Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 15:59

This tutorial explains how to upgrade your Ubuntu 17.10 to 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver" using command lines. It is safer, clearer, and controllable in only five steps. You will need to download about 800MB of data or more and spend about 2 hours or more to finish them all. The result is you get 18.04 LTS system without reinstalling or deleting any installed applications. Happy upgrading!

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Read also how to clean install 18.04 LTS, upgrade guide from 16.04 LTS, and the complete download links.


What you need to do is basically 5 things:

  • To set the system to find any newer version.
  • To run do-release-upgrade command.
  • To accept download.
  • To accept some removal.
  • To accept restart the system.

1) First Step: Find Any Newer Version

Open up your menu and type Software & Updates to run that program. There, find out Updates > see Notify me on the bottom > select For Any New Version > enter your password if asked > close.

Select 'for any new version'

2) Second Step: Do-Release-Upgrade

The special command do-release-upgrade basically does two things: (1) changing your sources.list from 17.10 into 18.04 (artful to bionic) and then (2) upgrading your system based on that new sources.list. That's all. So what you need to do is by running the command with internet connection:
$ sudo do-release-upgrade

and you should see on your Terminal screen it says a new Ubuntu version is available or many new packages available to be upgraded. If not, then change the command into this:
$ sudo do-release-upgrade -d

Picture below is what you should see for the correct command:

The correct command should download 'bionic.tar.gz'

3) Third Step: Upgrade

The meaning of upgrade is two things: (1) downloading many packages and then (2) installing them. This absolutely needs internet access. It depends on how many programs installed, but at least my freshly installed 17.10.1 needs around 800MB of data out of 1200 packages to be downloaded. Once it offers you to upgrade ("Do you want to start the upgrade?"), accept it by pressing Y and pressing Enter.

Accept upgrade and please wait

4) Fourth Step: Remove

The meaning of "remove" is deleting automatically some packages unused anymore for the new 18.04 LTS. The Terminal screen will ask you to remove some number of packages as a part of upgrade steps. Accept the question by pressing Y and pressing Enter.

Accept remove and please wait

5) Fifth Step: Restart

Finally, if the Terminal says it needs reboot, then accept it by pressing Y and pressing Enter. After rebooting you should have the new 18.04 LTS system.

Finally, just restart

Cancelling and Resuming Upgrade

If you really need to cancel the downloading step or even the setting up step, press Ctrl+C until you see the command process stopped. If you want to resume, just repeat the do-release-upgrade command you've used. You should have internet access too when resuming just to make sure and it will not re-download all packages you've downloaded.

The Result

The result is you have a new 18.04 LTS system with your applications upgraded to the newest version. Your data files and folders are not deleted. As an important addition, in my Acer Aspire One Intel Pentium 4GB RAM 128GB SSD and 2MiB/s internet access, the whole upgrade progress needs around 1 hour approximately. Your may experience more or less depending on your facilities. Happy working!

Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.