How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 Beta from 21.10 and 20.04 Right Now

This is a regularly updated guide to show the steps for upgrading your current Ubuntu system to the next version which is currently under development. In other words, you learn how to upgrade to beta version of Ubuntu’s next release.

At present, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is under development. There are plenty of new features in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish release and it is natural to get excited about it.

The stable release will be coming in April end, and the beta (testing) version drops a month before.

Can’t wait that long? If you are using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or 21.10, you can upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 beta release right now.

All you have to do is to update your Ubuntu system and then run the following command:

update-manager -d

It should provide you the option to upgrade to the beta version.

Don’t worry. I’ll show you the steps in details along with necessary explanation.

How to upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 beta from Ubuntu 21.10 or 20.04

The upgrading from your existing system is convenient because you don’t lose your system settings and other files. Unlike a fresh install, you don’t have to reinstall all the software from scratch here. Your Home directory, applications (most of them), files remain as it is when you switch to the new version.

Know this before you upgrade Ubuntu version

Before you see the steps, let me answer some of the common questions regarding upgrading to Ubuntu beta version.

  • The upgrade from one version to another is an easy process but you need to have a good internet connection that could download a couple of GBs of data at a good speed.
  • Upgrading to a newer version disables the third-party repositories (PPA you added on your own). Some of these PPAs might not be available for the new version yet. You can manually enable the PPAs after upgrading.
  • Having a backup of your important data on an external USB disk is always recommended. Just copy all your important files from Documents, Pictures, Music, Downloads and other places and put it on an external USB or hard disk.
  • If you want to be extra careful, keep a Ubuntu live USB with you (or have access to an additional computer to create one). If something doesn’t go according to plan, you can reinstall Ubuntu and copy the backed up data.
  • Once you have upgraded to a newer version, you cannot go back to the older version you were using. Reinstalling the older version is the only option.
  • If you upgrade to the Ubuntu 22.04 beta version, you don’t need to install it again when the final stable version is released. Just update your Ubuntu system regularly and you’ll already be using the same 22.04 when it is released.
  • You cannot upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 directly from Ubuntu 18.04, 21.04 or any version other than 21.10 and 20.04 LTS.

Alright! You know enough now. Let’s see the steps to upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 beta from Ubuntu 21.10.

Step 0. Check your current Ubuntu version

You can upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 from 21.10 and 20.04 only. Please check the Ubuntu version you are running to ensure that you meet this condition.

In a terminal, run this command:

lsb_release -a

Its output will show the Ubuntu version number.

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 21.10
Release:	21.10
Codename:	impish

Step 1: Make sure the settings are right

Go to Software & Updates application:

2 overview software and updater
Software & Updates application in Ubuntu

In the Updates tab, check that Notify me of a new Ubuntu version is set to “For any new version”:

3 software and updater
Software and Updates Settings

This may reload the Software repository cache.

Step 2: Update your system for any pending software updates

Once you have the correct settings in place, open a terminal (use Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut in Ubuntu) and use the following command to update your Ubuntu system:

sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade

The apt full-upgrade or dist-upgrade function the same as ‘apt upgrade’ but it will remove currently installed packages if this is needed to upgrade the system as a whole (i.e. a version upgrade).

Your system may ask to restart after installing updates. That’s fine. Restart and resume upgrading to beta release from step 3.

Step 3: Run update manager with development release upgrade option

Now that you have all the necessary updates installed, you can open the update manager but with -d option. The -d option tells it to look for development releases.

update-manager -d

It may take a couple of minutes before informing you that a new version of Ubuntu is available.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 beta

Hit the upgrade button when you see the above message.

Step 4: Start upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04 beta

The rest of the upgrade procedure is basically waiting for update downloads and clicking okay wherever requested.

3 releasenotes
Release Notes

Hit the upgrade button and follow the on-screen instructions.

4 fetchingfiles
Fetching Files

You might be notified that all the third party sources have been disabled. At some point, it will also inform you of the packages that will be upgraded, removed etc. It will also ask if you want to keep obsolete packages or not. I prefer to remove them.

5 confirm update
Confirm Update

Depending on your internet speed, the upgrade may take a couple of hours. Once the upgrade process is complete, you’ll be asked to restart your system.

See, it wasn’t that difficult. Enjoy all the new features in Ubuntu 22.04.

Questions or suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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  • I was not able to upgrade to beta 22.04 while having 20.04 myself and think I have followed all your instructions or steps. After the command: update-manager -d , I don’t receive the message in the box to upgrade the system to 22.04 while having 20.04.

    • I”m having the same issue. On LTS 20.04 and when I run update-manager -d is says I’ m up to date .

      I’ve set the option for notify for any new version.

      • Have you made the upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 directly from Ubuntu 19.04 or 19.10? Or did you install 20.04 fresh from an iso. download? I know this shouldn’t make any difference to the 22.04 upgrade but it is a difference that people who had success with the upgrade had. And I would like to explore everything!

  • Worked well; below your modified steps:
    Step 0. Check current Ubuntu version number by running command lsb_release -a

    Step 1: open Software & Updates app
    In Updates tab, check that Notify me of a new Ubuntu version is set to For any new version: This may reload the Software repository cache.

    Step 2: Update your system for any pending software updates
    Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T ) and use the following command: sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade

    The apt full-upgrade /dist-upgrade function is the same as ‘apt upgrade’ , but removes currently installed packages if this is needed to upgrade the system as a whole (i.e. a version upgrade).
    Your system may ask to restart after installing updates. Restart and continue to Step 3.

    Step 3: Run update manager with development release upgrade option
    Open the update manager in Terminal with update-manager -d. It will check whether there’s a new Ubuntu development release. Click Upgrade button when you see the message.

    Step 4: Start upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04 beta
    The rest of the upgrade is watching on-screen instructions: fetching 1702 files and waiting for update downloads e.g. preparing upgrade … setting new software channels … getting new packages … installing upgrades … cleaning up … restarting computer. At some point, it will inform you that 59 packages are to be removed that are no longer needed. Click Remove.

    Step 5: Confirm update
    Depending on your internet speed, the upgrade can take 25 min to 2 hrs. Once complete, you’ll be asked to restart your system. When the new screen black screen appears, right click desktop to change the background.

  • could I update now from 20.10 to 21.04? or just wait ? all programs work, such as sublime, IDLE? it’s safe?

  • Greeting! Upgraded without any problems. However, firefox not working. Tried reinstalling.
    To open it, I have to launch it from terminal: this is what I get: (firefox:4105): Gtk-WARNING **: 09:55:42.545: Need to double-quote the value: “ẛ” U1E9B # LATIN SMALL LETTER LONG S WITH DOT ABOVE: : “ẛ” U1E9B # LATIN SMALL LETTER LONG S WITH DOT ABOVE

    Is there any way to fix this? Any help appreciated. Thank you!