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My Ubuntu based Linux desktop computer has been offline from the internet for 4-5 years. Long story I will not get into. Lol

It is currently running version 14 long term support IIRC. What is the best path forward to bring my operating system up to date? Will I be able to jump straight to the latest long term support package? What pitfalls do I need to avoid?

Second, I need to get back on the internet with some sort of a router/repeater. I have an inhouse router upstairs I use to access the web with from other devices. I need something downstairs that will allow me to access the web through an ethernet port on the Linux Desktop. So whatever device I buy needs to have an ethernet port.

Appreciate your suggestions and I'm excited to get my old Linux desktop connected again!

Mister Ed

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  • Only supported releases of Ubuntu (standard support) are on-topic for this site. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is in extended support and now Ubuntu 14.04 ESM thus only supported by Canonical via Ubuntu Advantage and off-topic here. Refer askubuntu.com/help/on-topic help.ubuntu.com/community/EOLUpgrades fridge.ubuntu.com/2019/05/02/…
    – guiverc
    Jan 5 at 0:56
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (if that's what you were using; Ubuntu didn't start year releases until 2016; and they are different products) upgraded to 16.04 LTS; however 16.04 LTS has completed it's standard support life already meaning you've missed that release-upgrade process. I'd recommend starting again due to the changes that have occurred in the years you've ignored the system. You can upgrade via re-install a desktop system, but 14.04 used Unity 7 which stopped being default back in 17.04, also again your system so out-of-date issues may occur even with this (but it's what I'd do)
    – guiverc
    Jan 5 at 0:58
  • Ubuntu releases offer to upgrade paths; so assuming you're asking about 14.04 that would be to the next release or 14.10. Alternatively you can upgrade a LTS release to the next LTS release, which would have been to 16.04 LTS, open until 16.04 LTS reached it's end of standard support in April-2021 (IF you have ESM enabled you may have the option to upgrade to 16.04 ESM, but your OSes certificates will be so outdated you'll find many things online difficult as your machine cannot tell what sites are legit/fake due to it's many outdated certificates).
    – guiverc
    Jan 5 at 1:03
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    If the computer has been offline for years and is running an OS that is years outdated, you should just reinstall a supported version. There's no sense in trying to update/upgrade.
    – Nmath
    Jan 5 at 1:22

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It is currently running version 14 long term support IIRC. What is the best path forward to bring my operating system up to date? Will I be able to jump straight to the latest long term support package? What pitfalls do I need to avoid?

That is very old. Backup anything important to a safe place (i.e., not that computer), and reinstall a supported version of Ubuntu. If the old version won't boot when you make a backup, create a live CD with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and use that to backup your files (remember, live CDs reset when you reboot, so don't copy your files to the live CD*). For the newly-installed version, if you like LTS, you would use 20.04, but if you want the latest stable one, get 21.10.

*Technically, they don't have to, if you setup persistence. But it is easier (and safer) to just copy the files to somewhere safe, like an external hard drive.

I need to get back on the internet with some sort of a router/repeater. I have an inhouse router upstairs I use to access the web with from other devices. I need something downstairs that will allow me to access the web through an ethernet port on the Linux Desktop. So whatever device I buy needs to have an ethernet port.

I would be surprised if your desktop, despite its age, doesn't have an Ethernet port. Just plug the ethernet cable into the desktop during system installation, and it should autoconfigure it.

If it really doesn't have an ethernet port, you can get a PCI-E Ethernet card for not very much money on Amazon. TP-Link is a good brand (no affiliation to it, other than using it). If your device is old enough to have PCI, not PCI-E, you can get PCI Ethernet cards, too (StarTech is also a good brand). This photo illustrates the difference between PCI and PCI-E. If you prefer USB, there are many adapters for that, too.

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  • Thanks for the info. My desktop does have an ethernet port so I guess I need to get a compatible wifi repeater that has an ethernet port. Jan 5 at 3:21

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