2 Ways to Upgrade From Ubuntu 16.04/17.10 To Ubuntu 18.04 (Graphical & Terminal)

Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver is released on April 26, 2018. This tutorial will be showing you 2 ways to upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04/17.10 to Ubuntu 18.04: using the graphical update manager and using the command line. Normally you use the graphical update manager to upgrade Ubuntu desktop and use command line to upgrade Ubuntu server, but the command-line method works for desktops too.

Note that you can upgrade a LTS directly to a newer LTS only after the first point release of the new LTS is released, which means after Ubuntu 18.04.1 is released, Ubuntu 16.04 can directly upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04. The first point release for an LTS comes out 3 months after the initial release. If you can’t wait that long, you can first upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10, then follow the steps below to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04. As with any OS upgrade, please back up your important data before beginning the upgrade.

Upgrade Ubuntu 16.04/17.10 to Ubuntu 18.04 with the Graphical Update Manager

First of all, fire up a terminal window and run the following command to update existing software packages.

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade

Please note that if a new kernel is installed while running the above command, you need to reboot system in order to continue the upgrade process. Then issue the following command in terminal.

update-manager

After checking for updates, the update manager will tell you that Ubuntu 18.04 is now available. Click the Upgrade button.

how to upgrade from ubuntu 17.10 to ubuntu 18.04

Then enter your password.

upgrade from ubuntu 17.10 to ubuntu 18.04

The release notes window appears. Click Upgrade.

upgrade from ubuntu 16.04 to ubuntu 18.04

Wait for the upgrade process to finish. If you are notified that some third-party sources are disabled, accept it. You can re-enable them after the upgrade is finished.

upgrade ubuntu to version 18.04

During this process, you might be told some packages are no longer supported by Canonical and some packages will be removed. You can click details to see what packages is going to be removed. Once you are ready, click the Start Upgrade button.

upgrade to ubuntu 18.04 LTS

While installing the upgrades, I was asked to restart xscreensaver and xlockmore. Simply clicking the Forward button will suffice.

update ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04

Once the upgrade is complete, restart your computer. At the login screen, you can click the cog icon to select GNOME, GNOME with Wayland, or Unity desktop environment.

To check your Ubuntu version, run

lsb_release -a

Output:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Release:	18.04
Codename:	bionic

Upgrade Ubuntu 16.04/17.10 to Ubuntu 18.04 From Command Line

You can use command line to upgrade Ubuntu desktop or a headless server. Speaking of servers, it is recommended that you upgrade Ubuntu on a test server before doing it on a production server. Some server software such as iRedMail (mail server software suite) may not support Ubuntu 18.04 yet. In that case, it is advisable to wait sometime for the software to support Ubuntu 18.04.

If you use SSH to log into your Ubuntu server, it’s a good idea to keep your OpenSSH session alive by adding the following line in /etc/ssh/sshd_config file on your server.

ClientAliveInterval 60

Save and close the file. Then restart SSH daemon.

sudo systemctl restart ssh

To upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04, first run the following command to upgrade existing software.

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade

Then make sure you have update-manager-core package installed.

sudo apt install update-manager-core

After that, run the following command to begin the upgrade process.

do-release-upgrade

Then follow the on-screen instruction to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04. Once the upgrade is finished, reboot your Ubuntu desktop or server. To check your Ubuntu version, run:

lsb_release -a

Output:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Release:	18.04
Codename:	bionic

You also need to re-enable third-party repositories such as PPA because they are disabled during upgrade.

Upgrade Ubuntu 16.04 Directly to 18.04 Without Waiting for the First Point Release

Later I found out that there is actually a way to upgrade LTS directly to the next LTS without waiting 3 months. I tried this method on one of my Ubuntu 16.04 system and it worked! But keep in mind that this does pose a potential risk to the system, so if you want to try it out, first backup your important data.

Once you are ready to upgrade, open Software & Updates from Unity Dash or your favorite application menu.

upgrade ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04

Select the Updates tab and then at the bottom set notification to For long-term support versions.

ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04

Next, run the following command in a terminal window.

update-manager -d

The update manager will tell you that Ubuntu 18.04 is available and you can click the upgrade button to start the upgrade process.

If you want to upgrade from the command line, then edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades file.

sudo nano /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades

Set prompt to lts.

update ubuntu lts to lts

Save and close the file. Then run the following command to start the upgrade process.

do-release-upgrade -d

Troubleshooting

While I was upgrading Ubuntu 17.10 to 18.04 on my Linode VPS, I encountered the following message.

No valid mirror found

While scanning your repository information no mirror entry for the
upgrade was found. This can happen if you run an internal mirror or
if the mirror information is out of date.

Do you want to rewrite your 'sources.list' file anyway? If you choose
'Yes' here it will update all 'artful' to 'bionic' entries.
If you select 'No' the upgrade will cancel.
Continue [yN]

Don’t worry. Just answer y to continue. It will be Okay.

That’s it! I hope this tutorial helped you upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 from Ubuntu 16.04/17.10. As always, if you found this post useful, then subscribe to our free newsletter to get new tutorials. Take care!

Rate this tutorial
[Total: 54 Average: 3.5]

7 Responses to “2 Ways to Upgrade From Ubuntu 16.04/17.10 To Ubuntu 18.04 (Graphical & Terminal)

  • Every time I attempts to upgrade of Ubuntu 17.10 to 18.04 in laptop (Lenovo Ideapad 320 64-bit), it fails with the following message:
    “Error during update
    A problem occurred during the update. This is usually some sort of network problem, please check your network connection and retry.

    E:Failed to fetch http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/bionic/restricted/binary-amd64/Packages 403 Forbidden [IP: 91.189.88.149 80], E:Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.”

    How to get the OS upgraded?

    • Xiao Guo-An (Admin)
      5 months ago

      “403 Forbidden” indicates that you are not allowed to download resources from archive.ubuntu.com. You can try switching to another software repository. Open the software & updates application. Choose another server in Download from

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6f612c8579080e8e92d68ec357eada0f3dc4e687c89a3e1cc2b95a4f9498d46d.png

  • Jakub Sedlak
    5 months ago

    Unfortunately my update manager does not show me the option to upgrade to 18,04… I am using 16,04

  • Nikolaos Skordilis
    5 months ago

    Bizarrely at first when I tried to upgrade from 16.04 to 17.10 I started getting Artful repositories. I almost broke the OS and had to format everything with this update btw, just because in the options Y, N or D (for details), I chose D. After that it stuck in a partial upgrade, where some of the packages were from Xenial and most were from Artful, but without presenting a distro upgrade option, just a normal upgrade. I tried everything to remove the numerous Artful references for a couple of days.

    None of the apt commands worked, so I used Bleachbit admin to wipe the apt cache and the apt package lists. Insanely it still showed me Artful repos and packages to download, despite being unable to find a single artful reference via locate or grep anywhere. It turned out that Artful was hidden in plain sight : in Synaptic’s repositories. So I finally managed to completely remove the Artful repos and after finding your article I prepared for a second attempt to properly upgrade to Artful and then Bionic (since I read that I couldn’t upgrade directly to Bionic until its first point release).

    That’s where the “bizarrely” comes in : This time, perhaps because I added that -d to the do-release-upgrade command (or, who knows, perhaps because Artful got sick of me trying to kill it ;), it defaulted directly to the Bionic repositories. So it appears that I will somehow be able to upgrade from 16.04 directly to 18.04. It is about to finish downloading the packages, so I hope it goes smoothly.

  • Paul Dong
    5 months ago

    Newbie question: Do I need to re-install the apps like Chrome, Steam, etc., after upgrading?

    • Xiao Guo-An (Admin)
      5 months ago

      They will generally work like before. So there’s no need to re-install them. If you have software installed from third-party repository, like Google Chrome, you need to re-enable third-party repository to get updates.

Leave a Comment

  • Comments with links are moderated by admin before published.
  • Your email address will not be published.
  • Use <pre> ... </pre> HTML tag to quote the output from your terminal/console.
  • If my answer helped you, please consider supporting this site. Thanks :)