How do I update elementary OS when new versions come out? Is there a setting that does it? Is it Software and Updates that does that? I know it does apps but, I wasn't sure about the OS.

2 Answers 2


For the moment is impossible to upgrade from one version to other, the problem is that they are based in the LTS versions of ubuntu and you can't upgrade from LTS to LTS, I don't know if the elementary team is working in something to solve this problem in the future, but for the moment is not possible to upgrade the system from one release to other directly. One thing you can do is have you "Home" folder in a separated partition, so every time you reinstall the system your files and config are preserved.

  • 2
    There is an open bug report: bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1486694
    – bigbang
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 16:14
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    A small correction because it's not very clear the way it's written: an LTS to LTS upgrade it's possible of course when we are talking about Ubuntu. The problem with elementary OS is that during upgrade all third party sources are disabled including eOS ppa.
    – ounos
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 8:26
  • what about this: elementaryos.stackexchange.com/a/16483/170 - also: @ounos
    – user170
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 9:11
  • @ounos so, if you ran do-release-upgrade once 20.04 came out, you'd end up with a non functional desktop, is that correct? Have you tried this? Just want to be clear because I'm concerned that folks might try this and foot-gun themselves.
    – feoh
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 18:59

I guess the process is simiar to debian, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg8CSdc0YAA

just have to edit the entries in the files contained in /etc/apt/

replacing with the ones related to the newer Ubuntu LTS

  • Please be careful giving out this advice, because as folks mentioned above, Elementary bundles a bunch of components that are custom made and may not make the transition to the new release successfully.
    – feoh
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 19:01
  • ah thanks i did not know that
    – anonimous
    Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 16:20

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