2 Ways to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 To Ubuntu 20.10 (GUI & Terminal)

Ubuntu 20.10, codenamed Groovy Gorilla, will be released on October 22, 2020. This tutorial will be showing you 2 ways to upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10. The first method uses the graphical update manager and the second method uses the command line. Usually, you use the graphical update manager to upgrade Ubuntu desktop and use the command line to upgrade Ubuntu server, but the command-line method also works for desktops.

Note that Ubuntu 20.04 is a long term support (LTS) release, which will be supported for 5 years. Ubuntu 20.10 is a non-LTS release, which means it will be supported for 9 months only, until July 2021. If you prefer stability over bleeding edge, then stick with Ubuntu 20.04. But if you are the other way around, you can follow this tutorial to upgrade from Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10.

Ubuntu 20.10 New Features

  • Linux kernel 5.8. You will also get all the new features from kernel 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7, such as VirtualBox folder sharing, Thunderbolt 3 and USB4 support, Apple USB fast charge, EFI mixed mode booting, full support for exFAT, which is a file system optimized for flash memory that allows file size larger than 4GB.
  • GNOME 3.38
  • Wi-Fi hotspot sharing with QR code
  • Fingerprint login allows you to unlock and log into your computer with your finger if your computer has a fingerprint reader.
  • The Ubiquity installer now has Active Directory (AD) integration.
  • High-precision touchpad scrolling in Firefox 81.
  • Thunderbird 78, which now has built-in calendar and OpenPGP encryption support.
  • Nginx 1.18, PHP7.4, Ruby 2.7, Python 3.8 and 3.9, OpenJDK 8, 11, 13, 14, and 15.

Note:  Before doing the upgrade, you can use the systemback program to create a bootable ISO image from your current OS. If the upgrade fails, you can easily restore your OS with the bootable ISO. Everything on your OS including software and files will be intact.  If you are using a laptop, please connect your power source.

Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10 with the Graphical Update Manager

First of all, open software updater (aka update manager) from your application menu. It will update software package information. If there’s updates available, click the Install Now button and enter your password to install updates.


If a new version of the Linux kernel is installed, then the update manager will tell you to restart your computer. Click Restart Now.

upgrade from ubuntu 18.04 to ubuntu 18.10

Then open Software & Updates from your application menu.

update ubuntu 18.04 to ubuntu 18.10

Select the Updates tab and then at the bottom of the window, change notification settings from For long-term support version to For any new version. You will be asked to enter your password for the change to take effect. Then close this window.

software & updates for any new version

Next, open up a terminal window and issue the following command in the terminal.


After checking for updates, the update manager will tell you that Ubuntu 20.10 is now available. Click the Upgrade button.

ubuntu 20.10 is now available

Then enter your password. The release notes window appears. Click Upgrade.

Ubuntu 'Groovy Gorilla' release notes

The distribution upgrade window will open up. If you are notified that some third-party sources are disabled, accept it. You can re-enable them after the upgrade is finished. (The window says “upgrading Ubuntu to version 20.04”. Actually it’s upgrading Ubuntu to version 20.10.)


In a few moments, you will be asked if you want to start the upgrade. Click the Start Upgrade button.

start upgrade

Wait for the upgrade process to finish. The update manager may ask you if you want to restart services during packages upgrade without asking. Tick it on and click Next button.

restart services during package upgrade without asking

After new versions of packages are installed, the update manager may ask you if you want to remove obsolete packages. I always select Remove.

remove obsolete packages

Obsolete packages are software packages whose name can’t be found in the software repository of the new Ubuntu release. The cause of obsolete packages are the following:

  • The upstream developer stops maintaining this package and there is no other person willing to take over. So the Ubuntu package maintainer decides to drop this package from the Ubuntu repository.
  • The package becomes an orphan package, which means there’s no other package that depends on it and there are very few users of this package. So the Ubuntu package maintainer decides to drop this package from the Ubuntu repository.
  • The package has a new name in the software repository of the new Ubuntu release.

After obsolete packages are removed from your system. Restart your computer and check your Ubuntu version with the following command.

lsb_release -a


No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 20.10
Release:	20.10
Codename:	groovy

Upgrade From Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10 Using Command Line

You can use the command line to upgrade Ubuntu desktop or a headless server. 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 the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file on your server.

