I'm trying to upgrade from 18.10 to 19.10, using sudo do-release-upgrade however I only get an error: An upgrade from 'cosmic' to 'eoan' is not supported with this tool.

I performed the steps to update my sources.list to point to old-release server, as suggested here: How to install software or upgrade from an old unsupported release?

This did not help. I get the same error.


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    There is no upgrade path where you can skip releases (besides lts to lts). You will need to install 19.10. If I was you I would wait a couple of weeks and go for 20.04. – Rinzwind Feb 4 at 22:29
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    What do you mean by install 19.10 ? You mean a full install and not upgrade ? What about installing 19.04 first ? Is that possible ? – Droopycom Feb 4 at 22:33
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    @Rinzwind is correct - you missed the window of supported upgrades (18.10 to 19.04, and later 19.04 to 19.10). Sorry. You can research how to try an unsupported upgrade. If that goes wrong, then the advice you will get here is a (supported) clean-install of 19.10. Regardless of what you choose, a complete backup of all data that you consider valuable would be wise. Tip: I mark my calendar so my upgrades are within the window and smooth. – user535733 Feb 4 at 22:43
  • All the research I've done pointed me back to askubuntu.com/questions/91815/…. Your answer suggest that the answer in there about the upgrade from old release is actually invalid. I haven't found any "unsupported" way to do the release, which I would be ok with. It worked a couple weeks ago (upgraded anther machine from 18.10 to 19.04) so unless some important SSL certificate expired since, I would feel fairly confident the process should still work... – Droopycom Feb 4 at 22:55
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    Rinzwind was saying do an install, not upgrade. A clean install of 19.10 now or wait a bit till 20.04 beta comes out, will be the easiest, if you have backups. There are some work arounds to upgrade, but they re not dependable. 20.04 will be supported for at least 5 years, 19.10 only for maybe 5 months(?) now. – crip659 Feb 4 at 23:20

It's still possible to do the upgrade, you just have to hack some files per this blog post in order to upgrade to 19.04 first. I was able to upgrade successfully following his method.

Quoting the blog:

  1. Run do-release-upgrade on the 18.10 system. This will give you an error about being unsupported. But behind the scenes, the tool will download some metadata files we want to modify.
  2. As root, go in to /var/lib/update-manager and copy the file meta-release to a new file meta-release2. This file was downloaded by do-release-upgrade from the Internet and tells the upgrader how to upgrade.
  3. Edit meta-release2. Remove all entries for eoan entirely. Modify the disco entry so it says Supported: 1
  4. Edit the file /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/UpdateManager/Core/MetaRelease.py. Change this line of code self.metarelease_information = open(self.METARELEASE_FILE, "r") To read self.metarelease_information = open(self.METARELEASE_FILE + "2", "r") That will tell the upgrader to use your modified file instead of the original. (It will also avoid any redownloads overwriting your changes.)
  5. Run do-release-upgrade. It should now be doing an upgrade 18.10 → 19.04. Let that run as normal and reboot.
  6. Congratulations! You’re now running 19.04. Remove the /var/lib/update-manager/meta-release2 you made.
  7. Since 19.10 is supported, all you have to do to upgrade 19.04 → 19.10 is run do-release-upgrade again. No hacks necessary, you’re back on the main path.
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    Worked for me too 👍 – SLCH000 Feb 24 at 14:58
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    In my case I got a FileNotFoundError: [...]/.cache/update-manager-core/meta-release2' . To fix this just create a meta-release2 file with all the edits (Step 3) from the meta-release file in your cache directory. – xeddo Feb 25 at 19:11
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    @xeddo Brilliant – Novicegrammer Feb 25 at 20:44
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    Hey, that's my blog! Glad it's helping people; I've gotten lots of reports the notes I wrote up are helpful. Enjoy all that sweet Stack Reputation :-) Clon, Ubuntu stopped supporting 32 bit i386 with 18.04. You really can't upgrade. – Nelson Mar 24 at 1:11
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    Starting somewhere in April 2020, one additionally needs to change the bionic or links from http://archive.ubuntu.com to http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ inside the meta-release2 and the /etc/apt/sources.list files. Otherwise you get a 404 upon do-release-upgrade. – Moreaki Apr 25 at 11:29

Had the same question. After some researching (thought you can upgrade upwards anyhow you want) found this ubuntu help page.

For further stability of a LTS release there is a slight change in behaviour if you are currently running a LTS version. LTS systems are only automatically considered for an upgrade to the next LTS via do-release-upgrade with the first point release. So for example 14.04 will only upgrade once 16.04.1 is released. If you want to update before, e.g. on a subset of machines to evaluate the LTS upgrade for your setup the same argument as an upgrade to a dev release has to be used via the -d switch.

We should be able to upgrade in may-june 2020 (i think) when 20.04.X is released.

