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How to Upgrade Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 23.11.17

Running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and wondering how to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS? Don’t worry, we’re here to walk you through it.

Because Ubuntu 12.04 is a Long Term Support release, meaning that it is supported with bug fixes and security updates for 5 years, you won’t find a popup telling you that a new version is available to install, at least not yet. Canonical will not start notify LTS desktop users of an update until July, when the first point release (14.04.1) is set to go live.

This doesn’t affect anyone using a ‘regular’ release of Ubuntu. Ubuntu 13.04 and 13.10 users will be automatically notified of an upgrade through Update Manager in the coming 24 hours or so.

Don’t panic into upgrading if what you’re running now is working fine. Ubuntu 12.04 is supported until 2017. If stability matters, hold off upgrading until July.

But if the lure of new features and updated applications is just too strong to resist, read on…

Upgrade Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

First things first: make sure that you are fully up-to-date. Double check by opening the Update Manager application from the dash and installing all updates listed.

When that’s done, open the Dash again and launch the Terminal application. When it opens click inside the window and type the following command carefully:

sudo update-manager -d

Hit the return/enter key and, if prompted, enter your user password.

The Update Manager application will open after a few seconds with a prompt to upgrade. Click this button to begin the process.

Things to Note

If you’re following this guide on April 17, 2014 then be aware that the whole process could take some time. Ubuntu 14.04 has only just been released and you won’t be the only person upgrading, so be prepared for the upgrade to take longer than usual to complete.

Also, while an LTS-to-LTS upgrade should preserve all your files it would be prudent to make a backup of any important documents, folders and photos before you begin. It’s rare for ‘direct upgrades’ to go wrong, but never say never.

With that said, good luck!