How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) was released on April 23, 2020, and will be supported for five years. It comes with many new packages and major software enhancements, including the latest versions of OpenJDK, GCC, Python, Ruby, and PHP. This release is based on the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel and adds support for new hardware and file systems. The desktop edition comes with GNOME 3.36 and a new default theme called Yaru.

This tutorial explains how to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS from Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 19.10.


You can upgrade directly to version 20.04 directly from Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 19.10. If you are running a previous release, you must first upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 or 19.10.

Upgrade operations must be performed with super user rights. You must be logged in as root or as a user with sudo privileges.

Back up Your Data

First and foremost, make sure you back up your data before starting your main operating system upgrade. If you are running Ubuntu on a virtual machine, it is best to take a complete system snapshot so that you can quickly restore your machine if the update is wrong.

Update Currently Installed Packages

Before starting the upgrade release, it is recommended to update all packages that you installed to their latest version.

Packages marked as being held cannot automatically be installed, upgraded, or removed. This can cause problems during the upgrade process. To check whether a package is being held on your system is running:

sudo apt-mark showhold

If there is a hold, package, you must open the package with:

sudo apt-mark unhold package_name

Update the apt list and update all installed packages:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
If the kernel is upgraded, reboot the machine, and once booted in again:

sudo systemctl reboot

Perform the main version of the upgrade package installed:

sudo apt full-upgrade

apt full-upgrade can also remove some unnecessary packages.

Remove all installed dependencies automatically which are no longer needed by any package:

sudo apt --purge autoremove

Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)

Upgrading to the latest Ubuntu version is a very easy process. You can update from the command line with do-release-upgrade or use the GUI update tool.

We will update from the command line, which should work for Desktop and Server systems.

do-release-upgrade is part of the “update-manager-core” package which is installed by default on most Ubuntu systems. If for some reason it is not installed on your system, install it with:

sudo apt install update-manager-core

Start the upgrade process by entering:

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

This command will disable all third-party repositories and change the apt list to point to the focus repository. You will be asked several times to confirm that you want to continue updating. When asked if you want the service to restart automatically during the type of upgrade, y.

During the update process, the command will ask you various questions, such as whether you want to save the existing configuration file or install the package manager version. If you don’t make special changes to the file, it must be safe to type Y. Otherwise, it is recommended to maintain the current configuration. Read the questions carefully before making a choice.

The update runs in the GNU screen session and will automatically re-attach if the connection goes down.

The whole process might take some time depending on the number of updates and your internet speed.

After the new package is installed, the update tool will ask if you want to remove obsolete software. If you are not sure type d and check the list of obsolete packages. In general, it is safe to insert and delete all obsolete packages.

When the update process is complete and assuming everything is going well, you will be asked to reboot your machine. Type y to continue:

Output :

System upgrade is complete.

Restart required

To finish the upgrade, a restart is required.
If you select 'y' the system will be restarted.

Continue [yN] y

Confirm Upgrade

Wait a few moments for your system to boot and login.

If you are a desktop user, you will be greeted with a new graphical boot splash and login screen.

You can also check the Ubuntu version by entering the following command:

lsb_release -a

Output :

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Release:	20.04
Codename:	focal

There she is. Enjoy your new Ubuntu 20.04 installation.


Upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is a relatively easy and painless task.

If you find an error, visit the release notes page, which includes known issues that might occur during the update process.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions.

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