How to upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

How to upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was released on April 23 and comes with tons of improved features and software improvements. If you are currently using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, this guide will show you how to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS.

Save and test first

Before doing anything, be sure to back up your important data first. Fortunately, Ubuntu comes with a built-in backup utility so you can use it.

Ubuntu Upgrade 1804 2004 Backup First

You can also choose to back up the individual files that you want to keep. Backup tools like Timeshift are also helpful. You even have the choice of creating an image of your installation with Gnome Disk Utility or with software like Clonezilla.

If you want to be extra careful, you can also create an Ubuntu 20.04 live disc and use it to test the operating system on your machine. This will allow you to detect any quirks before proceeding with the installation.

Before you start, you should also make sure that you install all the updates available for your current version of Ubuntu. You can do this with the command:

Different methods of upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04

Ubuntu Update Manager

Now that Ubuntu 20.04.1 is out, you should be able to update from the Ubuntu Update Manager. You can start the update manager by typing update-manager in terminal and run your update from there. With this method, you will be able to perform your update using only a graphical interface. Just select “Upgrade” and let the process run until the end.

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Upgrade to 20.04 via wizard

To upgrade you will need to run the following command:

This starts the upgrade process with a Gtk3 based GUI.

Ubuntu Upgrade1804 2004 Upgrade GUIUbuntu Upgrade1804 2004 Upgrade GUI

Press “Upgrade” and the process will start to run on your machine.

Before the upgrade actually starts, you will be asked to confirm that you want to upgrade.

Ubuntu1804 2004 Upgrade Upgrade ConfirmationUbuntu1804 2004 Upgrade Upgrade Confirmation

Your lock screen will be disabled until your system restarts after the update is complete.

Ubuntu1804 2004 Upgrade Upgrade Lock Screen DisabledUbuntu1804 2004 Upgrade Upgrade Lock Screen Disabled

You will be informed of the progress via the graphical interface.

Ubuntu Upgrade 1804 2004 Upgrade NotificationUbuntu Upgrade 1804 2004 Upgrade Notification

This process will take several minutes, so be patient. Restart your computer after the upgrade is complete. You may need to respond to some prompts here and there.

Ubuntu 1804 2004 upgrade completeUbuntu 1804 2004 upgrade complete
Ubuntu1804 2004 Upgrade Full CheckoutUbuntu1804 2004 Upgrade Full Checkout

Upgrading the GUI

If you don’t care about the GUI, you can just run the command below:

This will start the upgrade process in the terminal. All user interaction will take place through the command line with this method.

Other things to consider

If third-party software is installed, you may need to add the -allow-third-party flag to the upgrade command above. Some software such as VirtualBox, Skype, and Google Chrome is updated through software channels outside of the standard Ubuntu archives.


If you’re still wondering if Ubuntu 20.04 is worth the upgrade, check out our Ubuntu 20.04 review. If you have decided to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04, please read this information carefully so that you can upgrade safely without any issues.


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