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This question already has an answer here:

I have windows 7 on my laptop and dual boot of 12.04 LTS now I want to upgrade to 14.10 how to uninstall 12.04 ?

marked as duplicate by user68186, Eric Carvalho, Fabby, Elder Geek, Andrea Corbellini Feb 4 '15 at 19:19

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    Just install 14.10 over your current install if what you wish is to delete 12.04. – xangua Feb 3 '15 at 18:16
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Just upgrade from 12.04 LTS to 13.04, 13.10 then to 14.04, If you skip 13.04 and 13.10 then 14.04 will be a mess.

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If don't wish to keep your 12.04 user data you can create a bootable USB/CD of 14.10 then install it over the top of your 12.04 partition.

If you do want to keep your data..

It is best to only perform Ubuntu system upgrades from one version to the next and upgrades between LTS releases. By upgrading from a much older release to the latest can result in a misconfigured system due to package mishaps caused by the big upgrade leap. This is explained quite well here.

What you can do is change your settings in the software update manager to only upgrade if there is a newer LTS version available. This will then detect and upgrade to 14.04 when you check for software updates (as long as you are still on 12.04).

To get to the software update manager you can open the Ubuntu Software Center -> Edit -> Software Sources... -> Updates then change Notify me of a new Ubuntu version to Long term support versions. Then when you save your changes your system should check for updates. When it does, allow it to upgrade to 14.04.

When your in 14.04 you can do the same process but change the Notify me of a new Ubuntu version to For any new version. This will then hopefully upgrade the system to 14.10.

Hope this has helped you out.

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If you are looking just to upgrade and ignore all else open up terminal and type in

sudo do-release-upgrade

Hope that helps.

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