Upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 tips/tricks

Ubuntu 18.04 has been quite stable from the beta period through release. The switch to X11 as default desktop is a good move, as there is a lot of upstream work to be done before Wayland is ready for a very large desktop audience. Wayland is the path of the future, particularly with regard to security, but it is not yet clear which Ubuntu version will again make Wayland the default.

Note: ecryptfs has been deprecated. One can either encrypt the whole hard drive, or not encrypt, since the easy encrypt home directory option isn’t available in the Ubuntu 18.04 install process.

Force upgrade

Back up your files to an external hard drive / cloud first!

do-release-upgrade -d

The Ubuntu 18.04 upgrade from Ubuntu 17.10 took less than 20 minutes on a a 5-year old PC with encrypted SSD. On the same PC, doing a fresh install of Ubuntu 18.04 took about 5 minutes. Only one reboot is needed, unlike Windows 10 upgrades which take much longer and need several reboots, and you can’t use the computer during much of the upgrade time.


cat /etc/lsb-release

should show “bionic”

Useful programs

These programs are available on many Linux distros:

  • psensor show CPU/GPU/HDD temp, optional high-temperature alarm


If you get error Python install is corrupted, try:

sudo update-alternative --remove-all python

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/python2.7 /usr/bin/python

On an old computer that had been upgraded through a few Ubuntu versions, an error about resolveconf didn’t repeat. Upon reboot, all was well. It seems that lightdm was still the login manager, as it was originally an Ubuntu 16.04 computer, whereas a fresh install or upgrade from 17.10 results in gdm login.