Super Easy: Upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04 on a Server

February 4, 2020

This is a quick tutorial showing how to upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04 on a server. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus was released on April 21st, 2016. You can read the release notes on Ubuntu official site.

Note: Please do a thorough testing before you upgrade on a production server.

Upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04

First SSH into your server and update all packages.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Make sure you have update-manager-core installed on your server by running the following command.

dpkg -l | grep update-manager-core

If you see nothing, that means update-manger-core is not installed. Install it with this command:

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to 16.04 LTS upgrades will be enabled only after the 16.04.1 LTS point release is released on July 21st 2016. So right now ( June 15 ) we have to use -d option to force upgrade. However, this is not recommended for production server.

do-release-upgrade -d

After Ubuntu 16.04.1 is released, you can just run


Once the upgrade is complete, restart your server. SSH login again, then use the lsb_release -a command to check Ubuntu version.

root@ubuntu:~# lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:  Ubuntu
Description:     Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Release:         16.04
Codename:        xenial

Congrats! You have successfully upgraded Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04. From here on out, you use Systemd and don’t have to worry about upstart.

root@ubuntu:~# systemctl status apache2
● apache2.service - LSB: Apache2 web server
  Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/apache2; bad; vendor preset: enabled)
 Drop-In: /lib/systemd/system/apache2.service.d
  Active: active (running) since Wed 2016-06-15 11:30:38 EDT; 9min ago
    Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
 Process: 337 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/apache2 start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
  CGroup: /system.slice/apache2.service
          ├─441 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
          └─444 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start

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