How to upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 Long Term Support (LTS) to 14.04 LTS?

Before you start any upgrade process ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do I want to upgrade. If your Ubuntu 12.04 is running very smoothly, it incorporates all the applications you need and supports all the connected devices, there is no hurry to go for the upgrade. Ubuntu 12.04 is supported until April 2017. This consideration is supported by the fact, that there are not many changes for the desktop user, as the focus of development has been on mobile convergence.
  • Can I afford to lose any/all my data such as documents and files? If the answer is no - then backup your installation. Upgrading Ubuntu works 99 times out of 100 – a backup will save you lots of frustration later if things do go wrong.

If you want to upgrade, you can very easily do so over the network with the following procedure.

Important note: For 10.04LTS/12.04LTS users you need to check the "Release upgrade - Show new distribution releases" drop-down to make sure "Long term support releases only" is selected, and change it if otherwise.

Step 1: 
Launch the update manager
Step 2: 
Click the Check button to check for new updates
Ubuntu update manager
Step 3: 
Install potential updates

If there are any updates to install, use the Install Updates button to install them, and press Check again after that is complete.

Ubuntu install updates
Step 4: 
A message will appear informing you of the availability of the new release
Ubuntu update manger new release 14.04 LTS
Step 5: 
Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions