How to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from previous versions

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is going to be released today, April 17, depending on where you are. Since this is an LTS release and arguably one of the most feature complete and stable releases till date, users will be very eager to upgrade from earlier versions of Ubuntu.This post is a guide on how to to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from various earlier versions of Ubuntu.

Upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04.x LTS to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

First up, is the upgrade procedure from the older LTS release, 12.04. Precise pangolin was the first LTS released with Unity. It wasn’t the best when it was released but slowly with consistent updates, it became a good LTS release. Canonical will provide updates to Ubuntu 12.04 untill 2017.

  • Users upgrading from the previous LTS will need to check if update checker is enabled in Software & Updates
  • “Notify me of a new Ubuntu version” should have For long-term support versions selected


  • Run update-manager from the dash to check if there are any updates
  • If no update is found, then refresh the repositories to check again
  • The notification for a new release will show up in the top


  • Then select Upgrade
  • If your system/graphics card is not compatible with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, you may receive the following message


  • If you want to continue, click yes
  • Select Start Upgrade to start the download and installation of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS packages


  • If you want to keep your settings, select default options when questions pop up during upgrade
  • Remove the obsolete packages as this will free up space
  • If however, you see Ubuntu is removing some packages you require, hit the Keep button
  • Reboot once the Restart pop-up message appears
  • Enjoy the new stable Ubuntu 14.04 LTS


Upgrading from Ubuntu 12.10/13.04

Upgrading from 13.04 to 14.04 is officially not supported but I have had success multiple times. This will involve a little bit of command line – 6 steps to be precise. Ubuntu 12.10 is another release which is reaching EOL in April . To upgrade from Ubuntu 12.10, replace raring with quantal in the steps below

1.Change the Ubuntu code name from Raring Ringtail to Trusty Tahr

sudo sed -i 's/raring/trusty/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

2. Disable third party PPAs (optional, see note)

cd /etc/apt/sources.list.d
 sudo rename 's/(.*)/$1.bak/' *
 sudo find . -type f -name "*" -print | xargs sed -i 's/raring/trusty/g'

3. Update the repositories and upgrade

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

4. Reinstall ubunut-desktop package

sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop

5. Update grub and initramfs

sudo update-grub && sudo update-initramfs -u

6. Reboot your machine

Upgrading from Ubuntu 13.10

Upgrading from Ubuntu 13.10 to Ubuntu 14.04 is very simple. You will have to follow the same steps as given in the first section – upgrade Ubuntu 12.04.x to Ubuntu 14.04.

  • Press Alt+F2 and type update-manager -d


  • The new update manager displays the available Ubuntu 14.04 in a slightly different UI
  • Authenticate to continue with upgrade
  • Continue following the on-screen instructions and select default values when asked for input
  • Reboot to enjoy new Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

If you face any problems ask in comments below and we would try to help you out.

I am a Sr. IT Consultant working at Srinsoft Technologies, Chennai. I have over 6 years of work experience with more than 4 years as a Linux System Administrator. I am a Linux enthusiast and a blogger. I am also a regular contributor to the Ubuntu Manual.
  • John

    Hi, thanks for this guide it worked nearly perfectly for me- I was getting a ‘permission denied’ on the xargs sed -i ‘s/raring/trusty/g’ component of disabling third part PPAs so added a sudo.

    Question about this though- is there a way to restore these third party PPAs after the upgrade to 14.04?

    Thanks for your time.

  • Marco

    Upgrading from 12.10 to 14.04 it was not possible to complete point 4 due to some missing dependencies for ubunut-desktop.
    I had to do:

    sudo apt-get -f install
    the I was able to proceed with points 4 and 5.
    After reboot things were not perfect, graphic session was not working,
    I had to do Ctrl+Shift+F2 and:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade

    After reboot still small problems were present, this time I was able to use graphical tools
    and in “software updater” I had to perform a “partial upgrade”.
    Finally two problems were left, I just did again:
    sudo apt-get install –reinstall ubuntu-desktop

    sudo apt-get install –reinstall xorg
    sudo apt-get install –reinstall apport

    Now everything is perfect! Thanks a lot.

  • Amit

    I successfully upgraded from Ubuntu 12.10 to 14.04 LTS. During the installation process I had skipped a step “to remove unwanted packages from old OS” to save time. Now that I’m done with the installation, how do I go back to redo that step and remove the unwanted packages from the old OS.

  • moiaussi

    Hi , I’m trying to upgrade a Dell XPS13 from 12.04 to 12.10 (aiming for 14.10 ultimately).

    I have a failed to fetch problem :-

    W:Failed to fetch 404 Not Found
    , W:Failed to fetch 404 Not Found
    , W:Failed to fetch 404 Not Found
    , E:Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

    Many Thanks