Direct upgrade from 16.04 to 19.04 advice

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zzQ0Zrv3Algcf473ULqVB3fbd5WifBMiAbc0WaCtTFM - Direct upgrade from 16.04 to 19.04 advice

I have a laptop running 16.04 and plan to upgrade to 19.04 in a few weeks and I was wondering if it matters if I directly upgrade to it, if I should first upgrade to 18.04 in preparation, or just do a complete clean install. Yes, I know a complete clean install is often recommended, but it is necessary because of the 3 year jump?



* Directly to 19.04
* 18.04, then upgrade to 19.04
* Clean Install


Asked on AskUbuntu as per rules: [https://askubuntu.com/questions/1130947/should-i-do-a-direct-upgrade-from-16-04-to-19-04](https://askubuntu.com/questions/1130947/should-i-do-a-direct-upgrade-from-16-04-to-19-04)

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  • You can only upgrade to the next version of Ubuntu, or from LTS to LTS. So in your case, the upgrade path looks like this: 16.04 LTS – 18.04 LTS – 18.10 – 19.04.

    Ido not recommend this way though – it is very time consuming, you better back up all important data on an external hard drive and do a clean install.

  • You probably know this, but I’ll mention it just to be sure: 19.04 is **not** an LTS version. I feel the need to point this out because lately, I’ve been noticing that some people seem to think that all xx.04 ubuntu releases are LTS, and that’s not the case.

  • Do the upgrade from 16.04 to 18.04 and reevaluate. Do you really want to run a non-LTS? With a non-LTS you really HAVE to do every 6 month upgrade*. Seeing as it’s been 3 years since your last upgrade, I’d say that schedule is not for you 🙂

  • *1. Make a full backup. No matter how you proceed do this first.

    *2. Now you have options:

    – Do a fresh install of of 18.04 LTS or 19.04. Choose the former if you wish to stay on LTS with 5 years support, or the latter if you want the latest version (which will need to be upgraded in 6-9 months).

    – Run “do-release-upgrade” to get to 18.04 and stop there to stay on LTS or continue and…

    – Run “do-release-upgrade” a few more times to go from 18.04 -> 18.10 -> 19.04. [See documentation here](https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CosmicCuttlefish/ReleaseNotes)

    As I mentioned above, you **may** want to stay on 18.04 and not go all the way to the 19.04 no matter what you do. 18.04 is LTS and supported until 2023, 19.04 is a standard release and will only be supported for 9 months and you’ll need to upgrade to 19.10 when it comes out. The next LTS release will be 20.04. Some folks only do the LTS upgrades…it’s up to you.

    In my experience, a fresh install is the way to go, but if you’re willing to try do a in-place upgrade on your existing system, that’s fine as long you’re prepared to eventually do a fresh install if it goes wrong. If you haven’t installed a lot of additional software or made too many configuration changes, your odds of success grow better…but either way, if you get bugs/problems after upgrading an existing system, it can be hard to determine if they’re actual bugs in the new version, or artifacts from your previous install.


    EDIT: Added link to 18.10 upgrade documentation.

  • > is necessary because of the 3 year jump?

    yes (from my experience), i did an upgrade from 16.04 to 18.04.1 and it was a mess, i ended up just doing a clean install anyways

  • I vote for clean install. It might not be necessary, but it’s cleaner and more likely to be stable. Once you ***know*** the opsys works properly, you can re-install new versions of all your software.

    If you’re like me, you’ll realize that you have a bunch of stuff installed that you don’t need anymore when you do your software inventory.


    It’s likely as fast as doing 2 upgrades anyway.


    BTW: I went to 19.04 last week. No PPA’s for Wireguard or Kodi yet and I’ll bet they aren’t the only ones. *Check to make sure that you have PPA’s for all of your apps before you make the jump.*

    **Edit: PPA’s for Wireguard and Kodi now up and working.**

  • Ya since the transition to gnome, 16.04 to 19.04 is going to be a huge change. I’ve figured out that I really don’t have like any data on my computer so reinstalling OSs only takes like 30 minutes versus the hours it’s gonna take to take the multi stage upgrade path

  • Honestly, you’re probably better off just doing a fresh install. I mean, you can *try* the upgrade to 18.04 –> 19.04 thing… but… well… I wouldn’t.

    Or of course, you can try the (highly unrecommended) option of simply changing all your sources to 19.04 and ‘upgrading’ that way. But… yeah. Not recommended.

  • I’m gonna go the opposite of everyone… I used Ubuntu on my server for a long time and always did `dist-upgrade` just fine. I didn’t let things go as long as you have, but your 16.04 -> 18.04 will be fine because that is old. Any issues you run into will be well documented.

    You can then 18.04 -> 19.04 right after if you want, or let it sit for a little bit longer and let everyone else work out the issues and document them so it is easier for you in a couple weeks.