Ubuntu – How to upgrade a remote server from 8.10 to newer version


I have a remote server still running Ubuntu 8.10 9.04 that I can only access via SSH.

If I run apt-get update I get a bunch of 404 errors on the packages. I've asked a few questions on Server Fault but got nowhere. Here's what I've done:

  1. Run apt-get update which returns errors like:

    Err http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com intrepid/main Packages
    404 Not Found
    [and same for many other packages]

  2. Run do-release-upgrade which returns:

    Checking for a new ubuntu release
    Failed Upgrade tool signature
    Failed Upgrade tool
    Done downloading
    extracting 'jaunty.tar.gz'
    Failed to extract
    Extracting the upgrade failed. There may be a problem with the network or with the server.

  3. Edited /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and changed from Prompt=normal to Prompt=lts (as suggested here). Running do-release-upgrade after this returns:

    Checking for a new ubuntu release
    current dist not found in meta-release file
    No new release found

  4. (Updated) I have followed the advice in this question and changed /etc/apt/sources.list to refer to jaunty instead of intrepid. However, that distro is not online anymore either. A comment there says I have to upgrade in chronological order…

So basically, it seems like I cannot upgrade because my current distro is out of date and not supported. Is there a way to upgrade direct to 10.x or 11.x? Note, as this is a server I only have command-line access.

UPDATE 24/11: I have managed to upgrade from 8.10 to 9.04. Ubuntu's EOL Upgrades page provides some alternate URLs for apt sources. I also needed to update /var/lib/update-manager/meta-release to point to the old-releases server too.

However, now I cannot upgrade from 9.04 to 9.10. Running do-release-upgrade produces the same error as #2 above, except it "Failed to fetch" (the URLs in meta-release are valid). The Ubuntu Jaunty upgrade page says it's necessary to upgrade using a CD image. I followed the instructions here, but it didn't work:

A fatal error occurred

Please report this as a bug and include the files
/var/log/dist-upgrade/main.log and /var/log/dist-upgrade/apt.log in
your report. The upgrade is now aborted. Your original sources.list
was saved in /etc/apt/sources.list.distUpgrade.

Traceback (most recent call last):

File "/tmp/tmp.JLhTwVUugb/karmic", line 7, in

File "/tmp/tmp.JLhTwVUugb/DistUpgradeMain.py", line 132, in main if

File "/tmp/tmp.JLhTwVUugb/DistUpgradeController.py", line 1590, in
run return self.fullUpgrade()

File "/tmp/tmp.JLhTwVUugb/DistUpgradeController.py", line 1506, in
fullUpgrade if not self.doPostInitialUpdate():

File "/tmp/tmp.JLhTwVUugb/DistUpgradeController.py", line 762, in
doPostInitialUpdate self.quirks.run("PostInitialUpdate")

File "/tmp/tmp.JLhTwVUugb/DistUpgradeQuirks.py", line 83, in run for
plugin in self.plugin_manager.get_plugins(condition):

File "/tmp/tmp.JLhTwVUugb/computerjanitor/plugin.py", line 167, in
get_plugins filenames = self.get_plugin_files()

File "/tmp/tmp.JLhTwVUugb/computerjanitor/plugin.py", line 120, in
get_plugin_files basenames = [x for x in os.listdir(dirname)

OSError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: './plugins'

It does say to report the bug, but since this is an old unsupported release I don't know if it's worth doing. However, is there a way round this, to upgrade from 9.04 to 9.10 (And then finally to 10.04 LTS.)

Best Answer

Update from 'Ubuntu Server 9.04' (Jaunty) to 'Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS' (Lucid).

based on:



Step 1: install update-manager-core

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

Step 2: Update from 9.04 (Jaunty) to 9.10 (Karmic)

edit /etc/apt/sources.list to replace "jaunty" with "karmic"

sudo apt-get update
sudo do-release-upgrade

Step 3: Update 9.10 (Karmic) to 10.04 LTS (Lucid)

edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and set Prompt=lts

file should (at minimum) contain:


edit /etc/apt/sources.list to replace "karmic" with "lucid"

sudo apt-get update
sudo do-release-upgrade


To check your server version: (at each stage)

lsb_release -a
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