Sunday, 18 November 2007

Ubuntu distribution upgrade...

UPDATE: For some reason Google finds this 3 years old post still useful, but the way Ubuntu does distrubution updates changed the last years a bit (as rightfully mentioned in the comments). Please follow this instead:

I promised you all, we gonna do some Ubuntu distribution upgrades (using the terminal) -Edgy Edge (6.10) -> Feisty Fawn (7.04) -> gutsy gibbon (7.10)-. For all dutch speaking lads, this forum post by anika did help me a lot to keep on going...

This actions could potentially kill your system or worse, so be careful. It is your system and you cannot blame me if something goes very wrong

The rules of the game:

  • Make a backup of all your data and config files, it will save your ass in case of problems :-)
  • If I tell you
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    , please run the command again if you no not see the message
    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
  • Try to answer yes to all questions about replacing maintainers specific config files, if you did modify them, you most likely did not choose the right location
  • Do move forward one distribution of the time
  • When working from a remote computer, make sure the connection is stable and the computer cannot run out of power. Best way hack around both problems is to use the handy program screen.

Actual upgrade

A up2date system will be a first pre-requisition, so lets do it :-)
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
if you did upgrade some dist stuff after your last reboot, please reboot -sudo reboot-

Ones you are back in we gonna prepare your
to fetch the new packages. As we only can do one major distro jump at the time, edgy to feisty will be the first one. Replace all references ``edgy'' to ``feisty'' using your favorite editor or shell skills ;-)

Lets do the update, fetch the new index files and start updating. Follow the steps pointed out above for guidelines in the upgrade process. Just try to keep your system as close to the original distro as possible and edit configuration files on the places you will asked to edit them.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
as you did upgrade dist stuff, please reboot -sudo reboot-

Ones the system is back up it is running feisty instead of edgy, check whether all services are still running as expected and you are done or continue to upgrade to gutsy.

Next upgrades

You can follow just same steps as the upgrade from edgy to feisty to replace feisty with gutsy. Just make sure to use the different name in the


Unable to fetch file, server said 'Failed to open file.  '
Failed to fetch  Unable to fetch file, server said 'Failed to open file.  '
E: Unable to fetch some archives, maybe run apt-get update or try with --fix-missing?

Ehm, dead mirror try to find a new one at or wait a few hours and try again

Package Configuration (blue screen)

Just follow the directions provided, most of the time, just press OK

Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

Review packages you would like to install and confirm

Configuration file `/etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf'
==> File on system created by you or by a script.
==> File also in package provided by package maintainer.
What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
D     : show the differences between the versions
Z     : background this process to examine the situation
The default action is to keep your current version.
*** apache.conf (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ? 

Make sure to installed the package maintainer's version (Y) after reviewing (D)


  1. Thanks for this - most helpful...

  2. Below is the right way to upgrade the distribution.

    sudo do-release-upgrade