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When Can I Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 from 18.04?

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Ubuntu, a popular open-source operating system, frequently releases updates to enhance system performance, security, and add new features. One of the most anticipated updates is the upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. However, many users wonder when they can upgrade and how to do it. This article provides a comprehensive guide on this topic.

Quick Answer

As of the time of writing, the upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04 is not yet available via the traditional do-release-upgrade command. However, there are alternative methods to upgrade, such as manually editing the sources.list file or following the instructions provided in the official Ubuntu blog post. It is recommended to stay updated on the progress of the release through the Ubuntu release tracking page.

Understanding Ubuntu LTS Releases

Before we delve into the upgrade process, let’s understand what LTS means. LTS stands for Long Term Support, which means these releases are maintained for five years by Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu). This makes LTS releases the most stable and suitable for long-term usage, especially for production environments.

When Can I Upgrade?

As of the time of writing, the upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04 is not yet available via the traditional do-release-upgrade command. This is because the meta-release file, which determines the available releases, still points to 18.04.

However, you can check the Ubuntu release tracking page to stay updated on the progress of the release. Once the upgrade-blocking bugs are resolved and the meta-release file is updated, the upgrade will be available.

Alternative Upgrade Methods

While waiting for the official upgrade, there are other methods to upgrade to 20.04.

Manual Upgrade

One option is to manually edit the sources.list file and change the release name from “bionic” (18.04) to “focal” (20.04). However, this method is not recommended as it may lead to potential issues and is not officially supported.

Upgrade via Official Ubuntu Blog Post

Another option is to follow the instructions provided in the official Ubuntu blog post. This blog post provides a step-by-step guide on how to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS.

Important Note for 32-bit Systems

If you have a 32-bit installation of Ubuntu, you will not be offered an upgrade to 20.04 as it is no longer supported for 32-bit systems. In this case, the only option is to reinstall with the 64-bit version of Ubuntu.

Conclusion

In summary, while the do-release-upgrade command may not currently offer the upgrade to 20.04, there are alternative methods to upgrade. You can either wait for the official upgrade to become available, manually edit the sources.list file (not recommended), or follow the instructions in the official Ubuntu blog post to upgrade from 18.04 to 20.04.

Remember, always back up your data before attempting any system upgrades to prevent data loss. Happy upgrading!

How long will Ubuntu 18.04 be supported before I have to upgrade?

Ubuntu 18.04 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release and will be supported for five years by Canonical. Therefore, you have until April 2023 to upgrade.

Can I upgrade directly from Ubuntu 16.04 to 20.04?

No, you cannot upgrade directly from Ubuntu 16.04 to 20.04. You will need to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 first and then upgrade to 20.04.

Will upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 cause me to lose my data?

Upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 should not cause any data loss. However, it is always recommended to back up your important data before performing any system upgrades as a precautionary measure.

Is it possible to downgrade from Ubuntu 20.04 back to 18.04?

Downgrading from Ubuntu 20.04 to 18.04 is not officially supported and can be a complex process. It is recommended to back up your data and perform a fresh installation of Ubuntu 18.04 if you wish to downgrade.

Can I upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 if I have a 32-bit system?

No, Ubuntu 20.04 is no longer supported for 32-bit systems. If you have a 32-bit installation of Ubuntu, the only option is to reinstall with the 64-bit version of Ubuntu.

How long will Ubuntu 20.04 be supported?

Ubuntu 20.04 is also an LTS release and will be supported for five years by Canonical. Therefore, it will be supported until April 2025.

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