” and hit enter

update-manager-c-d-ubuntu20-upgrade

In next screen, we will get the following , which says that Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is available for upgrade.

Ubuntu20-04-upgrade-available

Click on “upgrade” to initiate the upgrade procedure, it will prompt you to enter your user’s credentials.

In the next window, choose “Upgrade“,

Choose-Upgrade-Focal-Fossa-Ubuntu20-04-lts

Now follow the screen instructions to complete the upgrade procedure, once it is upgraded successfully, it will prompt you to restart the system.

Upgrade-Complete-Restart-Ubuntu

Click on “Restart Now”

Step 3) Verify Ubuntu version after upgrade

Once your Ubuntu system boots up after upgrade, Login and verify Ubuntu version:

Login-Screen-after-Ubuntu20.04-Upgrade

From the search tab look for “Settings” and then choose “About”

Verify-Ubuntu-Verison-After-Upgrade

Above confirms that we have successfully upgrade our Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS. That’s all from this article. Your feedback and comments are most welcome.

21 Responses

  1. Johan says:

    I upgraded, but certain applications don’t work so I downgraded again.
    PgAdmin4 is not supported.
    If you use GSConnect. No go in Fossa.
    So I reverted back to 19.10

  2. lukasz says:

    I can’t upgraded ubuntu

    sudo do-release-upgrade -d
    Sprawdzanie dostępności nowego wydania Ubuntu
    Please install all available updates for your release before upgrading.

  3. Bean says:

    I upgraded but I’m unable to boot its flash error message
    failed to start load kernel modules

  4. johanna says:

    Worked perfectly.

    Thanks

  5. Martin Stobbe says:

    I’ve tried the steps on the website,but it keeps coming with:
    “Please install all available updates for your release before upgrading.”

  6. BJ says:

    Step 1 command should be: sudo apt-get upgrade

    Using that command, these instructions worked for my upgrade.

    • Pradeep Kumar says:

      Since Ubuntu 16.04 LTS release, we can use “apt” command in place of “apt-get”. So ‘apt upgrade -y’ should work from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

  7. Ajay says:

    thank you very much, i was able to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS successfully and did not loose any of my files … worked perfectly

  8. Priyavrat Sharma says:

    Sir, I got stuck on login screen after entering password on login screen , i get below message:

    Oh no! Something has gone wrong. A problem has occurred and system can’t recover. Please contact a system administrator.

    Any help is appreciated.

  9. Emmanuel says:

    stucked on this error:

    cannot upgrade
    Your python3 install is corrupted. Please fix the ‘/usr/bin/python3’
    symlink

  10. Frank says:

    Same here, but one which were upgraded from 18.04 LTS to 19.04 upgraded perfect to 20.04 LTS, another was tried upgraded from 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS went bad like above.
    Oh no! Something has gone wrong. A problem has occurred and system can’t recover. Please contact a system administrator.
    In the beginning I was able to get through earlier kernel and dkpg commands surgested by system ran for a long time with at lot of Setting up …. but now it is White Screen with the tekst Oh no! Something has gone wrong. A problem has occurred and system can’t recover. Please contact a system administrator.
    Wish I knew the name of SysAdm
    If you wanna try upgrade your 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS then upgrade from 18.04 LTS to 19.04 and then from 19.04 to 20.04 LTS.

  11. Frank says:

    News from above Frank, after many boots via the power button I got through to the textbased recovery GUI. and got a root prompt.
    I did the best I know and in the last command from my below history it ended up asking me if I want to continue with the new release and replied fearless Y, default was N. After a boot I am running 20.04 LTS.
    Took a RJ45 to the router and fired service network-manager start. At some point of time -> start with that
    iwlist scan revealed some info on Wifi did something with iwconfig and parameter SSID and password (need to practice on connecting to wifi command line)
    The history I was able to retreive:
    apt-get -f install
    dpkg –configure -a
    apt –purge autoremove
    dpkg –configure -a
    apt install update-manager-core -y
    dpkg –configure -a
    apt install update-manager-core -y
    dpkg –configure -a
    do-release-upgrade  
    vi /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades  
    do-release-upgrade  
    dpkg –configure -a
    do-release-upgrade  
    apt install update-manager-core -y
    do-release-upgrade  
    dpkg –configure -a
    do-release-upgrade  
    dpkg –configure -a
    apt install update-manager-core -y
    dpkg –configure -a
    ls /var/log/dpkg.log  
    ls -l /var/log/dpkg.log
    cat /var/log/dpkg.log  
    cat /var/log/dpkg.log | more
    dpkg –configure -a 

  12. Dave says:

    Thank you for publishing this. It worked flawlessly

  13. aneuris says:

    It work really nice, thanks

  14. simbu says:

    I used the GUI instructions and it worked perfectly! It took less than 1h to upgrade, no files seem lost so far. And I finally have sound again.

  15. Genaro Gonzalez says:

    Thank you very much, i was able to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS successfully via command line and it worked flawlessly.

  16. Colin Edwards says:

    Your instructions were flawless, many thanks!

  17. Salam says:

    Hi Pradeep, when I run
    sudo do-release-upgrade

    I get
    There is no development version of an LTS available.
    To upgrade to the latest non-LTS develoment release
    set Prompt=normal in /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades.

    I dont have a dev environment as your can notice the output of lsb_release

    LSB Version: core-9.20170808ubuntu1-noarch:printing-9.20170808ubuntu1-noarch:security-9.20170808ubuntu1-noarch
    Distributor ID: Ubuntu
    Description: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS
    Release: 18.04
    Codename: bionic

    what is wrong? Thanks

  18. Jonecir Souza says:

    i’m getting the following error messages;

    Checking for a new Ubuntu release
    Please install all available updates for your release before upgrading.

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