Maintain or upgrade your old Ubuntu distro. Ubuntu distros become unsupported and your apt-get repositories stop working. Or you need to upgrade to a new release from a very old end of life distro.

NOTE: I am dealing with Ubuntu SERVER here, not desktop, so instead of do-release-update the desktop version may be something else.

Info Summary[-][--][++]

This topic helps with two things. One is to upgrade an old Ubuntu release to a new release, and by old I mean one that is no longer supported. Keep in mind that if say 9.04 is unsupported, but 9.10 is still supported, you can simply do the do-release-update. This doc helps when both 9.04 and 9.10 and above are EOL (end of life). Second is to maintain the use of an old Ubuntu distro even after its repositories stop working. Basically if you don't install the LTS (Long Term Support) release of Ubuntu then your distro is only supported for about a year. After that year all your repositories (using apt-get) fail and cannot be found. This is because Ubuntu archives the old repositories to a different URL. You don't actually have to upgrade your old Ubuntu distro, and you can continue to use it and its repos, you just have to switch to the new repo URL's. See below.

Upgrade old EOL distro to New[-][--][++]

Upgrading Ubuntu Server 9.04 to 10.04 LTS after End of Life has been reached for both 9.04 and 9.10

In other words, the sudo do-release-upgrade does not work anymore, it sais: An Upgrade from 'jaunty' to 'lucid' is not supported with this tool, because both 9.04 and 9.10 are EOL.

This Ubuntu Document explains the process nicely and this one, is specifically for 9.04 to 9.10

This actually didn't work for me, still get a 'Upgrade from Jaunty to Lucid is not supported by this tool'
  1. Comment out all your /etc/apt/sources.lst repos, and add the (see below or for new repoos)
  2. For my 9.04 to 9.10 upgrade read which simply says:
    1. After repos are in run:
    2. sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude safe-upgrade then do the normal upgrade sudo do-release-upgrade which now works because of the new repos.
Since the above didn't work I just did it the debian way (this did work):
  1. Comment out that added stuff (from step one above) and put back your originals
  2. Then change any mention of jaunty to karmic in sources.lst then sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  3. Reboot, Now your system should be 9.10, now you can do a do-release-upgrade

Switch to or[-][--][++]

If you get errors finding the old-releases, try too. I believe old distros goto first and then on to old-releases later

Please make sure you have the following sources.list, change CODENAME to your release, e.g. breezy or jaunty...(see here for list)

## EOL upgrade sources.list
# Required
deb CODENAME main restricted universe multiverse
deb CODENAME-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb CODENAME-security main restricted universe multiverse

# Optional
#deb CODENAME-backports main restricted universe multiverse