Soon, Ubuntu 18.04, aka the Bionic Beaver, and Canonical's next long-term support version of its popular Linux distribution will be out. That means it's about time to consider how to upgrade to the latest and greatest Ubuntu Linux.
Eager to make the move? Well, before starting, you should backup your existing Ubuntu desktop. There are many ways to backup Ubuntu. My favorites for complete system backups are Ubuntu's default Déjà Dup and CloneZilla. Whichever method you use, you should also check the restore to make certain your backup is good.
Next, if you want to do this from the GUI, take the following steps:
Open the "Software & Updates" setting in System Settings.
Select the third tab, called "Updates."
Set the "Notify me of a new Ubuntu version" dropdown menu to "For any new version."
Press Alt+F2 and type in "update-manager -cd" (without the quotes) into the command box.
Update Manager should open up and tell you: New distribution release '18.04' is available.
If not, you can also use "/usr/lib/ubuntu-release-upgrader/check-new-release-gtk".
Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.
That's really all there is to it.
If you'd rather use a shell, you start with the commands:
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt upgrade
This makes sure your Ubuntu is up to date. Next, follow this up with:
$ sudo apt dist-upgrade
This handles changing software dependencies with new versions of packages.
I then follow this up with:
$ sudo apt-get autoremove
This removes dependencies from uninstalled applications. You can do the same thing from the GUI desktop with the utility application Bleachbit. After that, it's time to get things ready for the big upgrade with:
$ sudo apt install update-manager-core
$ sudo do-release-upgrade
This will start upgrading your system to 18.04. Along the way, Ubuntu will ask you several questions about how to handle the upgrade.
If you just can't wait for the final release, you can already move up to the beta by using this command:
$ sudo do-release-upgrade -d
The entire update from Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04 consists of 1GB of data. So, you'll want to do this either when you have a lot of time or a fast internet connection.
I was able to upgrade my systems, which had been running 17.10 and 16.04, during my lunch hour. In short, upgrading Ubuntu shouldn't take you long at all.
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