Here’s How To Upgrade To Ubuntu 20.04 — But Should You?

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was released on Thursday and I covered it here on Front Page Linux. A lot of people are likely wanting to upgrade to the latest version and this article will help you decide whether or not you should upgrade your system or perhaps wait a bit.

Whether you should upgrade now or wait for a brief period depends on your existing setup or system to make sure you are implementing best practices. In this article, I will give a recommendation as to which path you should consider taking.

How To Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04

The process to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 is pretty simple and depending on your current system there is no reason not to upgrade but there’s always a catch, right? First, I’m going to explain how to upgrade and then after that I’ll talk about whether or not you should and also when you should upgrade.

The first thing you need to do before you upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 is to make sure your current system is completely up to date on the version of Ubuntu you already have. If you haven’t updated to the latest version of Ubuntu 19.10 or 18.04 LTS then be sure to do that before getting started with the full distro upgrade.

It’s also worth noting that if you are currently using a 32-bit version of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS then you will not be able to upgrade at all as Ubuntu has ended support for 32-bit architecture versions of Ubuntu. If you do have a 32-bit machine, you can continue to use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for another 3 more years so you aren’t completely left out of using Ubuntu but in 2023 if you havent upgrade your hardware by then, you will have to at that point or switch to a different distribution of Linux.

Upgrading from Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine)

Upgrading from Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine)

The process for upgrading is rather simple in general but upgrading from 19.10 is certainly the easiest process because you can just use the built-in updater tool and you don’t have to do any prerequisites to get it to work.

If your system is fully up-to-date then the Upgrade Tool with automatically prompt you to upgrade and once clicking on the upgrade button all you have to do is follow the on screen instructions in the tool.

If you dismissed the upgrade prompt already or for some reason haven’t seen the prompt yet then you can run the following command in your terminal and it will initiate the upgrade process.

sudo do-release-upgrade

Upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)

Upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)

Upgrades from LTS to LTS are typically reserved for the first point release such as Ubuntu 20.04.1 so because of this users of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will not be prompted to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 just yet. If you refuse to wait until July, the scheduled release date of 20.04.1, it is possible to upgrade before the recommended process by performing the actions below.

If you want to upgrade from Bionic Beaver to Focal Fossa right now then you’ll need to make a tweak in your upgrade preferences in the system’s control panel.

  • Open up the “Software & Updates” application.
  • Go to the “Updates” tab.
  • For the option “Notify me of a new Ubuntu version” change this to “For any new version“.
  • Wait for the Upgrade Tool to prompt you to upgrade or run the command listed above for Ubuntu 19.10 users.

There is something to know about the differences between Bionic and Focal which is that Ubuntu has changed the way it lays out its filesystem in 20.04. You can still upgrade without any issues but you should be aware that the location of some folders may be symlinked to other folders.

But Should You Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04?

It’s that time of the article to address the “big question”, Should You Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04, Focal Fossa? Well the answer to that is basically “yes and not yet”. It depends on the current setup that you have such as which version of Ubuntu are you using and the hardware that you have.

Should You Upgrade from Ubuntu 19.10?

This one is the easiest one to answer because Ubuntu 19.10 is very similar in the base structure to the upgrade process will be the least problematic with 19.10 to 20.04 but more importantly, 19.10 will only be supported by Canonical for another 3 Months. Yes, you should upgrade from Ubuntu 19.10 to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, If you’ve made backups for all your important files.

Should You Upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04?

The answer to this question is a bit more complicated than the last one. Ubuntu 18.04 is an LTS or Long Term Support release version of Ubuntu so there is a significant difference between these types of versions of Ubuntu due to them being released 2 years apart. Ubuntu 20.04 does not buck this trend as it is indeed quite different from 18.04.

These differences between LTS releases means that Canonical chooses to wait until the first Point Release of the latest version before prompting users to upgrade their system. If you are using 18.04 LTS then you won’t be prompted to upgrade until some time in July 2020 because they want to have more time to make sure the process can be as seamless as possible.

It is my recommendation that users of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS should wait until the first point release, Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS before upgrading to ensure they have the smoothest upgrade possible. When Ubuntu 20.04.1 is released in July, be sure to you’ve made backups for all your important files before you upgrade!

Users of 32-Bit Version of 18.04

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS was also the last LTS version of Ubuntu to offer support for computers using 32-bit architecture hardware so if you have one of those then the answer for you is No because you won’t be able to.

“Should You Upgrade?” Answers Breakdown:

The following answers are only If you’ve made backups for all your important files! This step should never be skipped.

  • Ubuntu 19.10 = Yes, you should absolutely upgrade.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS = Yes and No, because you should wait until July for when Ubuntu 20.04.1 is released.
  • 32 Bit of Ubuntu 18.04 = No, because you will not be able to upgrade to the latest versions since the 32-bit architecture is no longer supported by Ubuntu. You can keep using 18.04 for another 3 years though until 2023 so that’s what I’d recommend.

That’s it for this one and I hope you found this article helpful in learning how to upgrade and in deciding whether or not you should upgrade. Please let me know what you think of this article in the comments below. If you are an impatient user of Ubuntu 18.04 and insist on upgrading to 20.04 now please comment below and let me know what motivates that decision. I find it interesting because you’ve already waited 2 years to update, what’s another 3 months? ????

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  1. Are you using 14.04 and can’t pay for support. You should upgrade.

    Are you on 16.04 and can’t get support. You should upgrade.

    Are you on 18.04? Maybe hold off for now until the .1 release. That way all bugs can be squashed.

    Are you on 19.04 or 19.10? You should really upgrade since both of those will loose support from Canonical soon.

    Please note: My answers above to do not take into account if your’re in a corporate environment and need I.T.'s blessings to upgrade. Also, DO NOT upgrade if you’re on a version where mission critical work is being done and you cannot afford for the device to be down for any length of time.

  2. Most of what you’ve said here I put in the article but:

    14.04 and 16.04 are both “why havent you upgrade already?” :smiley:

    19.04 can not upgrade to 20.04 at all only to 19.10 and since 19.04 is already out of support I’m not sure upgrading to 19.10 is possible anymore.

  3. You can still upgrade from 19.04 to 20.04. Just like you said, you will first have to take steps to upgrade to 19.10 and then from there you can upgrade to 20.04 no problem.

  4. My $0.02 is to wait until you get the notification to upgrade from the version you’re on. Unless you have a compelling reason to update a stable desktop or need something only available in the latest release, you are better off waiting for a month or so until the first few updates are out. My experience has been that I’ve had a much smoother upgrade by doing this.

  5. Avatar for Jp7x7 Jp7x7 says:

    Upgrade every box you have while shouting “YOLO!!!” at the top of your lungs!

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