You Can Now Upgrade Ubuntu 20.10 to Ubuntu 21.04, Here’s How

Ubutnu 21.04 Upgrade


With the Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release out the door, many Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) users will probably want to upgrade their installations, so here’s a quick, step-by-step, and painless tutorial.

Upgrades from Ubuntu 20.10 to Ubuntu 21.04 were blocked until today (May 11th) due to a bug that made some systems to end up in an unbootable state if they use EFI 1.10. An updated shim version was released today, which is compatible with EFI 1.10, to make upgrades from Ubuntu 20.10 to Ubuntu 21.04 possible.

Dubbed Hiruste Hippo, Ubuntu 21.04 introduces numerous new features and improvements, such as a newer kernel (Linux 5.11), the Wayland session enabled by default, GNOME 40 apps, and updated internals to some of the most recent GNU/Linux technologies.

This means that if you’re running Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla), which just like Ubuntu 21.04 is supported for only nine months, until June 2021, it’s a very good idea to upgrade your computer as soon as possible. To do that, you must ensure that your system is up to date by installing all available update using the Ubuntu Updater utility.

After you’ve installed all the available updates, open the Terminal app or press the ALT+F2 keyboard shotcut and copy/paste or type the following command below. Hit the Enter key to execute the command and you’ll see the following notification that Ubuntu 21.04 is available.

update-manager -c
Upgrade Ubuntu 20.10

Click on the “Upgrade” button and you’ll be prompted by a bigger dialog with more information about the Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release. Now click the “Upgrade” button again to start the upgrade process.

Upgrade Ubuntu 20.10

During the entire upgrade process, you’ll see the dialog in the image below until all steps are completed, so just follow the instructions on the screen until the upgrade is complete.

Upgrade Ubuntu 20.10

Before the upgrade starts, you’ll be promoted by the dialog in the image below with a summary of the packages that will be upgraded, installed, and remove. Now click the “Start Upgrade” button to start the upgrade process.

Upgrade Ubuntu 20.10

You’ll also be notified that the lock screen has been disabled and will remain disabled until you reboot your PC. Click the “Close” button on the notification to close the dialog.

Upgrade Ubuntu 20.10

Download more than a thousand packages will take a while, depending on how fast your Internet connection is, so grab a cup of tea or coffee and relax. But keep an eye on the upgrade process as it may ask you various questions during the entire operation, like if you want to change the home directory of user irc.

Installing all the new and updated packages will take some time as well, depending on the speed of your computer. When the upgrade process is complete, you will be asked to restart your computer, so do so.

That’s it! You’re now running Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo), so enjoy its new features!

Update 04/06/21: As of June 4th, 2021, it’s once again possible to upgrade your Ubuntu 20.10 installations to Ubuntu 21.04 using either the do-release-upgrade (CLI) or update-manager -c (GUI) commands.

Update 19/05/21: It looks like Canonical blocked the upgrades from Ubuntu 20.10 to Ubuntu 21.04 again due to newly discovered bugs. You can still upgrade if you run the update-manager -c -d command, but it is advisable to wait until the upgrade path is open again. (Thanks Stu for the tip!)

Last updated 3 weeks ago