How-To Geek

Upgrading Ubuntu from Dapper to Edgy with apt-get

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
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Important Note: According to the Ubuntu Help:

Please note – this method is much less reliable. If you use this method, you MUST be prepared to fix problems manually, such as packages being unexpectedly removed. Using Update Manager is likely to be much less problematic.

Before you read this HowTo, you may want to consider installing using the GUI with Update Manager, which is probably a simpler method for regular users.

If you are a power user, then let’s move on. First, we’ll need to install ubuntu-desktop if it’s not already installed because otherwise there will be a dependencies problem.

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

Now we’ll need to run a command that will change all the occurrences of dapper to edgy in our sources.list file. If you aren’t familiar, sources.list is the file that points to your list of possible upgrades and packages. For windows users, you can think of it as the file that points to Windows Update. Of course, if you are a windows user, you should really install with the Update Manager utility linked above.

sudo sed -e ‘s/\sdapper/ edgy/g’ -i /etc/apt/sources.list

Now we’ll perform the actual upgrades:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The && part of the command means that the second command will run after the first as long as the first command completes successfully.

Now we’ll finish up the upgrade with a few more commands:

sudo apt-get -f install

sudo dpkg –configure -a

Note that the –configure is actually two dashes. For some reason WordPress makes it look like a single dash.
Reboot, and you are all done!

Note: I’ve seen some notes that this upgrade doesn’t work very well for people running Ubuntu as a Guest in VMWare with VMWare tools installed. I tested it out and came to the same conclusion, no fix as of yet.


If upgrading gives you the error message “failed to load module GLcore”, you will want to run these commands. Thanks for this tip to Biogeek in the comments below.

apt-get install xfs
apt-get install –reinstall xfonts-base

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 10/3/06

Comments (5)

  1. Foxblood

    How can you tell if the upgrade was successful?

  2. BioGeek

    Hmm, this broke my installation. I got the errors “failed to load module GLcore” and “could not open default font fixed”. Bug hunting via Lynx brougth the solution:

    apt-get install xfs (which surprisingly did not appear to be already installed!)
    apt-get install –reinstall xfonts-base

    after that startx brougth me my GUI back.

  3. Eduardo de Oliveira Padoan

    Prefer aptitude. And use th e-s flag to simulate the action and see if nothing gets broken before.

  4. wes

    Please change your “sudo dpkg –configure -a” with the working version “sudo dpkg –configure -a”

    I’m sure one or two may not realize that this is required and waste many unrecoverable moments of their lives with a doomed command.

  5. The Geek


    Thanks for the head’s up on that. Turns out WordPress was converting it into a single dash. Very annoying.


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