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How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 Beta Version

With the release of Ubuntu 20.04 beta, here you may think about upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 yourself — so let’s go!

In this article I will show you the process required to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 from Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 19.10 right now, ahead of the final release.

You don’t need to download a .iso, worry about a USB thumb drive, or lose any of your files — you can upgrade directly with a half-way decent internet connection.

Just keep in your mind at the time of reading this that the final stable release of the Focal Fossa is not yet available, only a beta-quality candidate is.

You should only upgrade to 20.04 before April 23 if you are aware of the risks involved in running beta software.

Before you upgrade (whenever you choose to) I recommend creating a backup of any important files and system settings, dot files, and any critical content. Keep some ‘rescue’ media to hand should things go wrong, too.

How to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 beta from Ubuntu 18.04 and 19.10

Before you see the steps, let me answer some of the common questions regarding upgrading to the Ubuntu 20.04 beta version.

  • Upgrade process from one version to another is easy but you need to have a good & high-speed internet connection that could download a couple of GBs of data at a good speed.
  • Upgrading to a newer version disables the third-party repositories (PPA you added on your own). Some of these PPAs might not be available for the new version yet. You can manually enable the PPAs after upgrading.
  • Having a backup of your important data and system settings on an external USB disk is always recommended. Just copy all your important files from Documents, Pictures, Music, Downloads, dot files, & any critical content and put it on an external USB or hard disk.
  • Once you have upgraded to a newer version, you cannot go back to the older version you were using. Reinstalling the older version is the only option.
  • If you upgrade to the Ubuntu 20.04 beta version, you don’t need to install it again when the final stable version is released. Just update your Ubuntu system regularly and you’ll already be using the same 20.04 when it is released.
  • You cannot upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 directly from Ubuntu 16.04, 17, 18, 19.04.

OK! this is enough for you. Let’s see the steps to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 beta from Ubuntu 19.10 and 18.04.

Step 1: Make sure the settings are right

Go to Software & Updates application:

Software Updates application in Ubuntu
Software & Updates application in Ubuntu

In the Updates tab, check that Notify me of a new Ubuntu version is set to “For long term support versions”:

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 Beta Version

This may reload the Software repository cache.

Step 2: Update your system for any pending software updates

Once you have the correct settings in place, open a terminal (use Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut in Ubuntu) and use the following command to update your Ubuntu system:

sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade

The apt full-upgrade or dist-upgrade function the same as ‘apt upgrade’ but it will remove currently installed packages if this is needed to upgrade the system as a whole (i.e. a version upgrade).

Your system may ask to restart after installing updates. That’s fine. Restart and resume upgrading to beta release from step 3.

Step 3: Run update manager with development release upgrade option

Now that you have all the necessary updates installed, you can open the update manager but with -d option. The -d option tells it to look for development releases.

update-manager -d

It may take a couple of minutes before informing you that a new version of Ubuntu is available.

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 Beta
Availability of Ubuntu 20.04 in Ubuntu 19.10

A similar message is displayed in Ubuntu 18.04 as well:

Availability of Ubuntu 20.04 in Ubuntu 18.04
Availability of Ubuntu 20.04 in Ubuntu 18.04

Hit the upgrade button when you see the above message.

Step 4: Start upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 beta

The rest of the upgrade procedure is waiting for update downloads and clicking okay wherever requested.

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 Beta Version

Hit the upgrade button and follow the on-screen instructions.

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 Beta Version

You might be notified that all the third party sources have been disabled. At some point, it will also inform you of the packages that will be upgraded, removed, etc. It will also ask if you want to keep obsolete packages or not. I prefer to remove them.

Depending on your internet speed, the upgrade may take a couple of hours. Once the upgrade process is complete, you’ll be asked to restart your system.

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 Beta Version
You’ll see something like this

At last restart the system to finish the beta upgrade in ubuntu 20.04.

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