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The installation has been stuck here for about 9 hours now. Also, applications and files won't open, making the computer unusable. Would canceling the upgrade be a bad idea at this point?

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I have the same issue, look up on this blog. You need to click "terminal" below in your upgrade window and do some action it is waiting for

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Just ran into same issue.. and this got it unstuck. – Kendor Aug 4 '12 at 18:38
the link to the blog does not work – user284234 May 28 '14 at 15:05
@begueradj I posted it only in respect to the source where I'd found the answer to this problem. The answer was to click the "terminal" link in a window and to do an action required – user907860 Jun 7 '14 at 12:08

Specifically an ncurses window has appeared within the terminal and you need to move through the menus to continue the upgrade.

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