Well, we’re here to complicate matters by showing you how to do it, both before this Thursday’s release and after it.
“Ask yourself: ‘Do I really need to upgrade rightnow?’”
So if you’re wondering how to upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, read on; we’re here to walk you through the process step-by-step.
Is Performing an LTS-to-LTS Upgrade Recommended?
Like the version you are upgrading from, Ubuntu 16.04 is a Long Term Support release. It will receive critical bug fixes and security updates from Canonical for 5 years.
A device running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will only tell you there is a new Ubuntu update after the first point release goes live. In Xenial’s case that’s July.
In short: you won’t be notified of an upgrade this week.
But you don’t have to wait until the system gets around to telling you. You can upgrade right now.
Things to Note
First things first: caveats (don’t groan; you love them really).
“You can’t upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to 16.04 directly.”
You need to be running 14.04 LTS. You cannot upgrade Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to 16.04 without first upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS — a fresh install will be much faster.
It’s also worth remembering that you don’t have to upgrade right away. A new release doesn’t make an old one obsolete. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is supported until 2019, remember. If your current system is ticking along nicely ask yourself if you really need to rock the boat.
If stability matters more than shiny new features, you can always wait a few months for the (inevitable) early kinks to get worked out and upgrade then.
But if the lure of new features (and newer versions of default applications) is just too much to resist read on for the full how-to…
How To Upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
LTS releases are all about stability. Because of these Ubuntu wait until the first point release of a new LTS before it tells users of the old one about it.
To opt-in before then you will need to explicitly ask.
1. Make Sure You’re Up-To-Date
First things first: make sure that you are fully up-to-date.
Double check by opening the Update Manager application from the Dash. Wait for it to check, and then install any and all listed updates.
2. Trigger The Upgrade
With updates installed open the Dash again to open the Terminal application. Type the following command carefully:
sudo update-manager -d
Hit the return/enter key and, when prompted, enter your user password.
The Update Manager application will open after a few seconds. It will double-check you’re up to date. It will display a prompt asking you if you want to upgrade.
Just click the “Upgrade’ button to begin the process.
3. Sit back and relax!
If you’re following this guide before release day the upgrade (which, of course, is not recommended) then your upgrade shouldn’t take too long over a decent connection.
If you’re following this guide on release day (which is, of course, recommended) be patient: you are not the only one upgrading, and the servers will be under heavy load. The entire upgrade may take longer than usual to complete.
Another point: while an LTS-to-LTS upgrade should keep all your files it is always recommend that you make a backup of any important documents, folders and photos before you begin. It’s rare for ‘direct upgrades’ to go wrong, but never say never.