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How to Upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)

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Ubuntu 20.04 Long Term Support was released in April 2020, and you may be looking to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Ubuntu 20.04 will be supported for five years through April 2025. The 18.04 LTS release will also be supported for five years from its April 2018 release.

While Hostwinds offers the ability to reinstall the operating system of your VPS, this would erase any data on the server.  Instead, you can take a precautionary snapshot of the VPS if you are not using Hostwinds cloud backups. With a backup in hand, you can proceed with the upgrade.

Upgrade Packages on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Update and upgrade packages with the command below, then reboot:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
sudo reboot

Then remove all no longer required packages using:

sudo apt --purge autoremove

If Update Manager is not installed, install it with the command below:

sudo apt install update-manager-core

Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Start the upgrade using:

sudo do-release-upgrade

Depending on when you perform this upgrade, you might receive this message:

Checking for a new Ubuntu release
There is no development version of an LTS available.
To upgrade to the latest non-LTS develoment release
set Prompt=normal in /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades.

You can force the upgrade if needed by running:

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

Follow the prompts, and restart to end the upgrade. Then you can verify your release version with the following:

lsb_release -a

Expected output:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Release: 20.04
Codename: focal

Now you have successfully upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

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