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How to Upgrade Ubuntu: 3 Ways to Update Ubuntu to the Latest Version

Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution known for its user-friendly interface and robust performance, is constantly evolving. With each new release, Ubuntu brings exciting features, enhanced security measures, and improved performance. Upgrading your Ubuntu system to the latest version not only ensures that you have access to these advancements but also helps keep your system secure and up-to-date. In this guide, we will explore three different methods to upgrade your Ubuntu system effortlessly. Whether you’re a seasoned Linux user or a curious beginner, get ready to take your Ubuntu experience to the next level!

Why Upgrade Ubuntu?

Before we delve into the various methods of upgrading Ubuntu, it is essential to understand why keeping your system up-to-date is crucial.

Security Enhancements

With each new release of Ubuntu, security vulnerabilities are addressed, making your system less prone to attacks and ensuring that your data remains safe.

New Features and Improved Functionality

Upgrading Ubuntu allows you to access the latest features and improvements developed by the open-source community. These updates often introduce new tools, applications, and optimizations that enhance your overall user experience.

Bug Fixes

Updates address known bugs or issues present in previous versions of Ubuntu. By upgrading, you ensure that these problems are resolved and enjoy a smoother computing experience.

Hardware Compatibility

Newer versions of Ubuntu often include updated drivers for hardware components such as graphics cards, Wi-Fi adapters, and printers. This ensures better compatibility with newer devices and reduces compatibility issues.

Continued Support

Ubuntu releases are supported for a specific period of time known as the “release cycle.” During this cycle, Canonical provides regular updates and technical support for that particular release. However, once a release reaches its end-of-life (EOL), it no longer receives official support or updates. Upgrading allows you to stay within a supported release cycle and ensures continued support from Canonical.

Now that we understand the importance of upgrading our Ubuntu system let’s move on to the preparatory steps before initiating an upgrade.

Preparing for the Upgrade

Before embarking on the journey of upgrading your Ubuntu installation, it is vital to make some preparations:

1. Backup Your Data

Although rare, there is always a small possibility that something could go wrong during the upgrade process, leading to data loss or system instability. To safeguard your files and important documents, it is highly recommended to create a backup before proceeding with the upgrade. This way, even if any unforeseen issues arise, you can restore your data without worry.

2. Check System Requirements

Ubuntu releases often come with specific system requirements. Before upgrading, it is essential to ensure that your computer meets these requirements to have a smooth transition and avoid potential compatibility issues. You can find the minimum system requirements for each Ubuntu version on the official Ubuntu website.

3. Update Installed Packages

Before initiating the upgrade process, it’s always a good idea to update all installed packages on your current Ubuntu installation. This ensures that you have the latest versions of software and libraries before moving to a newer release.

To update installed packages using the command line, open a terminal and enter the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command will update the package lists and then upgrade all installed packages on your system.

Now that we have taken the necessary precautions let’s explore three different methods to upgrade Ubuntu – including upgrading Ubuntu Server.

Method 1: Using the Graphical Update Manager (GUI)

The Graphical Update Manager provides a user-friendly way to upgrade your Ubuntu system without requiring extensive technical knowledge. Follow these steps to perform an upgrade using the GUI:

  1. Open “Software & Updates” from the system menu.
  2. Navigate to the “Updates” tab.
  3. Under “Notify me of a new Ubuntu version,” select “For any new version.”
  4. Close the “Software & Updates” window.
  5. Open “Update Manager” from the system menu.
  6. Click on “Upgrade…”

The GUI will guide you through the rest of the process, prompting you with options and displaying progress updates along the way.

Method 2: Using Command Line (Terminal)

If you prefer working with command-line tools or find yourself managing Ubuntu servers without a graphical interface, upgrading via terminal commands is an efficient method. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or searching for “Terminal” in the applications menu.
  2. Update your existing packages by running the command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

  1. Once the updates are complete, run the following command to install the “update-manager-core” package:

sudo apt install update-manager-core

  1. Open the release-upgrades configuration file using a text editor:

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

  1. In this file, ensure that “Prompt=normal” is set (uncomment if necessary).
  2. Save and close the file.
  3. Initiate the upgrade process by running the following command:

sudo do-release-upgrade

Follow the prompts and instructions provided in the terminal to complete the upgrade.

Method 3: Using Ubuntu Server

If you’re running an Ubuntu Server, upgrading follows a slightly different process but remains straightforward. Here’s how you can upgrade your Ubuntu Server:

  1. Connect to your server via SSH or access it directly from its console.
  2. Update all installed packages by running the following commands:

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

  1. Install the “update-manager-core” package by executing:

sudo apt install update-manager-core

  1. Open “/etc/update-manager/release-upgrades” with a text editor:

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

  1. Ensure that “Prompt=normal” is uncommented, save, and close the file.
  2. Initiate the upgrade process by running:

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

Follow any on-screen instructions to proceed with upgrading your Ubuntu Server.


Upgrading your Ubuntu system is a crucial step in staying up-to-date with new features, security updates, and continued support. Whether you choose the graphical update manager, command-line interface, or upgrade your Ubuntu Server, each method offers a reliable way to ensure a smooth transition to the latest version. Remember to back up your data and follow the necessary preparations before initiating an upgrade. With these three methods at your disposal, you can confidently keep your Ubuntu system running smoothly and take full advantage of all the benefits offered by the latest releases. Happy upgrading!

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