5 packages can be upgraded. Run ‘apt list –upgradable’ to see them.

Updating an operating system is a critical task that ensures the system’s security, stability, and performance. In Ubuntu, updating the system involves running several commands in the terminal. In this technical post, we will explain the process of updating an Ubuntu Server installation and how to fix the issue of pending package upgrades.

The first command that needs to be executed is sudo apt update. This command updates the list of available packages from the Ubuntu repositories. The -y option instructs the system to answer “yes” to prompts, ensuring the process runs uninterrupted.

The second command is sudo apt upgrade. This command upgrades all installed packages to their latest versions. Again, the -y option is used to answer “yes” to any prompts.

The third command, sudo apt autoremove, removes any unnecessary dependencies that are no longer required by the system.

After executing these three commands, the system displayed a warning message that says that five packages can be upgraded. To see the list of upgradable packages, we needed to execute the command apt list --upgradable. This command lists all the upgradable packages along with their versions.

The following command we executed was sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. This command upgrades the system to the latest distribution release, including kernel upgrades. However, the command failed to upgrade the pending packages in this case.

To fix the issue, we executed the command sudo apt-get install --only-upgrade $PACKAGE for each pending package. This command upgrades the specified package to its latest version. The $PACKAGE variable should be replaced with the package name that needs to be upgraded.

In summary, updating an Ubuntu Server installation involves running the sudo apt update, sudo apt upgrade, and sudo apt autoremove commands in the terminal. If there are any pending package upgrades, we can use the apt list --upgradable command to see the list of upgradable packages. If the sudo apt-get dist-upgrade command fails to upgrade the pending packages, we can use the sudo apt-get install --only-upgrade $PACKAGE command to upgrade each package individually.

Ubuntu Distribution Upgrade: Not enough free disk space

Recently, we tried to upgrade an Ubuntu 20.04 desktop to a 22.04. At some point in the update, we got the following error:

The upgrade has aborted. The upgrade needs a total of 10,6 G free space on disk '/'. Please free at least an additional 8201 M of disk space on '/'. Empty your trash and remove temporary packages of former installations using 'sudo apt-get clean'. The upgrade has aborted. The upgrade needs a total of 430 M free space on disk '/boot'. Please free at least an additional 38,4 M of disk space on '/boot'. You can remove old kernels using 'sudo apt autoremove' and you could also set COMPRESS=xz in /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf to reduce the size of your initramfs.

First of all, we tried to use the command apt autoremove to clear up some space, which unfortunately was not enough.

sudo apt autoremove;

Then to clear up some space, we needed to find remnant memories of older versions of the Kernel. To do so, we used the following command. The following command finds the current version of the kernel and shows the user the remaining packages that do not reflect the active kernel.

dpkg -l 'linux-*' | sed '/^ii/!d;/'"$(uname -r | sed "s/\(.*\)-\([^0-9]\+\)/\1/")"'/d;s/^[^ ]* [^ ]* \([^ ]*\).*/\1/;/[0-9]/!d;/^linux-\(headers\|image\)/!d';

Then we removed all the headers and the images that we did not need using the command apt-get purge.

$ dpkg -l 'linux-*' | sed '/^ii/!d;/'"$(uname -r | sed "s/\(.*\)-\([^0-9]\+\)/\1/")"'/d;s/^[^ ]* [^ ]* \([^ ]*\).*/\1/;/[0-9]/!d;/^linux-\(headers\|image\)/!d'

$ sudo apt-get -y purge linux-headers-5.13.0-52-generic linux-headers-5.15.0-46-generic linux-image-5.15.0-46-generic;

Doing so was enough to clear up the space that was needed for the upgrade to continue.