Linux – upgrade the existing Ubuntu installation in WSL from 16.04 to 18.04

ubuntu 18.04windows-subsystem-for-linux

I'm currently running Ubuntu 16.04 in WSL (Windows 10 v1709 or later), installed using lxrun.

Can I upgrade it to 18.04?

If so, how? If not, when?

Best Answer

I just forced an upgrade from 16.04 and it was successful, though the process was not all well.

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

First do the upgrade. As people have reported in comments, it's likely all that you need to do before 18.04 is all set up. In a few cases like mine, it will do most of the things while showing as "failed".

In case it shows as "failed", open /etc/apt/sources.list and replace all "xenial" with "bionic", and sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade. Most people should have everything done at this point.

In some cases (but not all), APT and Debian Packager may fail during the process. According to this GitHub thread, you need to remove grub and kernels, if present:

sudo apt -f purge grub-pc
sudo apt -f purge linux-image*

Repeat the last command several times as dpkg will fail after removing every package. After all those Linux images are removed, you get a fully working Bionic Beaver in your WSL.

Read more: A Guide to Upgrading your Ubuntu App’s Release – Windows Command Line Tools For Developers

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