Upgrading Ubuntu

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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

A while ago I installed Ubuntu 17.10, and now LTS 18.04.1 is out, I want to upgrade to it. I tried to upgrade from Ubuntu 17.10 by typing update-manager -c as the command after I pressed ALT+F2, and while it said that there is LTS 18.04 version available, and asked it I wanted to upgrade, but when I tried to upgrade it gave me an error. Not sure what it was. I am thinking to delete the current version of Ubuntu from the dual boot, and install a fresh version of LST 18.04.1. How safe is it to delete an OS from a dual boot system, and how to do it without missing up the Windows OS? I heard that deleting the occupied part by Ubuntu will miss the Windows OS, and I need the Windows OS CD/DVD and boot in repair Window. But I don't have this CD/DVD. The recovery is part of the Hard Disk.

So, basically I am asking:
  • How safe is it to delete an OS from a dual boot system?
  • What is the best way to do it that minimizes the risks of missing the other OS?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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The best way is to not do it unless you’ve backed up all your key files. In the past, I’ve had trouble with this and usually tracked it back to Windows not being a team player.

I would suggest getting a second computer for your Ubuntu and don’t use dual boot or to consider using docker on windows where you launch a docker session and work under a Linux environment. Alternatively you could use a usb stick boot to launch Ubuntu.
 
  • #3
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By docker session you mean to use Linux from inside Windows? I am trying to switch to Linux eventually, and this won't help. Also, I think a native Linux version runs faster when it has all the hardware resources disposable. Currently, I cannot afford another computer for Ubuntu. To boot it from a USB stick won't save my progress in Ubuntu, will it? In this case, I think it is better to wait until I format Windows the next time, and then install a fresh copy of Ubuntu LTS 18.04.1.
 
  • #4
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By docker session you mean to use Linux from inside Windows? I am trying to switch to Linux eventually, and this won't help. Also, I think a native Linux version runs faster when it has all the hardware resources disposable. Currently, I cannot afford another computer for Ubuntu. To boot it from a USB stick won't save my progress in Ubuntu, will it? In this case, I think it is better to wait until I format Windows the next time, and then install a fresh copy of Ubuntu LTS 18.04.1.
[emphasis added]

There are multiple ways to set up a 'live' Ubuntu USB stick, with progress preservable, on the same boot stick or elsewhere.

For example: if you have a 32gb boot stick, that you've flagged as entirely read-only, and you have, say, 8gb RAM on your machine, you can boot from the stick, and let the OS write to other devices that are accessible to the machine from which you've booted it, e.g. the local hard drive that contains a Win 7 or 10 installation. You could use a separate partition on that drive, or keep a 'nix filesystem in a file on that drive (the former is often easier).

Alternatively, and quite conveniently, you could partition your 'live' flash device into 2 (or more) logical partitions, with the bootable system partition flagged as read-only, and a second partition flagged as writable, so that you can save your work.

If you need rapid writes for your applications, you can allocate, say, a 2gb RAM drive, run your processes against files written to the RAM drive, and at end-of-session, clone-write your RAM drive to a disk image file, or write it as a logical volume, to a writable partition of your 32gb flash drive from which you booted.

If you visualize computer technology implementations that are likely to be something like things that others have realistically wanted to do, I trust that you'll consistently find, if you scout about carefully, a great deal of useful insight that is readily shared by your fellow adventurers out there, especially if you articulate them at least as well as you have here.
 
  • #5
MattWServices
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Ubuntu 18.04 has the ability to detect previous Ubuntu installations during the installation process.

I was previously running dual boot Windows 10 and 16.04 LTS, and there wasn't an inline upgrade from that version to 18.04. I created a bootable USB installation drive, booted the laptop into it, and the option to remove and upgrade the previous Ubuntu version was presented as one of the options.

You don't need to actually delete the previous Ubuntu install, the installer will handle all that for you. It also meant is didn't mess up the MBR and cause any issues with my Windows 10 install either.

By docker session you mean to use Linux from inside Windows? I am trying to switch to Linux eventually, and this won't help. Also, I think a native Linux version runs faster when it has all the hardware resources disposable.
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

You can install VirtualBox on your windows machine, and run multiple different virtual installs of Linux. I use this at work for testing out different Linux distros, and you can choose the amount of resources that can be allocated to each virtual instance. I'm currently running Linux Mint, Ubuntu 18.04, Fedora 28 and CentOS7 inside this.
 
  • #6
verty
Homework Helper
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So, basically I am asking:
  • How safe is it to delete an OS from a dual boot system?
  • What is the best way to do it that minimizes the risks of missing the other OS?
I think if you leave everything in /boot and /dev, you can delete the rest and grub will still work. But I wouldn't want to try it.
 
