I was trying to upgrade this afternoon from 11.10 to 12.04. After most of the packages had been downloaded, I lost my Internet connection. When I re-connected to the Internet, still on Ubuntu 11.10, software update showed me a huge ammount of updates to perform (because it hald already altered the software sources and ppas to 12.04).

Well, I performed all the updates. Now, I have an Ubuntu that is half-way between 12.04 and 11.10. It identifies itself as 12.04, but its mostly 11.10. When I try update-manager -d, I get the message

Not all updates can be installed, run a partial upgrade to install as many updates as possible.

Then, if I click "partial update" I get the following error: "an upgrade prom precise to oneric is not suported with this tool"

What is happening? Is there a way I can fix this? Perhaps changing ALL the software sources to 12.04's?

I don't want to do a fresh install, cause I want to keep all my installed software and all my settings!


When this happened to me because the update process had "too many errors" (whatever that means), I did the following.

  1. Boot the recovery mode of whatever kernel still works.
  2. Your / partition will have been mounted as read-only because you booted in recovery mode. Run fsck Check all file systems from the recovery menu. Hopefully it will complete successfully at which point your install partition will be remounted as read/write.
  3. Enable networking so that you will have access to the Internet when you try to fix your packages.
  4. Attempt to Repair broken packages

Maybe this will not be any more successful than your previous attempts to fix the packages. But I figured it might be worth a try. It seems to have worked for me.

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You mention that your apt sources were updated during the partial upgrade. The first thing you should do is verify this by checking the /etc/apt/sources.list to make sure the deb and deb-src lines reference precise instead of oneiric. If they do not, edit the file to correct this using the following command:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Once the sources have been updated, one way to complete the upgrade would be to enter the following two commands through the terminal:

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

The error message you got from the update manager about needing a partial upgrade is that some of the updated packages want to pull in dependencies that are not currently installed, which is not particularly surprising when the new packages are from a new distribution version.

Once that completes, you should be on the new version. To clean up packages that are no longer required by packages that you explicitly installed, run the following command:

sudo apt-get autoremove

Check that the list of packages it offers to remove looks sane before continuing.

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  • James, If you don't mind, could you please edit your answer to explain how to tell if "If your apt sources have been updated already"? – user25656 Apr 20 '12 at 10:55

Solution was to reinstall from scratch. Nothing lost because ubuntu keeps your "home" folder

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