Can't upgrade from 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS

I’ve been trying for weeks to no avail to upgrade my VPS from Ubuntu 18 LTS to 20 LTS. It keeps erroring out, and I haven’t been able to figure out why.

root@www:/etc/apt# do-release-upgrade
Checking for a new Ubuntu release
Get:1 Upgrade tool signature [1,554 B]                                                                                                                                                                     
Get:2 Upgrade tool [1,336 kB]                                                                                                                                                                              
Fetched 1,338 kB in 0s (0 B/s)                                                                                                                                                                             
authenticate 'focal.tar.gz' against 'focal.tar.gz.gpg' 
extracting 'focal.tar.gz'

Reading cache

Checking package manager
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree        
Reading state information... Done
Hit bionic InRelease                                                                                                                                                
Hit bionic-updates InRelease                                                                                                                                        
Hit bionic-backports InRelease                                                                                                                                      
Hit bionic InRelease                                                                                                                                                      
Hit bionic-security InRelease                                                                                                                                            
Fetched 0 B in 0s (0 B/s)                                                                                                                                                                                  
Reading package lists... Done    
Building dependency tree          
Reading state information... Done
No candidate ver:  libapache2-mod-php5
No candidate ver:  libapt-inst1.5
No candidate ver:  libapt-pkg4.12
No candidate ver:  libbind9-90
No candidate ver:  libboost-iostreams1.54.0
No candidate ver:  libboost-system1.54.0
No candidate ver:  libboost-thread1.54.0
No candidate ver:  libcwidget3
No candidate ver:  libdns100
No candidate ver:  libept1.4.12
No candidate ver:  libgcrypt11
No candidate ver:  libgnutls26
No candidate ver:  libicu52
No candidate ver:  libisc95
No candidate ver:  libisccc90
No candidate ver:  libisccfg90
No candidate ver:  libisl10
No candidate ver:  liblinear1
No candidate ver:  liblwres90
No candidate ver:  libmysqlclient18
No candidate ver:  libparted0debian1
No candidate ver:  libperl5.22
No candidate ver:  libplymouth2
No candidate ver:  libprocps3
No candidate ver:  libpython3.4-minimal
No candidate ver:  librtmp0
No candidate ver:  libsigc++-2.0-0c2a
No candidate ver:  libsystemd-daemon0
No candidate ver:  libsystemd-login0
No candidate ver:  libvpx1
No candidate ver:  libxapian22
No candidate ver:  libxtables10
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-101-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-103-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-104-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-109-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-112-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-116-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-119-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-121-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-122-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-124-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-127-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-128-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-130-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-131-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-133-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-134-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-137-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-28-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-31-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-43-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-45-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-57-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-59-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-62-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-63-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-64-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-66-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-67-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-70-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-71-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-72-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-75-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-77-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-78-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-79-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-81-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-83-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-87-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-89-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-91-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-92-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-93-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-96-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-97-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-4.4.0-98-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-101-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-103-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-104-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-109-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-112-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-116-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-119-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-121-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-122-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-124-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-127-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-128-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-130-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-131-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-133-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-134-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-137-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-28-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-31-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-43-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-45-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-57-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-59-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-62-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-63-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-64-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-66-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-67-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-70-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-71-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-72-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-75-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-77-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-78-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-79-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-81-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-83-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-87-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-89-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-91-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-92-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-93-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-96-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-97-generic
No candidate ver:  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-98-generic
No candidate ver:  mysql-server-5.5
No candidate ver:  perl-modules
No candidate ver:  php5-cli
No candidate ver:  php5-common
No candidate ver:  php5-gd
No candidate ver:  php5-json
No candidate ver:  php5-mcrypt
No candidate ver:  php5-mysql
No candidate ver:  php5-readline
No candidate ver:  php7.0-curl
No candidate ver:  python3.4
No candidate ver:  python3.4-minimal
No candidate ver:  systemd-services
No candidate ver:  systemd-shim

Updating repository information

Third party sources disabled 

Some third party entries in your sources.list were disabled. You can 
re-enable them after the upgrade with the 'software-properties' tool 
or your package manager. 

