New releases, especially LTS ones, generate lots of questions regarding the upgrade process.

Upgrade path doesn't open immediately after a release. For non-LTS releases, it's opened in a few days. For LTS to LTS, it's opened in three months.

Before it's opened, the upgrade path is not recommended, not tested enough, and can cause all sorts of trouble.

People running do-release-upgrade -d are asking why they get a "development release" message, etc.

These questions will become obsolete as soon as an upgrade path is sorted out.

I think this kind of upgrade questions should be treated the same way as questions about unreleased Ubuntu versions for exactly the same reason.

  • I can also add that this may help some people to understand that upgrading now is really NOT recommeded for inexperienced users. We deal with that at Russian Ubuntu forums, when people want to upgrade no matter... In 99% of cases it ends up with a re-install, sometimes with losing data.
    – Pilot6
    Apr 26, 2020 at 10:29
  • 6
    A canonical question about "when is an upgrade possible" or something similar as a dupe target might be better.
    – muru
    Apr 26, 2020 at 12:13
  • I 100% agree that questions about "when" and "how" are on-topic. Even "why not now?". But problems related to early upgrades seem to be off-topic.
    – Pilot6
    Apr 26, 2020 at 12:15

2 Answers 2


I completely disagree with making such upgrade questions off-topic. As @muru mentions in the comments and as answered by @vidarlo, a better approach is to use a canonical question (if there isn't already one) and dupe those questions to that canonical one.

Questions regarding do-release-upgrade should be completely supported, in my opinion, for 2 main reasons.

  1. That command is actually run on the currently supported version, so it doesn't fall in the "Ubuntu+1" category at all.
  2. Telling users who used do-release-upgrade -d that we will not give them any support and that they should figure out what they did by themselves has no benefits for the user nor for the community.

I believe, the reason there are so many questions about users running do-release-upgrade -d is because this is what is being recommended by a lot of reputable and active people online. One such example is this tweet https://twitter.com/nixcraft/status/1253381654044790784.

A lot of users just copy/paste commands, and continue on. This a problem that will happen again and again with every new release of an Ubuntu version. Which is why I completely disagree that this issue will become obsolete.

We should definitely have a canonical answer explaining what do-release-upgrade -d and explain to users what they did and how they can [not] fix it. And highly recommend that they never copy/paste and run commands without knowing exactly what they do.


People running do-release-upgrade -d are asking why they get a "development release" message, etc.

One canonical question answering upgrade paths and timeline would suffice. Others could be closed as duplicate of this I believe.

  • This is not the only one case. For instance, " I am upgrding 18.04 to 20.04 and having problems..."
    – Pilot6
    Apr 27, 2020 at 9:59

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