Updating Ubuntu 14.10 to Ubuntu 15.04 to Ubuntu 15.10 including Mate Desktop

恭禧發財 Kung Hei Fat Choi greetings from Mauritius!

We are currently having some very rainy weather and today (08.02.2016) is a public holiday in Mauritius for the Chinese New Year. If you are not familiar with Mauritius, this rainbow nation island has many public holidays for various celebrations of various cultures of this world! You should definitely come for a visit someday, if you need advise, contact me. Therefore for many of us it has been a long week end. I decided to repair a faulty PC and then update Ubuntu on it which hasn’t been done since some years. I usually only update programs and avoid doing big updates, my motto is, if the machine is running stable, am fine with that and if and update goes wrong, in some cases you might need to do a complete new install which can cost you a lot of your time. So keep in mind to do a proper backup before you attempt any Ubuntu version updates.

Siloi-Updating Ubuntu via Repositories PPA-002
Siloi-Updating Ubuntu via Repositories PPA-001

To do updates in Ubuntu is not like in Microsoft Windows, it doesn’t always run or works out with a few clicks (sometimes neither windows update work out with a few clicks!). And the older your version the less likely you will be able to update with just a few clicks (because of old repository links in your system). Ubuntu is not a system where things just work per click. You must also do some thinking, enquire, research, read blogs and figure out its logic. And in the end, when you managed to make it work, you will be happy and feel a bit smarter 😉
This is definitely not a waste of your time to improve your Ubuntu Linux skills.

I was having great trouble updating from Ubuntu 14.10 to Ubuntu 15.04. I was getting various error messages.

Commands in the terminal such as:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Siloi-Updating Ubuntu via Repositories PPA-004

were always ending with a list of error messages.

After some research I figured out that it is mainly the links to the PPAs (personal package archives) that were causing trouble. I always thought, to figure out which PPA is the one I require is to complicated, at this stage I would either give up or just do a fresh new install from CD. Since I had more time I spent these last 2 days updating my PC and figure out a way how to deal with PPAs and what is their logic, it’s very time consuming as well to always do a fresh install from CD… so why not make some effort and grasp PPAs functionality. No programming skills required.

You can access the list of PPAs in your sources list file. It is located in the following folder which you can access via Nautilus or caja for me as I use Ubuntu mate desktop (ofcourse you can also access it via the terminal using command line):

Click on File System that is your root folder /
then go to etc
then right mouse click on folder apt to open it as admin so that you can edit the file.

Now you will see the file sources.list
Make a back up of it.

There is also one thing I would recommend you todo is to make a list of third party programs/or other software you installed separately such as Skype (might also not be necessary if you are using upto date canonical ppa entry links). Or you have a look at your back up up sources list text file of PPAs of third party programs that might be in there. This might come in handy a bit later when you are done with the big major updates to then also add back newer PPA links of your programs which match the new version of your Ubuntu.

Side note: if you have an old Ubuntu version like me, such as the 14.10, renaming the PPAs from archive into old-releases didn’t work for me as mentioned here:

2- Open the sources file “/etc/apt/sources.list”
Rename all the instances of us.archive or archive in http://us.archive.Ubuntu.com/Ubuntu/
to http://old-releases.Ubuntu.com/Ubuntu/

on this → page  | That’s why I have applied the solution below which solved my problems and made it possible to upgrade.

When you double click on sources.list it will open the software updater program.

At Tab Ubuntu Software remove all ticks.

At Tab Other Software, remove all PPA entries. That is clean this place up.

At Tab Update remove all ticks.

(You can put back the ticks that you like when you have completed your updates)

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Siloi-Updating Ubuntu via Repositories PPA-006
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deny it.

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Siloi-Updating Ubuntu via Repositories PPA-009
Siloi-Updating Ubuntu via Repositories PPA-010

Next we will recreate the sources.list, that is populate it with PPA sources of the next Ubuntu version to which you want to upgrade.

