The official Release Notes appear to have been updated recently (as of writing this the last update appears to have taken place on 3rd of June) to include the following statement:

The -d switch is necessary to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as upgrades have not yet been enabled and will only be enabled after the first point release of 20.04 LTS.

Also note that 20.04.1 appears to have been pushed back (~ a week ago) to 6 Aug 2020.

TLDR (as of 15 Aug 2020):

This page is the canonical tracking document for the first Focal Fossa point-release (20.04.1). It’s a live document. The Ubuntu release team will be updating it as we work on releasing 20.04.1. […] Upgrades from 18.04 to 20.04.1 are still disabled as we are working through a few upgrade blockers


The answers (so far) do not answer the question. The question is pretty simple. Ubuntu.com points to a "FinalRelease", which turns out to be a "Development Release", see evidence below. I'm not asking how and when to upgrade. I'm pointing out what seems to me to be an apparent inconcistency (in semantics, linguistics, logic) in the way Ubuntu names or labels its releases.

From an answer to the question I'd except someone to pick up and acknowledge this inconsistency. An answer could start with a "Yes, ..." or a "No, ...", for starters.

(Moreover, a good answer could distinguish between the release being in dev stage and/or the upgrade process (e.g. from LTS to LTS) being in dev stage, if appropriate.)

This question, as I see it, is not a duplicate. Futher, I think it is a question which deserves a non-patronizing answer. Thanks.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/FocalFossa/ReleaseSchedule indicates that today (23rd April 2020) the new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is to be released.

enter image description here

See "condensed screenshot" here:

enter image description here

Indeed, it seems that that's what happened, see https://ubuntu.com/download/desktop and https://wiki.ubuntu.com/FocalFossa/ReleaseNotes:

enter image description here

However, when following the instructions to upgrade (from 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS) found here and elsewhere (edit: actually in the official release notes, too!), even prior to the July point release, I'm a bit confused to see that the instruction is to use update-manager -d which also points to the "Development Release" (see screenshot below) rather than the "FinalRelease" (see screenshot and link above).

Is the "Final Release" (which I'm after) the/a "Development Release"? Why isn't it called something like "Production Release" or "Final Release"? When will it no longer be referred to as "Development Release"? In July? I'm confused :(

enter image description here

  • 5
    Does this answer your question? Why is "No new release found" when upgrading from a LTS to the next?
    – pLumo
    Apr 24, 2020 at 6:42
  • @pLumo kind of; though I still feel there are inconsistencies in the way this is communicated: askubuntu.com/questions/1229890/… Why is it "marketed" as "Final Release"........ Apr 24, 2020 at 7:23
  • 3
    @pLumo That's pretty much my point: that is something that should transpire (directly / clearly / officially) from ubuntu.com (including in the release notes linked above). I was waiting for the "final release" only to discover to my disappointment that it ain't actually that final... that caveat should be communicated in the links provided above... "final release" is a bit of a misnomer... not very noob friendly. A bit more verbosity and transparency wouldn't harm... to a noob who hasn't perused all fora "pointrelease" sounds less final than final release... Apr 24, 2020 at 8:24
  • 2
    iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/milestones ; ie. for trying or testing the next 18.04.5? 20.10? etc. or pre-release ISOs. 'daily' can be somewhat misleading, it's created as needed and is really ~interval. It's weekly at times of a cycle, daily most of any cycle, but can be multiple times per day at times (eg. 20.10 is still being planned so not much there to test, and no flavors yet, but you may notice it's there already to test tooling as the release gets started)
    – guiverc
    Apr 27, 2020 at 6:15
  • 1
    Interestingly, Focal - Launchpad still shows July 23 as the expected release date.
    – Kulfy
    Jun 25, 2020 at 13:41

3 Answers 3


The development release is the pre-release version of Ubuntu. It's the next future release.

  • Using the development release means you want to be a tester. You want to discover problems and translate strings and file bugs. If that doesn't sound fun, then DON'T run the development release.

  • Using do-release-upgrade with the -d flag will migrate you to the current development release.

  • The development release is NOT supported here at AskUbuntu.

The final release is the released version of Ubuntu. We usually refer to a final release by it's release date (18.04, 19.10, 20.04, etc) or by it's release name (Bionic Beaver, Eoan Ermine, Focal Fossa, etc.)

  • This is the recommended version for general use.