ClientAliveInterval 60

Save and close the file. Then restart the SSH daemon.

sudo systemctl restart ssh

To upgrade to Ubuntu 20.10, first 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 the system (sudo shutdown -r now) in order to continue the upgrade process.

upgrade ubuntu 20.04 to ubuntu 20.10

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

sudo apt install update-manager-core

Next, edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades file with a command-line text editor like Nano.

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

Change the value of prompt from lts to normal.

ubuntu 20.10 prompt normal

To save a file in Nano text editor, press Ctrl+O, then press Enter to confirm. To exit, press Ctrl+X. After that, run the following command to begin the upgrade process.


Then follow the on-screen instruction to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.10. Basically, you need to press y to answer the questions.

upgrade ubuntu 20.04 to ubuntu 20.10 from command line

The update manager may ask you if you want to restart services during packages upgrade without asking. Press the Tab key to select Yes and press Enter.

restart services during packages upgrade without asking

If you are upgrading a server, you will probably see messages like below. I recommend choosing N to keep your current version. The updated version will be available at the same directory. You can check it out later.

Package distributor has shipped an updated version

Once the upgrade is finished, reboot your Ubuntu desktop or server. To check your Ubuntu version, run:

lsb_release -a


No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 20.10
Release:	20.10
Codename:       groovy


If you see the following error message when upgrading from the command-line.

After updating your package information, the essential package 
'ubuntu-minimal' could not be located. This may be because you have 
no official mirrors listed in your software sources, or because of 
excessive load on the mirror you are using. See /etc/apt/sources.list 
for the current list of configured software sources. 
In the case of an overloaded mirror, you may want to try the upgrade 
again later.

Then you need to switch to a different software repository mirror. For example, I’m using the mirrors.ustc.edu.cn mirror, I can switch to the us.archive.ubuntu.com mirror with the following command.

sudo sed -i 's/mirrors.ustc.edu.cn/us.archive.ubuntu.com/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

Then update the package repository.

sudo apt update

Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.10 again.


Please install all available updates for your release before upgrading

If you see the following message when trying to upgrade, then you need to update all packages (sudo apt update;sudo apt upgrade -y) then restart the OS and try to upgrade again.

Please install all available updates for your release before upgrading.

Sometimes your system may have some package kept on hold, which can be shown with:

sudo apt-mark showhold

You need to unhold the package.

sudo apt-mark unhold package-name

Then run

sudo apt upgrade

Sometimes, sudo apt update tells you that a package can be upgraded, but sudo apt upgrade won’t upgrade the package, then you can run the following command to list the package.

apt list --upgradable

Now you can upgrade the package.

sudo apt upgrade pacakge-name

If this is a broken package that can not be upgraded, then remove it.

sudo apt remove package-name

How to Re-Enable Third-Party Repositories

Third-party repositories are defined in the .list files under /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory. First, re-enable third-party repositories with the following command, which will remove the # character in lines that begin with deb.

sudo sed -i '/deb/s/^#//g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*.list

Then change all instances of focal to groovy.

sudo sed -i 's/focal/groovy/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*.list

Update package repository index.

sudo apt update

Some third-party repositories don’t have an entry for Ubuntu 20.10, so you will likely to see errors like:

E: The repository 'http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu focal Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

You will need to edit these repository files one by one and disable them. For example, I edit the Dropbox repository file.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/dropbox.list

Disable this repository by adding the # character at the beginning of the line.

# deb [arch=i386,amd64] http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu focal main # disabled on upgrade to focal

Save and close the file. You need to wait for those repositories to add support for Ubuntu 20.10. Some software packages in third-party repositories might be included in 20.10. For example, Ubuntu 20.10 repository contains the nextcloud-desktop package, so I don’t need the Nextcloud PPA anymore. I can delete the Nextcloud PPA.

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nextcloud-client.list*

Wrapping Up

That’s it! I hope this tutorial helped you upgrade to Ubuntu 20.10 from Ubuntu 20.04. You may also want to read:

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5 Responses to “2 Ways to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 To Ubuntu 20.10 (GUI & Terminal)

  • I always learn something new from your posts, no matter how much I think I know, thanks for sharing!

  • Dimitar Hristov
    7 months ago


  • So will I be able to boot from an SSD on a raspberry pi if I upgrade from 20.04?

  • I am using a raspberry pi 4. I had to edit the /boot/fireware/config.txt file and had to add the following to {pi4]

    initramfs initrd.img followkernel

  • Thanks

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