Want to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04? In this post we show you how (but spoiler: it’s not difficult.)
This guide is ideal for those of you want want to make the leap from the previous LTS to the latest, as well as those looking to upgrade from Ubuntu 19.10 now that support has ended.
And to do it you don’t need to download an
.iso file from a slow server, fuss around with flashing things to USB, or put any your precious files at direct risk.
You can upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 directly. All you need is a half-decent internet connection, a bit of patience, and a mouse to click the relevant buttons!
Before you do anything though be sure to backup any important files, system settings, dot files, critical content, and similar. It also helps to keep some ‘rescue’ media to hand should things go wrong — it’s unlikely, but it’s best to be prepared.
How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was released on April 23, 2020. It is supported by 5 years of app and security updates, taking you through to July 2025 — which is pretty awesome!
You can upgrade to 20.04 from either Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 19.10. If you run Ubuntu 16.04 LTS you will have to upgrade to 18.04 first.
What do you need? This:
- A working internet connection
- A fully-updated 64-bit Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Ubuntu 19.10 install
The steps required to start the upgrade differ slightly depending on you your Ubuntu version so do read through the relevant section carefully.
Finally, be aware that you can NOT upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 from a 32-bit Ubuntu release. Support for 32-bit architecture was dropped in 2019.
Upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Now that the Ubuntu 20.40.1 LTS release is available users of Ubuntu 18.04 have the choice of upgrading to 20.04 LTS.
Just make sure you install all updates available for your existing system. Then, during its next periodical check, the Software Updater will spot the new release and offer you the option to upgrade.
From there you can click “Upgrade” to, well, you can guess the rest! 😉
Upgrade from Ubuntu 19.10
You can upgrade Ubuntu 19.10 to 20.04 from April 23 using the built in Software Updater tool.
As long as your system is fully up-to-date you’ll be notified that the upgrade is available in a. desktop pop-up. Just click the ‘Upgrade…’ button when you see it to do the rest.
Impatient? You can force check for a new stable Ubuntu release using this command:
sudo do-release-upgrade -c
Follow the instructions as presented.
Upgrading before April 23
This section was written prior to the final release and is, as of April 23, no longer required.
If you upgraded to 20.04 before April 23 you do NOT need to reinstall anything to get the ‘final’ version. Just keep installing any (and all) pending software updates and you’re good to go.
To force upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 run:
sudo do-release-upgrade -d
This command checks for a new development release, disables all third-party PPAs, and rewrites your system’s
apt list to point to
focal development branches (from where it fetches updated packages required to complete your upgrade).
Do not press any other button(s) after you issue the command. Wait for it to calculate the changes. Providing your internet connection is reliable, proceed as directed.
If you choose to decline the upgrade when prompted you WILL need re-enable the
bionic (18.04) or
eoan (19.10) repos manually. This is NOT done automatically.
The majority of the upgrade happens automatically, meaning you don’t need to do anything other than wait (and watch all the lines whizz past you in the terminal).
That said, don’t abandon your system entirely as, config dependent, you may be required to press
N to okay the odd package overwrite at some point during the process (and it won’t budge until you do).
Once done, just reboot your system when prompted to enjoy the refreshed Focal Fossa experience firsthand.