Upgrading older releases of Ubuntu when support ends

This entry was posted by Tuesday, 30 June, 2009
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Many times I’ve seen a VPS running such old versions of Ubuntu that they can no longer use apt at all because its no longer a supported release. For the most part at this stage, i fully recommend doing a reinstall of the machine which is the much easier faster solution. If for whatever reason this is not accepetable (its a server at a datacenter miles away kinda thing and not a VPS) this is what you do.

$ sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list

and replace the repositories with:

deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $version main restricted
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $version main restricted
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $version-updates main restricted
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $version-updates main restricted
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $version universe multiverse
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $version universe multiverse
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu $version-security main restricted
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu $version-security main restricted

Swapping out the $version for the actual version (ie edgy, intrepid etc) you currently have installed

Update your sources and install the upgrade tool with the following command.

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

Now run the upgrade:

$ sudo do-release-upgrade

The tool will run for a minute, then it may  give you an error about your repositories saying they are invalid and would you like to update your repositories. Don’t answer yet. Open a new console and modify /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $newversion main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $newversion main restricted
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $newversion-updates main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $newversion-updates main restricted
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $newversion universe multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ $newversion universe multiverse
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu $newversion-security main restricted
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu $newversion-security main restricted

Then go back to the original prompt and choose y. The tool will then succeed. After your initial upgrade, simply running do-release-upgrade will suffice.

If you are going from one old-release to another expired release then you do not need to edit the sources.list in between.

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2 Responses to “Upgrading older releases of Ubuntu when support ends”

  1. I’ve used this method a couple of times and it seems to work well.

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