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How to install software or upgrade from old unsupported release?

I have a very old laptop (6-7 years) with a 1.6 Ghz Intel processor and 512 Mb DDr2 of RAM and I was wondering if I can keep this version of Ubuntu (9.04) installed on it. I've installed the 11.10 version but it's extremely slow on my laptop, some times it even hangs if I open more than 3 tabs in Firefox. My main problem is that I can't update any of my drivers or even install new ones since this version that I'm using is outdated. At the moment I'm using a freshly installed Ubuntu 9.04 with zero updates because when I installed 11.10 I chose to do a full format over it since I had almost nothing important on my hard disk worth keeping.

(I remember that when I first installed Ubuntu 9.04 and successfully connected to the internet, everything was easy.)

  • You surely can but you won't get updates that's all. Dec 28, 2011 at 4:39

3 Answers 3


With all the other disclaimers re: no updates, no security ...

There are most old repositories available at http://old-releases.ubuntu.com

so edit /etc/apt/sources.list and change 'archive.ubuntu.com' to 'old-releases.ubuntu.com'

You can do this with sed

sudo sed -i -e 's/archive.ubuntu.com/old-releases.ubuntu.com/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

then update with

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

Alternately use a lighter weight distro such as lubuntu, slitaz or tinycore.

Attention: you should only use the old-release archive if you have no possibility to upgrade to a newer version, because you won't get any security updates using these old archives

  • 2
    Thank you very much for the info. This helped me immensely and managed to update everything with success. Now I can enjoy using ubuntu thanks to you. KUDOS!
    – Mihnea
    Dec 28, 2011 at 7:00

Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope has reached it's end of life. That means that although you can install and use it, there will be no security updates and such provided. It is advised that you atleast switch to Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx which is a Long-Term Support version and the desktop will be supported for three years whereas the Server edition is supported for 5 years.

If you are looking for the latest Ubuntu to run on low-performance/old hardware, try taking a look at this question which recommends running the LXDE desktop environment, which is super-lightweight and best suited for old computers. The LXDE version of Ubuntu is called Lubuntu. You can go to the Ubuntu Community Documentation on Lubuntu and getting it to learn more about this.

  • 2
    I'll try to install Lubuntu. Thank you for the help.
    – Mihnea
    Dec 28, 2011 at 5:05

Yes, you can, after all, who's going to stop you. However, it's not recommended, since you don't get any security updates, and, honestly, there is no reason to. You could try a release that's still supported, like Ubuntu 10.04 or Xubuntu 11.10. You could also do a minimal custom installation with only the packages you need. For ideas on the last one see the links below.



  • Oops, sorry was typing an answer and was a bit slow to post, well, gonna let my answer be. Dec 28, 2011 at 4:54
  • 2
    Upvoted! Good answer, no reason to apologize. Dec 28, 2011 at 5:00

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