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I am not an experienced sysadmin; I'm a moderately talented user with long Unix experience, so please be forthright, but gentle.

I am on a network separated from the internet, and I attempted to upgrade directly from Ubuntu 14 to 20 by mounting the ISO file and then doing the upgrade using apt-cdrom, apt-update and apt-get install. I then further screwed up by assuming that the upgrade did not succeed, and then attempted to upgrade to Ubuntu 18 via the same route.

My system is, miraculously operational (as far as I can tell; no corrupted file systems, no data loss, applications working fine, etc.) but the system still thinks that it is running Ubuntu 14.

So, here are my questions:

  1. How do I figure out what version of Ubuntu is actually running?
  2. Is there a way to back out to Ubuntu 14, install 18, and then install 20?
  3. What other questions do I need to ask myself?
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  • As @StephenKitt has answered questions 1 and 2, this might fit under 3: Do you know about the GUI tool Startup Disk Creator (available on the commandline as usb-creator-kde)? I just checked and it does appear to have been in Ubuntu 14.04. This can write the .ISO file to a USB stick in a way that enables your computer to boot from it. This can then be used to (re)install Ubuntu (after backing up your data) or to use the Ubuntu tools while your computer's main disk is not mounted.
    – mdmay74
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 5:58

1 Answer 1

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  1. cat /etc/os-release — note that a Ubuntu version has two important components, the year and month (14.04 or 14.10, not 14).

  2. You’re probably still on Ubuntu 14.x; but you can’t upgrade directly to an 18.x release and then a 20.x release. In any case your release is far too old to upgrade without going to considerable effort; you should back up the data your care about and re-install.

(If you’re on an LTS release, 14.04, you could have upgraded to 16.04, then 18.04 and 20.04. But since both 14.04 and 16.04 are out of general support, that’s liable to be difficult. Note too that Ubuntu uses a specific tool for upgrades, and you should follow the release notes instead of trying to upgrade through apt.)

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