How do I Upgrade my Ubuntu operating system to the latest version?

How do I Upgrade my Ubuntu operating system to the latest version?



The following article provides information on how to upgrade or repair the Ubuntu Operating system on a Dell PC.


Table of Contents:

  1. Why would I want to upgrade my version of Ubuntu and what's different from a clean install?
  2. How to run an Upgrade install
  3. How to run a custom repair install
  4. How to run an clean install
  5. For more Ubuntu Support

Why would I want to upgrade my version of Ubuntu and what's different from a clean install?

Ubuntu as with any other operating system is constantly looking to improve and better it's usage and performance. What is different with Ubuntu is that you have the option of two updates at any time :

The first is the most recent LTS (Long Term Support) release.

This update is available every two years and is fully supported by Canonical with updates for five years. It's considered a tested and stable build.

The second is the most recent Normal release.

This update is available every 6 months and is only supported by Canonical with updates for 9 Months. These normal releases are considered to be cutting edge but can have issues because of this. These builds are usually used by testers and developers.

Each upgrade looks to add new features and make old features work better. It also looks to make itself more compatible with new hardware and software. To get the best use out of your system, it's best to have your system up to date.

This guide deals with three types of install. I'll quickly go over the differences and then we have the various how to's in the sections below :

Upgrade Install

This type of install is where you move to a more recent revision of the operating system, whilst keeping all of your programs, settings and data intact. Everything is saved and used during the install so you don't need to redo or reinstall anything.

Custom/Repair Install

This type of install is where you create a new partition or install over only one of the old partitions so that you're programs and data and protected. This is usually done by copying the new libraries over the old ones in the / partition. It's much the same as the old XP Repair install where it copied the windows directory over the top of itself to try and resolve system issues without a clean install.

Clean Install

This type of install is a last resort. It's where you format the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and start again from scratch. This is usually done only after everything else has failed or you are configuring a new system.


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How to run an Upgrade install

These commands will mostly be run in Terminal. (CTRL+ALT+T will open Terminal in most Ubuntu builds.)

Make sure your current version is fully up to date.

sudo apt-get update

Install the Update Manager Core Package.

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

Run the following commands to check the current version and the kernel information.

lsb_release -a
uname -a

Use this command to update/upgrade to the next available version.

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

You will see a series of onscreen prompts that take you through the upgrade. I can't tell you how to answer the prompts, as it depends on what type of installation you want to end up with.


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How to run a custom repair install

If you are looking to perform a repair install or to customise your upgrade install further, you can approach the issue in a different manner.

First you will need to go to the Canonical site and download and burn an ISO of the operating system version you are upgrading to.

There are Dell Ubuntu images available from Dell sources. However if you aren't sure which particular custom image suits your particular system, then I would advise you stick with a base build and work from there.

To upgrade using the media you just burned, you need to run the installer.

Choose the Something Else option, select your Ubuntu partition and click Edit Partition.

Set the mount point to /. If you have any other partitions, for instance /home or /boot, then set those up too.

Click Next and it asks a question that essentially means Linux is already installed on /, this will erase your existing system files only, answer Yes.

Your /home folder will be saved, even if it is in the same partition as /. Your package list is saved and newer versions for 16.04 will be installed into the new system for you.

Note: We recommend you remove/uninstall all the programs and packages that you don't want anymore (i.e. Programs you tried out but don't want to keep using).

Most of this is covered in the article linked below :


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How to run a clean install

If you have attempted an upgrade install and a custom/repair install and you're still experiencing issues, you may need to look at performing a clean install instead. This is usually done as a last resort as there will be data loss.

In order to perform a clean install please follow the link below to a step by step guide.

Note: Please be aware a clean install means wiping your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and reinstalling all your apps, programs and information. Anything you don't backup before the install will be lost.


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For more Ubuntu Support

Further Support is available for software and hardware issues :


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Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN136017

Last Date Modified: 11/15/2019 06:06 AM


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