ATTENTION you cannot jump versions! You can always upgrade to one next level. Ubuntu stable versions are usually released in APRIL and OCTOBER, if it has the LTS next to the version number it means its a long term supported version. So the name of the version is always like this: YEAR:MONTH. The most recent version was Ubuntu 15.10 to which I am updating right now. In April the version 16.04 will be released. So, if you have version 14.10 like I had, you will first have to update to version 15.04 and then to 15.10.

Go to this → Ubuntu Sources List Generator.
Select the next version you want to update to.

At Ubuntu Branches I selected everything.
At Ubuntu Updates I only selected the first four.
(Security – Important Security Updates. Security Sources Repository

Updates – Recommended Updates.
Updates Sources Repository.)

At Ubuntu Partner Repos I also selected both options. At 3rd party repos I selected for Google Chrome and Libreoffice. You have to see what else you need there.

If there are PPAs missing of programs that you use, you can add that later after you have done the major update. You can also optionally completely leave out third party repos for the moment. The less PPA entries you have, the easier it is to tune down to areas that are not working. This is also why I will recommend you later to check for updates and run upgrades via the terminal because you can get more precise error messages than if you just do it per click through the software updater window screen.

Scroll to the bottom and click on Generate.

The result that it will generate in the first box, called OFFICIAL Ubuntu REPOS, copy that in your empty sources.list file. Save it.

Open terminal and let’s update the system. Type:

sudo apt-get update

Be patient… it will take a while, maybe some hours! You can watch my → Mauritius photos in the mean time.

Do a reboot first when done.

Siloi-Updating Ubuntu via Repositories PPA-011

Once your computer has booted, open the terminal. Type:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Be patient again, this part will even take longer, you might go watch a movie now…

When it’s done, reboot.

Now what’s left to be done is to update the PPAs of third party programs. For me in that instance I will update MATE. I already included Libreoffice and Chrome in my sources.list as third party PPAs so these do not require updating at the moment. This is how I will proceed:
I need to update my → Mate Desktop. I googled PPA Mate Ubuntu 15.10 and found the following instructions:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:Ubuntu-mate-dev/wily-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


I will not add a Skype PPA because Canonical partners list is already in sources.list which also covers such programs.

I will now reboot my PC to see if mate is working.

Siloi-Updating Ubuntu via Repositories PPA-012

…a few mins later. Yep, it’s all working perfectly, Ubuntu and Mate are both upto date.

Please don’t forget to add PPAs matching your version you are updating to just like you did above for the operating system repos.

Please also share your experiences with updating Ubuntu, if you have some tips how to proceed or if you discovered I missed out anything important, you are welcome to share in the comments section below. If my described experience above helped you update your Ubuntu pleas also drop some words in the comment section, would be great to read from you and let me know from which country you are from as I am very far away from you all!

2 thoughts on “Updating Ubuntu 14.10 to Ubuntu 15.04 to Ubuntu 15.10 including Mate Desktop

  1. Yasir

    Hi there, your https certificate is failing leading to untrusted website. I think you should renew or contact your CA. Images are not loading as well. I believe if you want to use Https, try a secure CDN provider. Cloudflare offers this service.

    if you are on VPS/dedicated Hosting try Letsencrypt for free. Setting up is straight forward.

    Hackers.mu is also using letsencrypt

    Regarding ubuntu, as you said it does not work every time lol. I use fedora as I am a fan of Red Hat based systems. We have such problems on and off on RH based systems.

    I do remember having used the following commands:

    yum update yum

    unfortunately yum is now deprecated and has been replaced by DNF (Dandified Yum) which is an improved version of yum.

    The process is indeed complicated and sometimes screws things up and you end up installing a newer distro from scratch (format ext4 FS etc…)

    1. Dietmar Reigber

      Hi Yasir,

      are you accessing the blog via https or http? Did you input it in your browser with an “s” or landed on it via Google?
      I have no certificate.

      I have several domains, is a certificate usually one per domain only?

      I use shared hosting. I was using cloud hosting at my provider but it was slower. Was wondering someday to get a managed hosting solution if I use up more ressources.

      Sometimes I just prefer not to update ubuntu and just run one version for some years. 😉

      Not familiar with your red hat systems. Also haven’t tried Xubuntu: heard of it? Apparently very bare bone, can save on using ressources.

      Where do hackers.mu host?


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