Ubuntu: Can I skip over releases when upgrading?


I am currently using Ubuntu 10.04. I know there is a 10.10 release, but can I upgrade directly to 11.04? Could you walk me through the steps please?


Ubuntu only supports upgrading from one version to the next version, or from one LTS version to the next LTS version. So you need to upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10, and only then to 11.04.

There are technical reasons for this restriction. When a new version of an existing package is installed it sometimes has to perform conversions, e.g., it may have to import existing settings into a new database format. In performing such conversions the packaging scripts have to make assumptions about the old format. If upgrades from all previous versions of Ubuntu were supported then this would quickly become a maintenance nightmare, as packaging scripts would have to be able to convert from all previously used formats to the current format. To avoid the nightmare, packaging scripts only in general support upgrading from the version of the package included in the previous Ubuntu release (and from the previous LTS release, in the case of a package included in an LTS release).

Upgrading directly from the penultimate, or earlier, version to the current version (called a "skip upgrade) is possible, but is liable to result in a misconfigured system.


To update from an older version (very old in this case) than the previous version to the current version is highly not recommended. You are better off downloading the new release, doing a backup and then installing the new release.

If you are using Ubuntu 10.04 and REALLY REALLY want to update from that version up to the latest version then keep reading, if you are using Ubuntu 10.10 and also want to update from that version up to the latest version go to the second part. I should warn at least users from 10.10 that this involves downloading more than 2GB of data and will take you around a whole day. And even at the end it might be slower, give you errors, your connection will drop at some point or the computer will go crazy. This means that I do not give a guarantee that it will work flawlessly on every PC. So really think about it if you want to upgrade this way. I recommend reading this link: How do I upgrade to a newer version of Ubuntu?

Here is an image that shows what 10.04 users should see after 12.04 was released:

enter image description here

UPDATE - if you are reading this after 12.04 came out, there should be an option in the Update Manager in 10.04 that says to upgrade from 10.04 to 12.04. This is the way to go since 12.04 came out.

For historical reasons I will leave the information below for users that wanted to know how to do it before 12.04 came out but if you are still in 10.04 please read here: How do I upgrade to a newer version of Ubuntu? since fossfreedom created a very good and complete answer about upgrading from 10.04 to 12.04.

  • FIRST PART (For Ubuntu 10.04 Users BEFORE 12.04 came out)

If you are in Ubuntu 10.04 first you need to upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 then from 10.10 to 11.04.The reason is that 10.04 is a LTS Version (Long Term Support) and as such it upgrades itself from one LTS to the other. So the next LTS would be 12.04. When 12.04 comes you will see an upgrade noticed on your 10.04. But if you still want to upgrade to 11.04 then do the following:

Ubuntu 10.04 to 10.10

Menu Way
1a. Using the menu go to System -> Administration -> Update Manager .

Keyboard Way
1b. ALT+F2 and Type gksu update-manager

When the Update manager opens and it does NOT show the "New Ubuntu Release Available" message in the upper part do the following steps:

2- Click on the SETTINGS button in the Update Manager on the lower left part of it. After the Software Sources Windows opens it should have you in the Update Tab where you will change the option Release Upgrade at the bottom. Change it from the one that it has to Normal Releases then close. What you did here was tell Ubuntu not to check for LTS versions but to check for normal version instead. Normal versions are the ones that come out every 6 months. LTS come out every 2 years. For example 8.04, 10.04, 12.04..

enter image description here

2.1 Open The Update Manager again following the Steps in 1a or 1b.

enter image description here 2.2. Click on the UPGRADE button that should appear there in the upper part. After finishing the upgrade reboot the PC and you should be in 10.10. Test it a little and then if you are 100% sure to go to 11.04 do the following:

  • SECOND PART (For Ubuntu 10.10 Users)

Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.04

  1. ALT+F2 and Type 'gksu update-manager -d' to open the update-manager. The -d is to check if there is a Developing Version. Since 11.04 is still in development it will appear in the upper part of the Update Manager saying New Ubuntu Version 11.04 with a button to UPGRADE

enter image description here

  1. Click on the UPGRADE button and follow it through.

IMPORTANT - Make sure you have ALREADY updated everything in Ubuntu 10.10. So you are ready for a clean upgrade to 11.04.

NOTE - From LTS to LTS you can actually update. For example 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS. But for any other like 10.10 you need to actually update from one release to the other until you get to the final one. In your case, before 12.04 came out you could update from 10.04 to 10.10 and then 10.10 to 11.04 and so on until 11.10. After 12.04 came out you can update directly to 12.04 since it is the next LTS released.


No it's not possible.

using standard upgrade methods.

The only "point to point" release upgrades which work outside of the standard release to release upgrades, are LTS release upgrades. In other words you can upgrade from 8.04 -> 10.04 and 10.04 -> 12.04 without having to upgrade to each of the three other non-LTS versions in between. Otherwise you'll need to go next to 10.10 then to 11.04. Since you're not too far behind it shouldn't take long. Simply run the update manager as you normally would and follow the chain to 11.04.

