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How To Upgrade Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) To 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) (Desktop & Server)

The new Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) has just been released. This guide shows how you can upgrade your Ubuntu 10.10 desktop and server installations to Ubuntu 11.04.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Desktop

Start the Update Manager (System > Administration > Update Manager):


The Update Manager should show that a new distribution release (11.04) is available. Click on the Upgrade button to start the distribution upgrade:


A window with the release notes for 11.04 comes up. Click on Upgrade again:


The upgrade tool is now being downloaded. Afterwards, type in your password:


The upgrade is being prepared:


Click on Start Upgrade to finally begin with the upgrade process:


The upgrade packages are now being downloaded…


… and installed. This can take some time, so please be patient.


At the end of the upgrade process, you should remove obsolete packages:


At the end of the upgrade process, you should remove obsolete packages:


The system needs to be rebooted to complete the upgrade, therefore click on Restart Now:


When you log in, Ubuntu 11.04 will by default start the new Unity desktop which requires that your hardware supports 3D acceleration. If it doesn’t, you can choose the Ubuntu Classic desktop at the login screen instead:


After the reboot, you can use your new Ubuntu 11.04 desktop (because I used a virtual machine for this tutorial, the system has no 3D support, that’s why you see the Ubuntu Classic desktop in the screenshot below):


2 Server

First become root:

sudo su

Then run

apt-get update

and install the package update-manager-core:

apt-get install update-manager-core

Open the file /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades

vi /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades

… and make sure it has Prompt=normal in it:


Then run


to start the distribution upgrade.

root@server1:~# do-release-upgrade
Checking for a new ubuntu release
Get:1 Upgrade tool signature [198B]
Get:2 Upgrade tool [1307kB]
Fetched 1307kB in 0s (0B/s)
extracting ‘natty.tar.gz’
authenticate ‘natty.tar.gz’ against ‘natty.tar.gz.gpg’

Reading cache

Checking package manager

Continue running under SSH?

This session appears to be running under ssh. It is not recommended
to perform a upgrade over ssh currently because in case of failure it
is harder to recover.

If you continue, an additional ssh daemon will be started at port
Do you want to continue?

Continue [yN] <– y

Starting additional sshd

To make recovery in case of failure easier, an additional sshd will
be started on port ‘1022’. If anything goes wrong with the running
ssh you can still connect to the additional one.

To continue please press [ENTER] <– ENTER

Confirm that you want to do the upgrade:

Do you want to start the upgrade?

3 packages are going to be removed. 34 new packages are going to be
installed. 291 packages are going to be upgraded.

You have to download a total of 171M. This download will take about 1
minute with your connection.

Fetching and installing the upgrade can take several hours. Once the
download has finished, the process cannot be cancelled.

Continue [yN]  Details [d] <– y

During the update, a few services might need a restart. If the update manager asks you which services should be restarted (it shows a list of services), just accept the default services by pressing ENTER.

If you see the following message about grub (What do you want to do about modified configuration file grub?), install the package maintainer’s version:

What do you want to do about modified configuration file grub? <– install the package maintainer’s version

At the end of the upgrade process, you should remove obsolete packages:

Remove obsolete packages?

6 packages are going to be removed.

Continue [yN]  Details [d] <– y

The server needs to be rebooted to complete the upgrade:

Restart required

To finish the upgrade, a restart is required.
If you select ‘y’ the system will be restarted.

Continue [yN] <– y

After the reboot, your server is running Ubuntu 11.04.


  • Ubuntu:
  • Unity: