Not working: upgrading Ubuntu from 14.04 to 16.x

I was upgrading Ubuntu from 14.04 to 16.x. I am new to Ubuntu. This is my first question on Ask Ubuntu.

It went well till well till the end. It downloaded all the new packages. While installing, towards the end I got following errors.

Could not install "initscripts."

The it gave the following message.

"Upgrade will continue, but the initscripts pakages may not be working safe. Please submit a bug report.

"subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1."

It gave following additional errors.

Couldnot install "plymuth."

"subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1."

Couldnot install "cgmanager."

"subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1."

Couldnot install "rfupdown."

"subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1."

Couldnot install the updrages.

The update has aborted.Your systemshould be in an unstable stage. A recovery will run now (dpkg-configure-a).

It showed version 16.x but with only one option. Shut-down. I did that. Then i had to install earlier version of 14.04 through factory image.

What do I do now?

did you try installing more than once? were you able to update and upgrade all of your packages on 14.04 before attempting the upgrade to 16.x?

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Frankly, Ubuntu upgrades don’t work. I have yet to meet a person that never had an issue with Ubuntu upgrades.

Therefore, it is recommended that one backs up everything needed (most of the time /home is sufficient to back up), then does a completely fresh installation of the newer OS version, after wiping the old one and then finally restoring the backup made in the first step.


Yes. I did. I updated and then upgraded all my packages on 14.04. In fact I did that after reading the following post from @abhishek.

I did the above two times. But the end result was the same.

Thank you @Akito. How do I do a fresh installation?

i’m glad you posted that. i was about to agree with @Akito that a fresh install sounded like it would be easier all things considered. it might also be a good idea to consider moving to 20.04 or at least 18.04 instead of 16.04 which will go beyond regular end of life early next year.

here is @abhishek’s guide to a fresh install of 20.04:

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Akito - meet Dan :smiley: - c’est moi!

I’ve lost count of the number of upgrades I’ve done between releases… e.g. from a rolling release to an LTS - one system I had started life as 16.10, updated to 17.04, 17.10, 18.04 LTS etc… most recently, on about 5 different computers, 18.04.4 to 20.04 (and right now I’m doing an 18.04.5 to 20.04.1 “do-release-upgrade”). I’m pretty sure the laptop I was using at work back in 2014, started off with Ubuntu 12.10, then updated to 13.04, 13.10, then 14.04 LTS… kept going till 2015 sometime (I didn’t bother updating to non LTS 15.04 - these days I’m mostly sticking to LTS releases).

However - having said this - let me admit, I’ve never updated from 14.04 to 16.04… in 2016 I was mostly using elementary OS, and they’re notorious for being unable to do ANY release upgrades, and they admit it - openly - it’s on their download sites and readmes etc… I was running Freya back then - and couldn’t upgrade to Loki release… been the same with every release… If you’re running elementary OS 5.1 Hera, and you want 6.0 Odin - you have to wipe your Hera and install Odin “afresh”, which kinda stinks…

Also - having said the above - I’ve run into dependancy nightmares during updates and upgrades, ESPECIALLY if I’ve added PPAs to my apt config (I do not add PPAs to my systems anymore) - and found resolving these issues more complex and time consuming than a fresh re-install of the O/S…


That’s weird. Even my friend who is an avid Kubuntu user for so many years, always does a fresh install on each new release, because every previous upgrade of his failed miserably.

Well, maybe there is a difference in this aspect between the different Ubuntu derivatives? Maybe the DE already can break stuff, I dont know.

It probably has lots to do with how much and what type of third party software you have installed. If you have a lot of custom modifications, I can imagine things breaking much easier and faster.

One thing I know that’s broken about upgrading Ubuntu Server releases - e.g. 14.04 to 16.04 - the names of the NIC devices got changed, e.g. eth0 becomes ens160 - and it breaks your system - e.g. if your server is in a data centre and you don’t have an iLOM you’re up sh!t creek (and you hope and pray the data centre is in the same town!), or a VM on ESX - you gotta tweak it on the VMware console - and that’s a real PITA - e.g. no copy and paste or anything…