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OK! Ubuntu 10.04 (“Lucid Lynx”) is almost upon us now. It has hit BETA 1, a step up from ALPHA 3 (more than a week ago) and is to be officially released on April 29, 2010.

If you’re a Windows user who occasionally (pretends to) dabble in Linux, and has forgotten how to upgrade, here it is for you in a concise and easy-to-follow manner.

Firstly, this article is only about how to upgrade from within Ubuntu, and it’s only for the DESKTOP (NOT Server!) version. If you have a version prior to 9.10; you will need to progressively upgrade to the next higher version before upgrading to 10.04. You really can’t jump versions here.

Example: Upgrade 8.10 > 9.04 > 9.10 > 10.04 (No jumps allowed!)
*(Note that 10 [in 10.04] means 2010 and 04 means month 4. Ubuntu has always been designed to be released on a 6-month development cycle).

If you have slow internet connection OR cannot free at least 1488MB of hard disk space and need to do an offline upgrade, there is a good article here on this subject.

Also, you should realize that this is Beta software, so only upgrade now if you know how to save yourself in case something go wrong. Otherwise, wait for the stable release in 3 weeks time.

Pre-Upgrade:
-Ensure that you have at least 1488MB of free space in your “File System” folder.
Clean up your system to free up some space especially if you don’t have much space available.
To remove old installation setup packages and dependencies, in a Terminal window (From the top menu, Applications > Accessories > Terminal), type in:
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get autoremove
-Empty the trash.
(If you can’t find the space and especially if yours is a Windows (WUBI) installation of Ubuntu, consider doing the Offline Upgrade mentioned above which requires only about 800 MB of space as you will be saving a 650MB chunk of ISO file elsewhere on your hard drive).

Update Manager

-Update your 9.10 to the latest available updates.
-Run Update Manager (From the top menu, System > Administration > Update Manager) and press “Check” to check for Updates, followed by “Install Updates” to get your system up-to-date.

Next, take a deep breath, cross your fingers, touch wood and proceed to:

Upgrading to Stable version (after April 29, 2010):
(At the time of writing this article, the Stable version is not out yet; it will only be out on April 29, 2010; so skip this and go to the Beta version below).

"New distribution release '10.04' is available"

Stay on Update Manager, press “Check” again and you should see “New distribution release ‘10.04’ is available”. Click “Upgrade” and proceed according to instructions on the screen.
OR
Upgrading to Beta version:

Run Application pop-up

1. Press Alt + F2 to open the Run Application pop-up window.
2. Type “update-manager -d” (without the quotes) to enable Beta version upgrade.

3. Update Manager will now run and do some checking and then display: “New distribution release ‘10.04’ is available”. Click “Upgrade” and follow the on-screen instructions.

So far so good ...

Aaaaaaargh!!!!!

4. If you don’t hit upon any show stopper, you should be able to upgrade easily. πŸ˜‰

Finally, pat yourself on the back. You’d just upgraded to the latest and greatest version of a very good OS and did not even have to go out and buy the (pirated?) CD. πŸ˜‰
Among other improvements, you should expect faster boot-up times and more exciting colors than brown. And some bugs too! Enjoy! πŸ™‚

New desktop but same old boring brown

PS: I was forced to abort this and do the Offline Upgrade as I can only free about 1200 MB of space after trying out all sorts of things including removing Open Office files, and deleting foreign language files and fonts. This is because I only have about 3.5 GB of space on my hard disk for Ubuntu. πŸ™
PPS: Upon the first boot-up, the first color I see is still brown. πŸ˜€

I changed this to a much nicer and lighter shade of brown, IMMHO