Update 2020-02-20

Nevermind, the 18.04 will be fine. 18.10 is dead (unless you got a time machine or better knowledge of ubuntu internals, how upgrades are done).

All wee can is update sources.list to http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ so that apt-get will be able to work.

Apparently you could update in a small time frame in the past. Current tooling (do-release-upgrade, which is a black box doing magic) can only update to latest available release.

So, as an example, you can do further updates:

  • 18.10 => 19.04 (while 19.04 is in Current, which it is not anymore, it is in End Of Life)

  • 19.04 => 19.10 (while 19.10 is in Current)

  • 19.10 => 20.04 (always? while in Current?)

  • 18.04 => 20.04 (always? while in Current?)

Links with scrapes of info

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  • Thanks for this. It's an eye opener for me... I've always been using the latest ubuntu releases, but I didn't understand how unsupported intermediate versions would be and how quickly. I at least figured you'd be able to upgrade! – Nicolas Holthaus Feb 24 at 13:06
  • the 18.04 -> 20.04 upgrade track won't be released immediately, by the way - that usually comes closer to the first point release of an LTS that I've observed. – Thomas Ward Feb 24 at 14:19

Upgrading to 19.04 is straightforward as suggested by sysopch on a blog

  1. mkdir /tmp/upgrade
  2. cd /tmp/upgrade
  3. wget http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/disco-updates/main/dist-upgrader-all/current/disco.tar.gz
  4. tar -xf disco.tar.gz
  5. python3 ./dist-upgrade.py

Tried it out myself - worked like a charm. After this do-release-upgrade seems to not error out, but I did NOT upgrade to 19.10 myself (I'm happy with 19.04).

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I successfully upgraded directly from 16.04 to 19.10 but I didn't do this on my production system I did it on a test system:

I used the instructions from:

In a nutshell the article rather than "upgrading" you trick the system into thinking current version is 19.10 and perform a regular "update":

We need to run the following command to change all instances of cosmic to eoan in the source list file (/etc/apt/sources.list). Cosmic is the code name for Ubuntu 18.10, whereas eoan is the code name for Ubuntu 19.10.

sudo sed -i 's/cosmic/eoan/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

Then we need to disable third-party repositories (PPAs) with the command below.

sudo sed -i 's/^/#/' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*.list

Keep in mind I had errors that required required running of sudo apt clean and sudo apt install -f afterwards. Sometimes I had to do this a couple of times after fixing other error messages. Luckily google search and answers in Ask Ubuntu helped me get the job done.

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Simpler Way: 18.10 -> 19.04 -> 19.10 -> 20.04 LTS (24 May 2020)

I got caught out on this having over 20 Ubuntu VMs on various versions from 18.04 / 18.10 / 19.04 / 19.10 .

I have tested a number of updates from 18.10 to 20.04 using variation of what is provided in prior guidance above.

Here are the high level steps:

  1. You can only do this via set of steps: 18.10 (cosmic) -> 19.04 (disco) -> 19.10 (eoan) -> 20.04 (focal)

  2. 18.10 and 19.04 are the problem as they are "obsolete" and archive has been moved to "old-releases", so you will need to edit /etc/apt/sources.list to point to:

"deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu" and not any other repository

  1. Using command line (not UI) do:

    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt upgrade
    • sudo apt autoremove
    • and reboot
  2. Now you can try upgrade but first check: /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades has "Prompt=normal" and edit if needed. Then via command line do:

    • do-release-upgrade

There are 3 possible results:

  • a. All goes ok ;-) - then advance to (6)
  • b. Get failure where is says you cannot upgrade from "cosmic" to "eoan"
  • c. Get "do-release-upgrade" command not found
  • d. No release found (see step 6)

4b. You need to edit the cached update list which is in: ~/.cache/update-manager-core/meta-release

Editing should be remove all releases after "cosmic" and change "cosmic" supported flag from "0" to "1" ie:

Dist: cosmic



Supported: 1



Now back to 4

4c. You need to install update sw: sudo apt install ubuntu-release-upgrader-core

Now back to 4

  1. Redo: do-release-upgrade

Keep in mind you could end up going back to 4b.

If all goes ok then go to (6)

  1. You should now be at 19.04 or 19.10 (depending on where you started).

Now you just need to repeat the steps.

Simply repeat 4.

If get a "release not found" error then you should delete the cached releases file you edited earlier (~/.cache/update-manager-core/meta-release) and re-run.

  1. You should now be able to to upgrade to 20.04 LTS

NOTE 1: I am writing this from rough notes, keep while doing updates, so hope I have recalled correctly.

NOTE 2: If you have used "external PPA" in /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory, then you should disable these prior to starting the update process.

NOTE 3: I have just done an 18.04 LTS update this went: 18.04 -> 19.10 -> 20.04 . So it did not go directly from 18.04 -> 20.04 ... puzzling

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