Upgrading to Ubuntu 18.04 fails

I have been using Ubuntu for approximately eight years and obviously like it although my company only support Win10 so I’m agnostic, but prefer Linux by far. I also run other distros – usually four or more via Virtual Machines. Also Win10 and Win7 by VM. So far the VM have been very stable (although upgrades to Ubuntu 18 destroyed them, I had previously exported them for retrieval once I install Virtualbox again).

More boring background: This year I have updated two laptops and two desktops from U 17.10 to 18.04 and each update had problems ranging from the update installer selecting the wrong log-in manager (easy to fix once I figured out what was wrong) to the update would not boot on the other three installs. In one case reinstalling Ubuntu 18.04 choosing the option to just repair the OS fixed it with some fiddling. But in the other cases I had to wipe and reinstall – everything. All successfully but days were consumed getting everything back to where I like it.

That’s my History. Now I desire to update my Dell XPS with Ubuntu 16.04. Obviously, I’m really nervous as this is an expensive laptop that runs really well. It has only USB C connections for flash drives, ethernet, etc. A screw up could doom me. Especially since this is a factory install of Ubunu 16.04, I have no idea how to recover from the disaster. So why update? Well believe it or not, I really like the gnome desktop (with Dash to Panel) on Ubuntu and it is not well implemented on U 16.04. So do I bite the bullet the next time updater pops up telling me I can upgrade? Would Timeshift save me? or would clonezilla be the better way?

First post so I apologize for rambling and not being as organized as I usually am.

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i’ve only recently started using timeshift so i can’t say as to whether or not it is better than clonezilla, but just wanted to poke my head in and offer the thought that with clonezilla you know you have a definitive working image file if the upgrade goes other than well. seems to me that could free you to experiment a bit with timeshift to see which you personally prefer :slight_smile:

Sounds like a plan. I’ll also investigate the Dell restore partition I see on the Disks app. That way I can get back to factory specs. I think there was also a programed backup that occurred early in its life with me.

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good luck with the update :slight_smile: feel free to drop back in an let us know how it goes.

With regard to Timeshift, I do use and I have found it good, providing you use it alongside a back up if doing anything major for safety. I personally haven’t had a problem and everything has restored to the state it was before I made changes, but some have. I would say it is great to use, but with this caution in mind -Oh and Mint advises using it when upgrading from 18 -19 and won’t let you do it if you are going down that route

just saved me after making a silly error with my fstab last night. SO MUCH easier than dropping everything and waiting on a full clonezilla restore once i finally figured out that i had goofed. as a side note, i first learned of timeshift from Aquil’s article on It’s FOSS and it has been a reassuring presence as i updated both my bodhi and ubuntu mate partitions from 16 to 18

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One thing to be careful about it to upgrade through the releases in sequence. You will likely have trouble if you upgrade Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04 directly without upgrading through the 17.10 release. I have taken to upgrading each release about 2 weeks after it become available (just as a precaution), and I have had no problems. When you do have a problem, although it is a pain, you are probably better off doing a clean reinstall, rather than trying to fix a broken upgrade.

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I use Systemback, if you install it via the terminal, yes it works in 18.04 folks, plus you can make a ISO file of your installation. Download Systemback from Sourceforge, unzip it in your Downloads folder, open folder, right click empty space in folder left click open in Terminal, or alternatively open Terminal and type cd Downloads then type ls that’s the letter L or el
then type sudo ./ install.sh
A list will come up of all the versions Systemback supports of Ubuntu number 4 is 16.04, push number 4 and hit enter. Ignore any errors that come up, whilst it is installing. At the end of the installation, it should say Installation completed successfully, or words to that effect.

Open up Systemback it will ask for your login password, to unlock it, click on the green arrow that is pointing right, click on settings, which is the third button down on the right hand side of the window. Tick the white box that says use XZ compressor for squashfs filesystems.
Tick the white box create live ISO images automatically (Faster than the Conversion)
Click Back button bottom left of window, then click the green arrow facing left. Next we are going to click the button that says Live System Create. In the white space where it says auto pick a name, without any spaces, could be backup, could be Ubuntuback, whatever you would like to call it. Tick the box that says include the user data files, this will backup onto ISO everything, also when you install from this ISO if you tick that box again on the install screen, it will install all your files too.

First though we have to make the ISO, once you’re happy with the name and you have ticked the include the user data files, moe I mean move your mouse cursor to the right of the window and left click, create new. It will go away and start making ISO, if the created ISO is over 4GB it won’t like it, so I suggest backing up any files onto another drive first. Systemback I use here in 18.04 although my Desktop Environment is Peppermint OS 9. Systemback was only supported to 16.10, but installing it through the Terminal, picking version 16.04 I’ve had no problems with, it also works in 17.04 and 17.10. There must be a hell of a lot of software that still runs, although support has ended. Please give Systemback a go, cause you can make backups of your entire system too, like a restore point. Hope this helps.
I’ll be doing a video on this soon and will post it to YouTube, so you’ll get a visual look, instead of all this writing.
I live streamed on Saturday a tutorial on how to use Systemback here is the link

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