I was running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and the software center had been nagging to update to 16.04. Today clicked on the [Update] button in the Software Center.

Current state

Reboot proceeds until

     Starting Show Plymouth Boot Screen

then multiple blank lines and

[ OK ] Started Make remote CUPS printers available locally.

I can <Super> F1 to login on tty1. I see

New release '16.04.1 LTS' available.
Run 'do-release-upgrade' to upgrade to it.

Since the upgrade does not appear to have been successful I'm reluctant to try it without advice.
I tried do-release-upgrade. It said No new release found.

Running lsb_release -a gives

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
Release: 16.04
Codename: xenial

I tried startx and it appeared to start. I stopped it by sudo stop lightdm.

If I try sudo service lightdm start the screen alternately displays a mouse pointer and then the text boot screen, for about 5 seconds.


I tried sudo apt-get update and got errors such as

Err:1 http://security.ubuntu.com/xenial-security InRelease
Temporary failure resolving security.ubuntu.com

Looks like I don't have network support - ping localhost gets ping: icmp open socket: Operation not permitted


Assuming that the upgrade has not completed, what should I do next to get to a system that boots to the GUI?

Alternatively, is it possible to back out of the update? I still have my 14.4 DVD.

1 Answer 1


So my solution was to revert to the previous version.

I booted from my original "Ubuntu 14.04.3 desktop amd64" DVD, and

  • At the welcome screen, clicked the "Try Ubuntu" button and made sure my most recent backup was current.
  • Rebooted again, then at the welcome screen clicked "Install Ubuntu".
  • At the "Preparing to install Ubuntu" screen clicked continue.
  • At the "Installation type" screen, there are four options. I clicked the bottom one "Something else".
  • A partition map is then shown, including check boxes that determine which partition is to be over-written. Firstly, I have to admit my notes here are sketchy. I have to say I found this screen quite confusing. Since I wanted to retain my data, I was very careful to avoid the checkboxes in the "Format?" column. The feedback on this screen is poor; it kept telling me to do things to the partition map. Since there is nothing labelled "Partition map" it took me a while to work that this screen is it.
  • Eventually I selected my ext4 partition. /dev/sda as the device for the boot loader, and clicked "Install Now".
  • According to How to re-install Ubuntu keeping your data and settings there are three prompts that it's important to get right if you want to have easy access to your old data. These are
  • Your full name.
  • Your user name.
  • Your machine name.

Few notes

  • I didn't test what happens if the full name or machine name are different, but obviously the user name needs to be right. I would expect that an incorrect username would be fixable, with work.

  • When you have to select the filesystem, select "Ext4 journaling filesystem". All the documentation seems to just call it Ext4 without mentioning the journaling part.

And then

Having got a working 14.04 system, I had no Wifi or DVD support. I Googled and messed about for days. All sorts of posts in various places suggest building your own, with all that would entail in the future. Eventually, I tried the "Advanced boot options" in the Grub menu.

I selected the previous kernel, and viola everything works!

Hope that helps someone else.

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