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Saravanan Gnanaguru
Saravanan Gnanaguru

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Upgrading an End of Life (EOL) Ubuntu OS to LTS version

Table of Contents

Why do we need to upgrade?

There are two life cycles in Ubuntu OS versions, EOL (End of life) version and LTS (Long term support) version.

LTS versions get the OS updates and security patches from release date + 5 years. So it is always better to keep our Ubuntu OS running on a LTS version.

Once OS versions are entered into EOL, we will stop getting the updates and OS security patches, hence our system becomes vulnerable.

Ubuntu OS upgrades are a bit tricky to do the update from EOL (End of life) version to LTS (Long term support) version.

This article captures my recent experience of upgrading one such Ubuntu EOL release 21.04(Hirsute Hippo) to 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish)

Ubuntu OS versioning Info

Ubuntu OS version numbering consists of "year + month of the release". It is a tradition in Ubuntu for having an LTS version in “April release of even numbered year”
For example: OS version 20.04 and 22.04 are LTS versions.

Please check the Ubuntu OS releases page to know more about the supported versions and EOL dates

Ubuntu Official Upgrade Guides

Generally, upgrading the OS before the end of life period can be done using the regular update method mentioned in Upgrades guide.

But after the EOL period we need to tweak some files to do the update. So I followed the EOLUpgrades guide and was able to upgrade successfully from 21.04 (EOL version) to 22.04(LTS version) directly.

Steps for upgrading EOL Ubuntu releases

Before proceeding the update:

  • Turn off - auto suspend and disable screen blank from Ubuntu Power settings
  • Push any WIP code into GIT and save the ongoing work
  • Upload your important work/personal files backup to Google drive or any storage for safety backup

Step 1: Update /etc/apt/sources.list

In the sources.list file, debian package URL points to Since the version is EOL, we can't use this URL, and hence we need to change it to

To begin the upgrade, make sure you have a /etc/apt/sources.list like the following, with CODENAME being your release, e.g. hirsute. Do *not* change your CODENAME, though, just the domain name (to "").
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So change the domain name in sources.list file, from to

For example:

## EOL upgrade sources.list
# Required
deb hirsute main restricted universe multiverse
deb hirsute-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb hirsute-security main restricted universe multiverse
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Similarly, we need to update the deb-src as deb in sources.list file.

For example:

deb hirsute-security main restricted
# deb-src hirsute-security main restricted
deb hirsute-security universe
# deb-src hirsute-security universe
deb hirsute-security multiverse
# deb-src hirsute-security multiverse
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Step 2: Un-check Update URLs in system settings

Then, open Software and Updates from system menu and go to tab Other software, and un-check all the tick boxes.

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Step 3: Download upgrade tool and Run the upgrade

You need to download the upgrade tool for the version of Ubuntu OS you are upgrading to.

For example, if you are upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy), you'll see the download link for the specific version on this page as follows,

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  • Pick the upgrade tool from the link and download the tarball to perform the upgrade for Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy).
# Downloads the Jammy upgrader tool, check the link above for the URL of the file for your release

# Extract it into a new upgrader directory
mkdir upgrader
tar -xaf jammy.tar.gz -C upgrader

# Run the executable, the name changes based on the release
cd upgrader
sudo ./jammy
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After executing the upgrade installation command, it will take 30 mins to 1 hour depending on network connectivity for the upgrade to complete.

We need to make sure watch the upgrade progress, as there might be confirmation diaglog boxes in-between waiting for our inputs.


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