If you were to try, you could simply pop in an 11.04 disk and install over the 10.10 installation. This should keep all of your home folder contents intact but will result in you having to re-install all of the software you had prior to the "re-installation"


You cannot skip versions between upgrades. The version between Jaunty and Lucid is Karmic. I suggest you do backup important data and do a complete reinstall as many things has changed, including the boot loader.

If you do not like a fresh install, you can upgrade using an Alternate CD.


  • Backup the system (if possible a disk image)
  • Backup your personal files (the home directory) so you can easily copy the files
  • Remove all PPA's and non-standard repositories, including their packages
  • Be prepared for failure, have a Live CD available so you can still boot even if the disk is dead

The upgrade using the alternate CD is described below:

  1. Download ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso from http://releases.ubuntu.com/karmic/ to your home directory (replace i386 with amd64 if you've a 64-bit system and ubuntu with kubuntu for KDE)
  2. Open a terminal and run:

    sudo mount -o loop ~/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso /media/cdrom  
  3. Start the upgrade by executing:

    gksu "sh /media/cdrom/cdromupgrade"  

    If you're using KDE (Kubuntu):

    kdesudo "sh /media/cdrom/cdromupgrade"  
  4. Reboot

After this upgrade from 9.04 to 9.10, proceed with the upgrade to 10.04 using:

sudo do-release-upgrade -d  


Yes and No!

Yes it is possible - and I've seen a few people try a force upgrade via sudo do-release-upgrade/or manually changing their sources.list - But...

dont do it...

Canonical only support an upgrade from LTS to LTS (i.e. 10.04 to 12.04), or from each intermediate version (10.04 - 10.10 - 11.04 - 11.10 - 12.04 - 12.10 etc.)

If you try to force an upgrade you could most likely break your system - files may not be upgraded or updated and most likely you will have a very strangely behaving system or even a system that wont boot.

I've also seen various people try to backup the /home and restore it on a fresh install. This does usually work - however - I personally prefer to do a clean fresh install a copy specific files from backup. The advantage of just copying specific files is that you clean out all the rubbish you've accumulated over the years.


You'll need to upgrade to 10.10 and then to 11.04. You can use update-manager, but you can also use do-release-upgrade from the command line.

You might need to upgrade update-manager-core first, in which case the entire sequence will look like this :

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core  do-release-upgrade  

You can repeat the upgrade process to get to 11.04.


You can do the method above without having to install apache or changing /etc/hosts. Just save the meta-release file from wget somewhere (except on top of /etc/update-manager/meta-release) and edit it as described. Then, in /etc/update-manager/meta-release, change the "URI = http://....." line to "URI = file:///path/to/my/edited/meta-release/file"

Also, for do_release_upgrade to work, in your edited meta-release file, you have to change the archive in the URLs for Release-File, Upgrade-Tool and UpgradeToolSignature from http://archive.... to http://old-releases...


Thanks this solved problems I was having with upgrading an old system. However, there one enhancement that I used that will make this a lot easier - you don't need to install apache.

Simply use a file:// URI instead of an http:// URI.

So the process is thus (my username is fozzy):

fozzy@hostname:~$ wget -O - http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/meta-release | sed '/lucid/,$d' > meta-release  

Edit meta-release file in your home directory with your favourite editor so that the "Supported: 0" line in the karmic block now reads: "Supported: 1".

Edit /etc/update-manager/meta-release and make the URIs thus (note the three slashes in a row):

URI = file:///home/fozzy/meta-release  URI_LTS = file:///home/fozzy/meta-release  

Perform the release upgrade.

The nice thing about this is that there's no need to install apache and everything it pulls in - I was using it on a minimal system and I didn't want all those things pulled in. It also means you can edit the meta-release file without being root.

You only need root for editing the /etc/update-manager/meta-release file and then running do-release-upgrade.


You can not skip a release when upgrading Ubuntu. So you will need to first upgrade to 9.10 and then from 9.10 to 10.04.


Jaunty went out of support sometime back. The next version up from Jaunty (Karmic) is also out of support.

You also, cannot jump intermediate versions i.e. not 9.04 to 10.4 - you have to go via 9.10.

Since both Jaunty and Karmic have been removed from the main repositories, you best upgrade route is to download the desktop ISO of 10.04 and do a fresh install.

You should of course, backup any non-hidden files in /home before the install. You can restore these after.


For those who are planning to clean install, follow the steps below.

What you will need: Separate disk, external HDD recommended.

