How-To Geek

Upgrade Ubuntu from Feisty to Gutsy

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Ubuntu Gutsy is the latest major release of the most popular Linux distro, released on October 18, 2007. Like all Linux distributions you can upgrade easily even while the release is in beta, but now that it’s been released you should have much better luck with it.


  • Built-in support for cool graphics effects. (compiz-fusion)
  • Display configuration utility that supports multiple monitors.
  • Built-in desktop search.
  • Better printing support, along with a PDF printer.
  • Fast User Switching, similar to Windows.
  • New Gnome and Xorg, with an easier theme tool.
  • Lots of new stuff under the hood.


Use the Alt+F2 key combination to bring up the Run Application dialog, where you’ll want to enter the following command:

gksu “update-manager -c “

You should be able to omit the -c switch now that Gutsy has been released, but I’ve not personally tested.

If all goes well you should see “New distribution release ‘7.10’ is available” and an Upgrade button, which you’ll want to click.


You’ll get a bunch of different dialogs asking you to confirm that you really want to, and do you accept the release notes, etc. Just click through all of them until you finally see the upgrading dialog.


You’ll most likely be prompted that support for some applications has ended. This isn’t necessarily important, since most of you probably frequented the Ubuntu Forums for any support you needed.


Now you’ll be asked yet again if you want to start the upgrade, and you’ll find out that it’s gonna take a long time to both download and install all the updates.


Note: I tried this upgrade a couple of times, and once I was prompted in the terminal window to hit the enter key, so you may want to keep an eye on that just in case.

Now you’ll be prompted to remove obsolete packages, and given a list of packages to remove. Typically it’s fine to remove the items, but you might want to check the list just in case, or skip the step if you aren’t sure. You can always clean them up with apt later.


Now you should finally be done, and be prompted to reboot your computer.

Once you restart, you can open up System Monitor in the administration tools section, and you should see “Release 7.10 (gutsy)” in this dialog, indicating that the upgrade was successful.


The greatest improvement in Gutsy has to be the addition of a new Screen and Graphics Preferences dialog in the administration tools, where you can actually set the resolution of multiple screens. No more xorg.conf, hopefully.



  • If you’ve enabled applications that require a kernel module, such as vmware server or vmware tools, you’ll probably be forced to reinstall them.
  • If you used Automatix to install graphics drivers or other applications that interact with the kernel, you might end up with some problems, judging from the last edgy -> feisty upgrade.
  • Graphics drivers might require reinstallation, although I haven’t tested this on my nvidia machine yet.
  • Backup all your files, especially your user directory.

So go forth, and enjoy Gutsy!


Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/27/07

Comments (16)

  1. Wikzo

    Good guide, can’t wait to upgrade in next month :)

    I already got Compiz Fusion installed on my Feisty Fawn. Should I remove it before upgrading?

    Also, I have used this guide to get on the wireless network:

    Do I have to follow it again after the upgrade?

    Oh – and I also changed something to get a widescreen (1280*800) resolutions … but can’t remember what. I got an Acer Aspire 3680 laptop with Intel Celeron M processor. Will the upgrade to 7.10 mess my resolution up or something?

  2. The Geek

    I’d guess that you should probably remove Compiz before upgrading… as far as the wireless, you might want to ask on the Ubuntu Forums if anybody has had problems with that particular network card in Gutsy.

    Supposedly the biggest change in Gutsy is that you won’t have resolution problems anymore.. so hopefully you won’t have issues with that.

  3. jeff

    I ran your commands, and yet saw no “new distribution release 7.10 is available.” do i need to edit my sources.list before running the gksu command? it seems a precursor step might be needed in your doc.

  4. The Geek

    You should make sure that your system is fully updated before you start… but otherwise it should work just as listed.

    I tried it a couple of times on a couple of machines… there was one time that it didn’t show up, so you might have to try again. Remember it’s beta… doesn’t always work right.

  5. samol

    I tried several times and I can’t get it to work either. Here’ the message.

    warning: could not initiate dbus
    current dist not found in meta-release file

  6. The Geek

    The problem is that they have probably broken the repository… give it a while and they should fix it.

  7. Ross Peoples

    It may be true that they broke something in the repos, but I’ve had this problem on every machine I’ve upgraded for the last month. I found this page which fixed everything

  8. baracuda68

    Does Kubuntu and Xubuntu 7.10 release the same day & time, too?

  9. Murray

    Generally, the instructions are good. I wanted to upgrade Kubuntu. For that, I had to use “kdesu” instead of “gksu”. Since 7.10 has now been released, I first tried:
    kdesu “update-manager -c”

    That just gave me all the updates to 7.04 (and there were none as I had already done them) with no option to upgrade to 7.10. I thought that, perhaps, 7.10 was still in the development phase so I tried:
    kdesu “update-manager -c -d”

    with the same results. For no reason at all, I decided to try:
    kdesu “update-manager”

    That worked! For anyone still having trouble upgrading, this might work for you as well.

  10. Sam

    I’m a completely new linux user, and followed your directions on upgrading from Feisty to Gutsy and have run into a couple problems…
    1. I can no longer connect to the internet. I have DSL. It was working fine before but now I can’t even bring up google…
    2. My screen resolution is now 640 x 480 and it does not give me the option to change it to any other resolution.

    That’s it so far, any help or advice would be great.

  11. p00Bah

    I originally installed 7.10 in a new temporary partition just to see how it looked. When I liked it, I swapped back to my Feisty partition and did the upgrade. Everything appeared to work except the version of Linux is still 2.6.20-16. Ironically the version of Linux in my temporary partition is 2.6.22-12. Although I could install all of my applications on the new one, do you know of a quick and easy way to upgrade just the version of Linux?

  12. John

    You will need to make sure that your sources.list is clean.
    All you need is main, restricted, multiverse, universe for feisty, feisty-upgrades, feisty-security, feisty-backports and ensure that any sources listed by easyubuntu are also removed. Without this you get errors that it cannot find certain repositories and you go bald trying to find out why it doesn’t work I’m down to my last 2 hairs which may only survive until the next round.

  13. Eric Swanson

    Nice write-up but it didn’t work for me. I’m trying to go from Feisty to 8.10 in the end and 7.10 immediately. My computer can’t seem to find the perequisits perhaps because I waited too long to upgrade and the sites are not there. Do you have any guidance on what to do in a case such as mine?

  14. Eric Swanson

    Nice write-up but it didn’t work for me. I’m trying to go from Feisty to 8.10 in the end and 7.10 immediately. My computer can’t seem to find the prerequisites perhaps because I waited too long to upgrade and the sites are not there. Do you have any guidance on what to do in a case such as mine?

  15. smcr

    Nice clear explanation. Unfortunately, similar to Eric Swanson above, it doesn’t work for me. I don’t get the message telling me that there is an upgrade available when I run the upgrade manager. Is it that we have left it too late to upgrade from Feisty to Gutsy (and upwards).

  16. loretta

    I had the same problem!
    here you’ll find all you need to know to do the upgrade:
    I’ve just done it, it works!

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