To continue please press [ENTER]

Get:1 focal-security InRelease [107 kB]                                                                                                                                  
Get:2 focal InRelease [265 kB]                                                                                                                                            
Get:3 focal-security/main Sources [93.9 kB]                                                                                                                              
Get:4 focal-security/universe Sources [38.6 kB]                                                                                                                          
Get:5 focal/universe amd64 Packages [8,628 kB]                                                                                                                            
Get:6 focal-security/main amd64 Packages [342 kB]                                                                                                                        
Get:7 focal-security/main i386 Packages [140 kB]                                                                                                                         
Get:8 focal-security/main Translation-en [78.5 kB]                                                                                                                       
Get:9 focal-security/main amd64 c-n-f Metadata [4,992 B]                                                                                                                 
Get:10 focal/universe i386 Packages [4,642 kB]                                                                                                                            
Get:11 focal-security/restricted amd64 Packages [65.8 kB]                                                                                                                
Get:12 focal-security/restricted i386 Packages [8,920 B]                                                                                                                 
Get:13 focal/universe Translation-en [5,124 kB]                                                                                                                           
Get:14 focal-security/restricted Translation-en [10.8 kB]                                                                                                                
Get:15 focal-security/restricted amd64 c-n-f Metadata [324 B]                                                                                                            
Get:16 focal/universe amd64 c-n-f Metadata [265 kB]                                                                                                                       
Get:17 focal-security/multiverse amd64 Packages [1,256 B]                                                                                                                
Get:18 focal-security/multiverse Translation-en [540 B]                                                                                                                  
Get:19 focal-security/multiverse amd64 c-n-f Metadata [116 B]                                                                                                            
Get:20 focal-security/universe amd64 Packages [509 kB]                                                                                                                   
Get:21 focal-security/universe i386 Packages [408 kB]                                                                                                                    
Get:22 focal-security/universe Translation-en [64.2 kB]                                                                                                                  
Get:23 focal-security/universe amd64 c-n-f Metadata [8,620 B]                                                                                                            
Fetched 20.8 MB in 0s (0 B/s)                                                                                                                                                                              

Checking package manager
Reading package lists... Done    
Building dependency tree          
Reading state information... Done

Invalid package information 

After updating your package information, the essential package 
'ubuntu-minimal' could not be located. This may be because you have 
no official mirrors listed in your software sources, or because of 
excessive load on the mirror you are using. See /etc/apt/sources.list 
for the current list of configured software sources. 
In the case of an overloaded mirror, you may want to try the upgrade 
again later. 

Restoring original system state

      g package lists... 0%
*** Collecting problem information

The collected information can be sent to the developers to improve the
application. This might take a few minutes.
Reading package lists... Done    
Building dependency tree          
Reading state information... Done
=== Command terminated with exit status 1 (Wed Oct 21 10:19:16 2020) ===

I’m using the standard DigitalOcean sources list (below)

## Note, this file is written by cloud-init on first boot of an instance
## modifications made here will not survive a re-bundle.
## if you wish to make changes you can:
## a.) add 'apt_preserve_sources_list: true' to /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg
##     or do the same in user-data
## b.) add sources in /etc/apt/sources.list.d
## c.) make changes to template file /etc/cloud/templates/sources.list.tmpl

# See for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.
deb bionic main restricted
deb-src bionic main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb bionic-updates main restricted
deb-src bionic-updates main restricted

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb bionic universe
deb-src bionic universe
deb bionic-updates universe
deb-src bionic-updates universe

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
## security team.
deb bionic multiverse
deb-src bionic multiverse
deb bionic-updates multiverse
deb-src bionic-updates multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from the 'backports'
## repository.
## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb bionic-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src bionic-backports main restricted universe multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
# deb trusty partner
# deb-src trusty partner

deb bionic-security main restricted multiverse
deb-src bionic-security main
deb bionic-security universe
deb-src bionic-security universe
# deb trusty-security multiverse
# deb-src trusty-security multiverse

# deb sarge contrib
# deb-src sarge contrib
deb bionic universe

Any help would be appreciated!


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I found a solution on my own… I completely replaced sources.list with the real ubuntu 18.04 one, rather than the digital ocean mirror list. It seems the Digital Ocean mirrors are problematic.

Original source.list can be found here:

Afterwards the update work without a hitch.

Make sure if you have any special repositories outside of the ubunutu ones (like webmin, plex, etc.), that you backup your sources list first. You’ll likely need to copy those back into the source.list after 20.04 is done installing and rebooted.

Following should work:

sudo RELEASE_UPGRADER_ALLOW_THIRD_PARTY=1 do-release-upgrade

No need to manually edit sources.list as suggested in another post.

I’ve come across this issue today (a bit late to the party I know). Updated 18.04 to 20.04 on a private self-managed machine just fine, but DO droplet came back with the same issues.

Making a backup (optional, but good practise) and deleting the old source.list did the trick for me, getting past the Aborting stage like the OP stated. I did noticed a whole bunch No candidate ver: this time round, but currently in the process of updating the Ubuntu version.

Hopefully it’ll do the trick!

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