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Can You Skip Ubuntu Releases When Upgrading?

Ubuntu 12

In the world of Ubuntu, one of the most common questions that arise is whether it is possible to skip Ubuntu releases when upgrading. The short answer is no. However, this topic requires a more in-depth explanation.

Understanding Ubuntu Releases

Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution, has two types of releases: Standard and Long Term Support (LTS). Standard releases occur every six months, while LTS releases happen every two years. LTS versions are typically more stable and receive support for a longer period, making them ideal for production environments.

The Upgrade Path

The recommended upgrade path for Ubuntu is to move from one version to the next sequentially. This means you cannot jump from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.10 directly. Instead, you would need to upgrade to each intermediate version (19.04, 19.10, and 20.04) before reaching 20.10.

However, there is an exception to this rule. If you are using an LTS version, you can upgrade directly to the next LTS version. For instance, you can move from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS without upgrading to the intermediate standard releases.

Why Not Skip Releases?

Skipping releases can lead to potential issues such as compatibility problems and system misconfigurations. The packaging scripts used during upgrades are designed to transition from one specific version to the next. Skipping versions could mean these scripts encounter unexpected conditions, leading to a potentially unstable system.

Upgrading Ubuntu

Before starting the upgrade process, it’s crucial to back up all important data. Upgrading a system entails significant changes, and there’s always a risk of data loss.

To upgrade Ubuntu, you can use the do-release-upgrade command. This command intelligently handles the upgrade process, ensuring all packages are correctly updated and configuration files are properly managed.

Here is an example:

sudo do-release-upgrade

The sudo command is used to execute the upgrade process with root privileges, which are necessary for system-level changes. The do-release-upgrade command checks for a new Ubuntu release and upgrades to it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while it might seem quicker to skip Ubuntu releases when upgrading, it is not recommended due to potential compatibility issues and system instability. Always follow the recommended upgrade path: either from one version to the next or from one LTS version to the next LTS version. Remember to back up your data before starting the upgrade process to protect against potential data loss.

For more information on Ubuntu upgrade processes, refer to the official Ubuntu documentation here.

Can I skip from Ubuntu 18.04 to Ubuntu 20.10 when upgrading?

No, it is not recommended to skip Ubuntu releases when upgrading. The recommended upgrade path is to move from one version to the next sequentially.

Can I upgrade directly from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS?

Yes, if you are using an LTS version, you can upgrade directly to the next LTS version. For example, you can move from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS without upgrading to the intermediate standard releases.

What are the potential issues of skipping Ubuntu releases when upgrading?

Skipping releases can lead to compatibility problems and system misconfigurations. The packaging scripts used during upgrades are designed to transition from one specific version to the next, so skipping versions could result in an unstable system.

How can I upgrade Ubuntu?

To upgrade Ubuntu, you can use the do-release-upgrade command. This command handles the upgrade process, ensuring all packages are correctly updated and configuration files are properly managed. Use the following command: sudo do-release-upgrade.

Is it necessary to back up data before upgrading Ubuntu?

Yes, it is crucial to back up all important data before upgrading Ubuntu. Upgrading a system involves significant changes and there is always a risk of data loss. It is better to be safe and have a backup in case anything goes wrong during the upgrade process.

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