  • This is the version at http://ubuntu.com/downloads

  • This is the version supported here at AskUbuntu

  • Using do-release-upgrade without the -d flag will migrate you to the next final release.

Note that the week around a release date does not need to be confusing:

  • On release day, the development release converts into the final release.

  • The next development release won't open for a week or so. During this brief time, the -d flag may have unexpected results. Maybe it will bring you to the final release, or maybe it will bring you to the next development release. Read your output carefully.

For folks thinking about upgrading to a new release of Ubuntu:

  • LTS Users (only): The tested upgrade path is NOT from, for example, 18.04 to 20.04. It's from 18.04.x to 20.04.1. That .1 release will occur three months after the main release. In other words, keep running the older LTS release for three more months, then your system will offer to upgrade.

  • Impatient LTS users: Some folks don't want to wait. They want a newer release right away. These folks probably should be using Interim (6-month) releases instead of LTS, but that's not important here. There are shiny unofficial websites that suggest using update-manager -d or do-release-upgrade -d to skip that three month wait, and migrate from LTS to LTS right now. The safe route is to wait for the point release. Be patient. If you decide to use -d, read your output carefully to be sure you are getting the release that you expect.

  • Interim (6-month) Release users: You do need to use -d to upgrade for the next few months. Since this is an LTS, the regular (non -d) upgrade won't be offered until 20.04.1. Reason: There's one mechanism, and it cannot tell the difference between interim releases and LTS releases. This is normal behavior for an LTS release, and occurs once every two years.

  • 1
    update-manager -c (from man update-manager: "Check if a new distribution release is available"). Apr 23, 2020 at 19:56
  • 2
    Note that the answer uses do-release-upgrade, so thanks for clarifying that you want to use a different command. Folks using 19.10 will see 20.04 become available over the next 24 hours as their systems normally apt update. Folks using 18.04 should not see anything for a few months until 20.04.1 is released, of course. Folks on 18.04 can force the upgrade earlier (today/tomorrow) if they really, really want to...but that's rather off-path.
    – user535733
    Apr 23, 2020 at 19:59
  • 2
    @nuttyaboutnatty I was just telling you what the release notes actually said. In my experience though, I recommend waiting for the actual upgrade to be pushed by Canonical. I had way too many issues in the past forcing the upgrade now. By the way, we are only here to help out as volunteers and are not paid by Canonical at all. It is up to them for what they say in their upgrade notes and we have no control over what they say.
    – Terrance
    Apr 24, 2020 at 15:00
  • 3
    Huh, so the new release is basically for new users and testers, all that hype around the date for naught. May 1, 2020 at 19:08
  • 2
    @user535733 care to address the inconcistency pointed out in the original question in a separate answer? appreciated! May 2, 2020 at 20:24

The offical upgrade path from LTS to LTS will be opened after 20.04.1 is released.

To override this, option -d that means "development" is used.

It is a "forced" upgrade, that's why you get the "development release" message.

  • 3
    But why, then, does ubuntu.com not advertise today's release as "dev"? Because only upgrading (the upgrade process) from LTS to LTS is considered "dev", - but not the release itself? Apr 23, 2020 at 19:03
  • 2
    That's the confusing bit then: "as if it were". Apr 23, 2020 at 19:35
  • 7
    It's not confusing at all: Most folks running 18.04 should not be upgrading yet. They should keep running 18.04 until the official upgrade path is opened.
    – user535733
    Apr 23, 2020 at 19:43
  • 9
    From my confusion I'd infer that the situation is confusing; if it weren't I wouldn't be asking, would I? Apr 23, 2020 at 19:53
  • 4
    ...so the upgrade process (only) is "bleeding edge" - but not the release itself (as published today on ubuntu.com) ? Apr 23, 2020 at 20:04

No, the “Final Release” is not a “Development Release". Rather, the former refers to a clean install of Ubuntu, whereas the latter (here) refers to upgrading an existing Ubuntu installation:

  • "Final Release" refers only to a clean install of Ubuntu (to a formatted, empty drive).

  • As such it does not refer to an upgrade of an existing Ubuntu installation.

  • Contrary to a clean install, "upgrading" is a process which is still (!) in dev stage.

TLDR: Clean-install: apples. Upgrade of an existing installation: oranges. Not the same thing...

The upgrade finally (29 Sep 2020) has come through :)

enter image description here

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .