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How To Upgrade To Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Desktop

By sk
Published: Last Updated on 2.1K views

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, codenamed “Focal Fossa”, final version is out. We already have shown you how to install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop. This step by step guide will show you how to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Ubuntu 19.10 with screenshots. The method of upgrading between LTS releases and normal edition to LTS is quite same, except a small change in the Software updater.


Before upgrading to latest Ubuntu version, we must take care of some important things first.

1. Backup Important Data

First of all, It is strongly recommended to backup your important data, configuration files, browser settings, dot files and anything that you can't afford to lose.

2. Update Your Current Ubuntu System

Next, update your current Ubuntu system:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade

Once the update is completed, reboot it to apply the updates.

$ sudo reboot

3. Setting up Software Sources

Now, open up the Software & updates either from the Dash or Menu. You need to choose the correct Ubuntu update source from the "Updates" section .

If you're currently using Ubuntu LTS version, for example Ubuntu 18.04 LTS:

In the Software & updates window, go to Updates section, make sure you have selected “For long-term support versions” from the “notify me of new Ubuntu version” drop down box.

Setup Ubuntu update source for LTS versions
Setup Ubuntu update source for LTS versions

If you’re upgrading from Ubuntu Non-LTS version, for example Ubuntu 19.10 to 20.04 LTS, choose “For any new version” from the “notify me of new Ubuntu version” drop down box in the Updates section.

Setup Ubuntu update source for Non-LTS versions
Setup Ubuntu update source for Non-LTS versions

Click Close. This will update the software source lists in your Ubuntu system.

Upgrade To Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Desktop

Now, run the following command from your Terminal to start upgrading your current Ubuntu version to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS:

$ sudo update-manager -d

You will see a message something like below. Click "Upgrade" to start upgrading process.

“The software on this computer is up to date.
However, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is available now (you have 18.04)”.
Ubuntu software updater
Ubuntu software updater

Next, you will see Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release notes. Click "Upgrade" to continue.

Ubuntu 20.04 Release Notes
Ubuntu 20.04 Release Notes

Now, the actual upgrade process will start. The Ubuntu software updater will setup new software channels (sources) on your current Ubuntu box and will prefer to get new packages. After analyzing the current desktop, the updater will display the summary of how many packages are going to be newly installed, how may packages will be upgraded, how many packages are going to be removed, and what is the total download size etc.

Click "Start Upgrade" button to continue:

Start Ubuntu 20.04 Upgrade
Start Ubuntu 20.04 Upgrade

Now, all necessary packages will be downloaded, upgraded and installed. This will take a while to complete depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

Upgrading Ubuntu to version 20.04
Upgrading Ubuntu to version 20.04

Keep an eye on the screen. During the upgrade process, the updater will occasionally ask your consent to make any changes in the configuration files. Simply click "Next" to proceed.

Restart services during package upgrades
Restart services during package upgrades

After all packages are upgraded, you will be asked to remove obsolete packages. Click "Remove" to delete the unused packages.

Remove obsolete packages in Ubuntu

Finally, click “Restart now” to complete the upgrade. This will reboot your system to use the newly upgraded Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop.

Restart the Ubuntu system to complete the upgrade
Restart the Ubuntu system

We have now successfully upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04.

You can verify if the upgrade was successful by checking the Ubuntu version from the "System Settings -> About" section.

Check Ubuntu version
Check Ubuntu version

You can also check the Ubuntu version from command line by running the following command:

$ lsb_release -a

Sample output:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Release:    20.04
Codename:   focal

Do you want to know how to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS server? Refer the following guide:


Just in case if your Ubuntu system is crashed due to power failure or network connectivity issue in the middle of the Upgrade process, you might end up with broken Ubuntu. In such cases, refer the following guide to fix it.

Hope this helps.

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Jan Greeff August 30, 2021 - 12:52 am

Hi Senthil, thanks for the tutorial. My problem in Ubuntu 20.04 Unity is that the Disks utility shows a false reading for the running temperature of my onboard SSD where it is installed.
It shows 99°C whilst if I run hddtemp in a terminal it shows 27°. I am sure that the hddtemp is the correct one because the drive is cool to the touch and is operating well. A second drive mounted in the same box, a HDD, is probably correctly shown by Disks to be running at 37°C. My thought was to uninstall and then reinstall the utility but it appears as if Disks cannot be uninstalled without impacting on the operating system. Any suggestions as to how to rectify this will be appreciated.

sk August 30, 2021 - 12:55 pm

Hi Jan,

It seems like there is a bug in Gnome disks utility. If you’re sure that the other applications shows correct temperature, it is better to use them instead of the Gnome Disks Utility.

I looked at the AskUbuntu forum and someone pointed out that removing Gnome Disk Utility doesn’t affect DE. However, I recommend you to backup the data before uninstalling it. Please have a look at this link -> https://askubuntu.com/questions/635295/how-can-i-remove-or-hide-disk-utility-software-from-my-computer/635299#635299

I heard hddtemp utility gives reliable temperature of disks in Linux. I haven’t personally tried it yet, but that’s what I heard from other sources. hddtemp is available in the default repositories.


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