  1. Open a Terminal and define for example:
  2. sudo tar czvf /media/$your_mount_point_of_external_HDD/mybackup.tar.gz /home # Backup your /home folder.
  3. sudo tar czvf /media/$your_mount_point_of_external_HDD/mysources.tar.gz /etc/apt/# Backup your repositories.
  4. sudo dpkg --get-selections > /media/$your_mount_point_of_external_HDD/mypackages # Make a list of installed packages
  5. Shut down, disconnect external HDD, and install the new system, adding the user with the same name.
  6. After the installation finished, replug the external HDD and reenter:
  7. cd /; sudo tar xvzf /media/$your_mount_point_of_external_HDD/mysources.tar.gz
  8. ORIGINAL_DISTRO=grep deb /etc/apt/sources.list | cut -d " " -f 3 | sort | head -n 1; NEW_DISTRO=lsb_release -cs; sudo grep -rl $ORIGINAL_DISTRO /etc/apt | sudo xargs sed -i "s/$ORIGINAL_DISTRO/$NEW_DISTRO/" # This will change the old source's code name to the new one. (You can edit the files in /etc/apt by hand, if you know how to do it)
  9. sudo apt-get update # here probably that you will see missing keys error. To quickly bypass them:
    • sudo apt-add-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get install launchpad-getkeys
    • sudo launchpad-getkeys
  10. dpkg --clear-selections && dpkg --set-selections < /media/$your_mount_point_of_external_HDD/mypackages # With this you will reinstall the packages.
  11. cd / && tar xvzf /media/$your_mount_point_of_external_HDD/mybackup.tar.gz # This will unpack your /home directory to his place

This is all. Ofcourse this is not error free and it works just if the system has 1 user, etc.


I've found a simple way to by-pass this problem and still upgrade online without the CD.

Quick Summary

  1. Install Apache
  2. get the file http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/meta-release in /var/www
  3. Tweak the downloaded file
  4. Tweak system files to point to your server and downloaded file
  5. activate the default Apache server
  6. Here you go!

Note: (updated 2014-07-25) see also Rubo77 answer here. It avoids installing Apache.

Detailed information

1) Install Apache (skip if its already installed): sudo apt-get install apache2

2) Get the file locally

cd /var/www  sudo wget http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/meta-release  

3) Update the file

Remove all version after Karmic, and change the line Supported: 0 by replacing 0 by 1 for Karmic.

4) Tweak some system files:

Edit /etc/update-manager/meta-release and modify:

URI =  URI_LTS =  

(yes, drop the '-lts' part for URI_LTS)

5) Activate apache default server: sudo a2ensite default

5.1) Intermediate state, check that this is working

cd /tmp  wget  

5.2) If error, try restarting Apache2:

`sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart`  

6) Upgrade: check the detailed instructions in the Ubuntu Community Doc. Here is a quick summary:

6.1) Please make sure you have the following sources.list (/etc/apt/sources.list).

## EOL upgrade sources.list  # Required  deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jaunty main restricted universe multiverse  deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jaunty-updates main restricted universe multiverse  deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jaunty-security main restricted universe multiverse    # Optional  #deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jaunty-backports main restricted universe multiverse  #deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jaunty-proposed main restricted universe multiverse  

6.2) Update the package list and upgrade all the installed packages

sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude safe-upgrade  

6.3) Perform the release upgrade

sudo do-release-upgrade  

Alternative path

For step 4) do the following instead:

URI = http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/meta-release  URI_LTS = http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/meta-release  

And then modify /etc/hosts to change changelogs.ubuntu.com to your own server IP. Add a new line with:    changelogs.ubuntu.com  


After the upgrade, you can remove apache2, restore the system files (/etc/update-manager/meta-release and possibly /etc/hosts).


sudo apt-get install update-manager-core    do-release-upgrade  

but based on your error message, I doubt you will get any different results. I've been getting the same error, and I've yet to find a solution.


Automatic, remote, incremental updating to latest version

I will not repeat the answers of others, but I do know how to achieve the effect of going from one old release to the latest. This requires access to another machine with a terminal and ssh installed so that you can automate the process by using ssh and a loop in the shell.

Just to expand on previous answers, here is how to remotely do the same as the accepted answer, using a passwordless upgrade over ssh that will get your box upgraded to the latest version. It is copied off my own blog entry.

All of these steps assume your package repository is working. Meaning if you execute apt-get update you are not presented with lots of 404s due to having an outdated version. You need to fix that first, so see this answer for that.

0. Update all existing packages

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

1. Set up passwordless execution

Add your self to the list of users that can execute do-release-upgrade using sudo without entering a password is achieved by executing

sudo visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/do-release-upgrade.  

and adding the following line, substituting my-username for your own of course:

my-username ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/do-release-upgrade  

2. Start incremental upgrades

Log out and execute the following command from your computer. It will do an upgrade without prompting you for input (accepting all default answers), wait for the computer to reboot, and then try upgrading again. It runs until you are upgraded to the latest version.

while true; do       ssh my-user@my-server sudo do-release-upgrade -f DistUpgradeViewNonInteractive;      sleep 120;   done  

3. Fix configuration files to their previous state

Afterwards you will have to move the backed up config files to their previous location as the upgrade process has put default configurations in their place.

Not satisfied with the default answers?

This guy has a way to pre-prepare answers for each prompt, but the downside is that you must know how many prompts there are …


Open a terminal, run sudo update-manager -d and you're off!

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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