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Can I upgrade Linux Lite to the next Series?

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Şerban S.:

--- Quote from: Jerry on April 12, 2021, 10:58:29 PM ---This is a question that gets asked every now and then, so I thought it was time to have something in writing to clear this up.

As of this post, there is no software from us to upgrade you from one Series of LL to the next.

So can it be done?
[...]
--- End quote ---

Hi, Jerry! :)
Thanks for the insight! It's good to know "how to...".

From my perspective, this is how I handle the major version upgrade:
1. Moved from the Home directory, to Home partition.
This allows me to make low level backups (CloneZilla) (A) and
(B), allows me to move the Home content, from one machine to another, which provides me the exact same configuration of the custom setup I made over the (last 10) years, on any machine I have and want to use.
2. Wrote an Install script to automate the installation of the custom apps I want to have.
This script allows me to add some PPAs and then, to install all the apps I want to have on the machine, including the ones provided through PPAs.
3. Low level Backup of "/", then install the new major version, from ISO.
This requires some experience using custom partitions, but I guess it's nothing like "rocket science".
4. Perform the Update, if this is the case.
Usually, it does. After completion, I run the Install script mentioned above.
All this procedure, takes less than 2 hours, except for the case when the ISO release got close to its life cycle end. In this case, probably something went very bad so a clean install became necessary. The number of package updates in such cases goes above 180 so, it will take longer (about 1 hour for cca. 190 packages).
So, the worst case scenario, will take 3 hours, 3:30 hours at most.
This includes the Backup/Restore procedures.

On the 10th of September, I did this (LL 5.6 to LL 6.0) on my wife's laptop (ASUS M415U, 6 Cores, 12 Threads) and although I had some annoyances with the boot mediums I use, it took me 1:35 hours, for a "fresh install", fully customized.
What means that?
The amount of time required by moving from a Major version to the next, largely depends on the machine resources and the amount of custom apps installed.

I hope this will help people that are somehow frightened by the process of replacing an old Major version with a new one.
Maybe it worths mentioning: The risks from the software perspective, are close to none.
After 27 years of computing, the only real risk I've been facing, is hardware failure.
Unfortunately, I never came across a solution for this kind of trouble, except the replacement...

All the best and THANKS, again! :)

Jerry:

--- Quote from: timbuck2 on April 14, 2021, 10:14:03 AM ---Thanks for the write-up.

I am still on 4.2 and tbh am too nervous to update since I made a lot of changes to the system for my comfort that I think will break if I update.

--- End quote ---

"If it ain't broke..."

timbuck2:
Thanks for the write-up.

I am still on 4.2 and tbh am too nervous to update since I made a lot of changes to the system for my comfort that I think will break if I update.

Jerry:
This is a question that gets asked every now and then, so I thought it was time to have something in writing to clear this up.

As of this post, there is no software from us to upgrade you from one Series of LL to the next.

So can it be done?

It's linux and free software, so most things are possible. Theoretically, you could just change the sources in your /etc/apt/sources.list file from eg. focal (20.04) to jammy (22.04), run Install Updates and wammo, you're running the latest Ubuntu base.

So from:


--- Code: ---# deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal main restricted

# deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates main restricted
# deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security main restricted

# See http://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal main restricted
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates main restricted
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates main restricted

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal universe
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal universe
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates universe
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates universe

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
## security team.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal multiverse
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal multiverse
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates multiverse
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates multiverse

## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-backports main restricted universe multiverse
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-backports main restricted universe multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu focal partner
# deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu focal partner

deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-security main restricted
# deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security main restricted
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-security universe
# deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security universe
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-security multiverse
# deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security multiverse
--- End code ---

to:


--- Code: ---# deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy main restricted

# deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-updates main restricted
# deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-security main restricted

# See http://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy main restricted
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-updates main restricted
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-updates main restricted

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy universe
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy universe
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-updates universe
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-updates universe

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
## security team.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy multiverse
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy multiverse
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-updates multiverse
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-updates multiverse

## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-backports main restricted universe multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu jammy partner
# deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu jammy partner

deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-security main restricted
# deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-security main restricted
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-security universe
# deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-security universe
deb http://nz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-security multiverse
# deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-security multiverse
--- End code ---

Will this method go smoothly?

Don't just assume that it will. You may have PPA's that don't have a jammy repo yet, LL's custom software is ONLY written for the current release (makes sense right). There are 1000's of computers out there with just as many unique configurations. It is unrealistic and unfair to expect LL to support every unique configuration in existence in order to guarantee a perfect Series to Series upgrade.

In a test of a fresh LL 5.4 install, I ran updates, rebooted, then changed my sources from focal to jammy and it went smoothly. Or so it seemed.

Installing jammy (Ubuntu 22.04) via Install Updates on a freshly installed and updated 5.4:



(picture out-dated 12/06/22)

Success?!?



After reboot:









Can I choose any future version of an Ubuntu base, or do I have to stick with LTS?

You can choose any future version. DO NOT attempt an earlier version. Bad, bad news.

What's the best way to test this?

Duplicate your set up exactly as it is in a VM, then test the upgrade process. Just keep in mind this will not necessarily and accurately reflect in the same hardware outcomes as a VM is mostly simulated hardware, and not passthrough (although eg nVidia now allows passthrough).

We're not going to support this because of the ungodly amount of extra support it will create, and this community is nicely balanced at the moment. We can't stop you from trying, it is after all free software, we're just not going to support every single error as a result of this unpredictable procedure.

So when someone asks now, "Can I upgrade my Linux Lite from one Series to the next?" Simply reply, "Yes, but it is not supported, and here is a thread explaining why."

This is best attempted on a fresh install after the first run of Install Updates. Any later, and that's where the complications will arise.

Will we one day support it?  That depends on how our base (Ubuntu) evolves. Never say never, right?

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