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Thread: Expected consequences of upgrading Ubuntu 18.04 -> 20.04

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Beans
    7

    Expected consequences of upgrading Ubuntu 18.04 -> 20.04

    Hello Gurus!
    I consider myself as a rookie in Linux and have started using Ubuntu 18.04 (Gnome) as my default OS only few months ago. So far I've hardened my system, configured and customized it a bit and installed over 40 applications. Most of them are well-known FOSS and many are security oriented.

    I'm now thinking to upgrade from 18.04 to 20.04.

    My question is that, is upgrading Linux (Ubuntu) "business as usual" or should I expect any problems with e.g. any configurations I've done so far? How about with any installed applications? Should I expect any critical errors or conflicts, e.g related to booting etc.? I'm going to backup my configurations and system files with Timeshift and I don't have any personal files stored (e.g. videos, photos etc.).

    My configurations include:

    Enabling default disk encryption during installation
    Configuring IPvanish VPN
    Firefox customization
    Enabling Night Light feature
    Installing Curl
    Tweaking with Gnome Tweaks and Unity Tweak Tool
    Installing exFAT support
    Setting static IP
    Installing Kali VM in Virtualbox
    Configuring Wazuh HIDS
    Forwarding syslogs to my NSM
    Enabling GNOME "minimize" icons feature
    Enabling backups with Timeshift

    My installed apps are following:

    pCloud
    KeePass
    Veracrypt
    Timeshift
    GUFW
    GParted
    GVM (OpenVAS)
    Wireshark
    Authy
    Signal
    Brave
    Tor browser
    Nmap
    ClamTk
    Lynis
    VirtualBox
    Testdisk
    gWakeOnLan
    Pinta
    Etcher
    Viber
    Gnome Tweaks
    Unity Tweak Tool
    Fast
    VokoscreenNG
    VLC
    Kdenlive
    Steam
    Avidemux
    Stacer
    Shutter
    Audio Recorder
    youtube-dl
    Caffeine
    my-weather-indicator
    TeamViewer
    Synaptic
    Gdebi
    Flatpak
    PlayOnLinux

    Thanks a lot guys!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Denmark - Scandinavia
    Beans
    19,435

    Re: Expected consequences of upgrading Ubuntu 18.04 -> 20.04

    Upgrading can be tedious, a lot of things can go wrong. Personally I'll backup and go for a clean install.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    I think I'm here! Maybe?
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    Re: Expected consequences of upgrading Ubuntu 18.04 -> 20.04

    I largely agree with AI, but it depends on how close your system is to a default install and how many PPA repos etc you have added; anything that does not come from the usual Ubuntu repos will probably cause problems to you.

    Try it if you wish but make sure everything is backed up in case things go wrong, then you can start again from scratch.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 20.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Squidbilly-Land
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    19,887
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Expected consequences of upgrading Ubuntu 18.04 -> 20.04

    Good advice above.

    If you stay with the core Canonical repos, things will be easier.
    If you added a few PPAs, those will be removed during the 18.04-->20.04 move. Some PPAs may not have 20.04 packages ready.
    If you installed using AppImage, Flatpak, or Snaps, I don't know what will happen. Snaps would probably be handled. Don't know about the others.
    If you installed by downloading a .deb file, all bets are off. Those can break APT. Those can add a PPA. Those can swap the .deb for a snap. No way to know unless you carefully paid attention during the install.

    I have doubts about veracrypt making the transition, just due to the nature of that tool. Whenever encryption is involved, excellent backups are mandatory. Would much rather see you using LUKS-based encryption, but if you need cross-platform encryption, LUKS isn't a choice.

    I know that the youtube-dl packages provided by Ubuntu are almost always out of date. There are very few packages where I'd say to avoid any package systems, but youtube-dl is one where the source and self updates should be used instead.

    Settings for the system are almost always kept in /etc/ Back that up, but don't just restore the entire thing. You'll need to be highly selective about which config files get restored post-migration.

    Individual userid settings are 100%, always, stored in the HOME for each userid. Conflicts between versions of tools can happen especially when the versions change. Gnome2 and Gnome3 based tools can conflict. Firefox versions too. If this happens, the easy way to check whether it is system-wide or just 1 userid, is to create a new userid, login to the that new user, run the program, see whether the problem continues or not. Then rather than wiping all settings, you'll know specifically which 1 program setting is causing problems.

    Also, what happens if the timeshift versions between 18.04 and 20.04 aren't compatible? Will you be able to restore the necessary parts?

    I ran into that with rdiff-backup. Ended up having to build the older version of the tool, including all the dependencies, myself for 20.04. I would make the packages, if I knew how. With 15+ systems, I'm unwilling to change my backup server to a different version of the backup tool we've been using for years just to support 1, new, 20.04 system. Very disappointed with the rdiff-backup team. They knew the client and server were incompatible due to the change from python2 to python3. A method of compatibility for all supported releases really needs to be maintained while the releases.

    Do you have an nvidia GPU?

    Lastly, read the generic Ubuntu 20.04 release notes and the release notes for your specific flavor. I found some of the information to be woefully understated for snaps. There need to be a number of warnings about snap packages since they can break workflows to the point that there isn't any workaround. Mandatory snaps are pushing me to look at Debian, CentOS and Fedora. Hopefully, your needs won't be impacted by snaps negatively.

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/FocalFossa/ReleaseNotes
    At the bottom of that page, are links to the DE/flavor specific release notes.

    Little things like how Canonical has been slowly swapping more and more systemd sub-systems in without really saying it is also concerning. They do mention chrony and systemd-timesyncd ... on Ubuntu-Mate, chrony doesn't seem to be installed. We are left with systemd-timesyncd which isn't particularly accurate, though still 1000x better than what Windows provides.

    There is good news. Read that exFAT is part of the base in 20.04 now. I don't have any exFAT storage and my 20.04 system is a virtual machine, so doubt I'll use it for months, if ever.
    Last edited by TheFu; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Metro Boston
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    14,955
    Distro
    Kubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Expected consequences of upgrading Ubuntu 18.04 -> 20.04

    I've rarely had problems upgrading with do-release-upgrade, however all my systems have a separate partition for /home. This preserves my personal settings. If you end up installing a fresh version of 20.04, I'd choose the manual disk configuration option and set up separate partitions devoted to / and /home.
    If you ask for help, do not abandon your request. Please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Beans
    7

    Re: Expected consequences of upgrading Ubuntu 18.04 -> 20.04

    Thank you very much for all of your helpful answers!! Especially huge kudos to TheFu for such comprehensive answer. I really appreciate all your help and I will also try to contribute when I have something to share. Based on your answers I've decided not to upgrade my Ubuntu to 20.04, but instead consider clean install when I'm ready.

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