Upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or 19.04 To Ubuntu 19.10 From Command Line



Before getting started, we suggest you Learn Linux Basics and follow these precautions.

Updated: 2019-10-27
Created: 2019-10-17

This HowTo outlines the commands to upgrade both Desktop and Server editions of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) or 19.04 (Disco Dingo) to Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) from a terminal.

Naturally we recommend Ubuntu 19.04 users upgrade to Ubuntu 19.10 sooner than later.

For those running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS we advise you wait until the next LTS release. However, if you're ready for a change you may also safely continue with upgrading. Choosing to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will first require an upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 and then onto Ubuntu 19.10. This step is necessary because Ubuntu 19.04 has not yet reached EOL and currently supported by Canonical. Our step-by-step process takes more time, but we'll walk you through it.

  • Ubuntu 18.04 is the Long Term Support (LTS) release offering 5 years of support, until April 2028.
  • Ubuntu 19.04 is the previous interim release and will reach End-Of-Life (EOL) in January 2020.
  • Ubuntu 19.10 is the current interim release as of October 17th 2019 and will be supported for 9 months, until July 2020.
  • Ubuntu 20.04 is the next Long Term Support (LTS) release which will be available in April 2020.

These steps can be preformed as an in place upgrade on a live system from either a local terminal or remote SSH session.

Step 1

Prior to upgrading, make sure the current system is up-to-date.

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade

Step 2

Confirm the update-manager-core package is installed.

sudo apt install update-manager-core

Step 3

Use vi text editor (or your favorite editor) to modify the default Upgrade Policy.

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

Towards the bottom of this file, change Prompt=lts to Prompt=normal and save. It should look like this.

# Default behavior for the release upgrader.

[DEFAULT]
# Default prompting behavior, valid options:
#
#  never  - Never check for a new release.
#  normal - Check to see if a new release is available.  If more than one new
#           release is found, the release upgrader will attempt to upgrade to
#           the release that immediately succeeds the currently-running
#           release.
#  lts    - Check to see if a new LTS release is available.  The upgrader
#           will attempt to upgrade to the first LTS release available after
#           the currently-running one.  Note that this option should not be
#           used if the currently-running release is not itself an LTS
#           release, since in that case the upgrader won't be able to
#           determine if a newer release is available.
Prompt=normal

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or 19.04

This is where the process will change depending on your current version.

  • If you are running Ubuntu 18.04, follow Step 4 to first upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04. After the reboot, you'll be running 19.04 and will need to re-run Step 4 to proceed with upgrading to Ubuntu 19.10.
  • If you are running Ubuntu 19.04, simply continue.

Step 4

Upgrade to the latest release with this command, follow the on-screen instructions and reboot when prompted.

sudo do-release-upgrade

Step 5

Verify your release has been upgraded.

lsb_release  -a

Output will be similar to this.

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 19.10
Release: 19.10
Codename: eoan

Step 6

Clear out the local repository of retrieved package files and dependencies that are no longer required.

sudo apt clean

sudo apt autoremove