  • #7
verty
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I think if you leave everything in /boot and /dev, you can delete the rest and grub will still work. But I wouldn't want to try it.
Um, I think on ext3 there is at least one more folder you need, I can't remember the name. It's the one that is always present, even on a new partition. Anyway, I think this is a risky thing to try.
 
  • #8
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I didn't delete it. I am waiting until I format the windows, and then I will install the last version of Ubuntu. Question: when I format the windows, Ubuntu will be removed as well, right? Or I will have to do something before formatting the windows to remove Ubuntu?
 
  • #9
verty
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I didn't delete it. I am waiting until I format the windows, and then I will install the last version of Ubuntu. Question: when I format the windows, Ubuntu will be removed as well, right? Or I will have to do something before formatting the windows to remove Ubuntu?
If you do format your Ubuntu partition, your PC won't boot, but when you reinstall Ubuntu, it'll fix it. It should pick up Windows and add the boot option.

And you can always do it manually later if it doesn't pick it up.
 
  • #10
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So, when I format windows, I won't be able to format the Ubuntu partition as well using the same process?
 
  • #11
verty
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So, when I format windows, I won't be able to format the Ubuntu partition as well using the same process?
You can format your Windows partition from Ubuntu if you install ntfs3g (or perhaps it comes preinstalled). Then you have a mkfs.ntfs command that you can use to format it. If you boot from a Live CD/DVD that has that, you can do both partitions.

I thought you wanted to keep Windows. Keeping Windows is definitely possible. You would need to reinstall Ubuntu and then configure the boot loader, but it might do it automatically. Configuring the boot loader is a matter of editing one text file and running two commands.
 
  • #12
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At first I thought to upgrade Ubuntu while keeping windows now, but I learned that this can be risky, so, I decided to wait until I need to format windows again, and then upgrade Ubuntu.
 
  • #13
fluidistic
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I highly doubt upgrading is risky, at least from now. Ubuntu 18.04.1 has been released since a bunch of days, which means that not only troubles to upgrade to 18.04 has been mostly fixed, but also the troubles from upgrading to 18.04.1 also have been. Yes, some people reported problems, but these were mostly corner cases, and they are now fixed.

I myself simply upgraded from 14.04 to 18.04.1 a few days ago (on some xeon machine), and like millions of users, I had no problem.
 
  • #14
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I highly doubt upgrading is risky, at least from now. Ubuntu 18.04.1 has been released since a bunch of days, which means that not only troubles to upgrade to 18.04 has been mostly fixed, but also the troubles from upgrading to 18.04.1 also have been. Yes, some people reported problems, but these were mostly corner cases, and they are now fixed.

I myself simply upgraded from 14.04 to 18.04.1 a few days ago (on some xeon machine), and like millions of users, I had no problem.
How did you do it? And is your machine a dual boot?
 
  • #15
fluidistic
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How did you do it? And is your machine a dual boot?
It's a single Linux boot. It does not matter at all, Grub is well capable to recognize Windows. Nothing will be different compared to when you update grub, which you already do when you update your system and a new version of Grub is available.

I simply updated the system and was warned that a newer version of Ubuntu was available. It asked me whether I wanted to upgrade, I just typed the command displayed or answered "y" (for yes), I do not remember exactly.
To update the system:
Code:
 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Alternatively, you can follow the instructions at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BionicBeaver/ReleaseNotes.
 
  • #16
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It's a single Linux boot. It does not matter at all, Grub is well capable to recognize Windows. Nothing will be different compared to when you update grub, which you already do when you update your system and a new version of Grub is available.

I simply updated the system and was warned that a newer version of Ubuntu was available. It asked me whether I wanted to upgrade, I just typed the command displayed or answered "y" (for yes), I do not remember exactly.
To update the system:
Code:
 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Alternatively, you can follow the instructions at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BionicBeaver/ReleaseNotes.
I followed the instructions in the page you referenced before. But the release LTS 18.01.1 was newly released (I tried to upgrade after hours of the release). I will try again now, maybe it will pick it up.
 
  • #17
fluidistic
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I followed the instructions in the page you referenced before. But the release LTS 18.01.1 was newly released (I tried to upgrade after hours of the release). I will try again now, maybe it will pick it up.
Let us know how it goes!
 
  • #18
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I tried it, and it gave me the option to upgrade, but when I pressed the button "upgrade" it downloaded something fast like and upgrading tool or something, and then nothing :wideeyed:
 

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