Upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 or 18.10 To Ubuntu 19.04 From Command Line

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

Updated: 2019-05-18
Created: 2019-04-18

This HowTo outlines the commands to upgrade both Desktop and Server editions of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) or 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) to Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) from a terminal.

Naturally we recommend Ubuntu 18.10 users upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 now.

Those running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, you may continue to do so if you're not ready for the change. Choosing to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will first require an upgrade to Ubuntu 18.10 and then onto Ubuntu 19.04. This step is necessary because Ubuntu 18.10 has not yet reached EOL and currently supported by Canonical. The step-by-step process takes more time, but we'll walk you through it.

  • Ubuntu 19.04 is the current interim release as of April 18th 2019 and will be supported for 9 months, until January 2020.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 is the Long Term Support (LTS) release offering 5 years of support, until April 2028.
  • Ubuntu 18.10 is the past interim release and will reach End-Of-Life (EOL) in July 2019.

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 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.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or 18.10

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

  • If you are running Ubuntu 18.04, follow Step 4 to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.10. After the reboot, you'll be running 18.10 and will need to run Step 4 once again to upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04.
  • If you are running Ubuntu 18.10, just 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 is now Ubuntu 19.04.

lsb_release  -a

Output will be similar to this.

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 19.04
Release: 19.04
Codename: disco

Step 6

Optionally, free up some disk space by clearing the local repository of retrieved package files.

sudo apt-get clean

sudo apt-get autoremove