Upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 tips/tricks

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Ubuntu 18.04 has been quite stable for me. 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. In Ubuntu 17.10, I switched from Wayland to X11 after a few days because of stability issues and remote desktop. Wayland is the path of the future, particularly with regard to security, so it’s anticipated Ubuntu 18.10 will default to Wayland once again.

Ubuntu 18.04 has been much more stable that Ubuntu 17.10. Several packages that were broken in 17.10 are fixed in 18.04. Almost all the Ubuntu 17.10 problems are fixed by Ubuntu 18.04.

Note: Since ecryptfs has been deprecated, you have to encrypt either your 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. I kept using the PC for web browsing during the upgrade. I only had to reboot once, 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.

Check

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

Notes

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, I got an error about resolveconf, but it seems to be fixed automatically. 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.

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