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How to transform Ubuntu into rolling release

Thanks to Martin Wimpress, the Ubuntu desktop lead developer, it is now possible to transition the Ubuntu Daily release of Ubuntu Linux to a “rolling release,” much like Arch Linux, Gentoo, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, and others. However, Ubuntu’s rolling release is very different from other rolling Linux OSes.

Unlike Arch Linux and Gentoo, the object of making Ubuntu a rolling release isn’t to satisfy Linux nerds obsessed with getting the latest packages. Rather, it’s an attempt to make it easier to constantly stay up to date with the development side of Ubuntu, and make it possible to install Ubuntu Daily and never have to re-install it each time a new branch of Ubuntu is created.

If you’re an Ubuntu geek and know how to use the operating system, follow along with this guide to learn how to transition Ubuntu into a rolling release.

Note: Martin Wimpress has asked those who choose to transition Ubuntu into a rolling release to please participate with filing bug reports so that Ubuntu can be improved. If you run into problems while running your “rolling” version of Ubuntu, please submit bugs via the Ubuntu bug reporting tool.

Installing Ubuntu Daily

Users can easily convert any daily build of Ubuntu to a rolling release. However, before converting it, we must demonstrate how to set up Ubuntu Daily. To start, head over to the Ubuntu Daily website.

Note: in addition to Ubuntu Daily, you’ll also be able to install Kubuntu Daily, Xubuntu Daily, Lubuntu Daily, Ubuntu Budgie Daily, Ubuntu Mate Daily, and Ubuntu Studio Daily.

Once you’ve made it to the Ubuntu Daily website, download the latest ISO release to your computer. Keep in mind that the download may take some time. When the download is complete, follow the step-by-step instructions down below to install Ubuntu Daily onto your computer.

Step 1: Check out our list of 4 ways to create a bootable USB installer on Linux to learn how to flash the Ubuntu Daily ISO file to a USB flash drive.

Step 2: Reboot your computer into the BIOS, and configure the computer so that it boots from the flash drive that contains Ubuntu Daily on it. You may need to consult with your computer’s manual if you have issues configuring it to boot from USB.

Step 3: Wait for your PC to load up the Ubuntu installer. Then, click on the “Install Ubuntu” button to start the installation process for Ubuntu Daily.

Step 4: After clicking on “Install Ubuntu,” use the keyboard layout selection tool to choose your keyboard layout. Then, click on the “Next” button to move to the next page.

Step 5: On the “Updates and other software” page, choose if you want Ubuntu Daily to be a “Normal installation” or a “Minimal” installation. Then, click on the “Continue” button to move on.

Step 6: On the “Installation type” page, use the Ubuntu installer UI to choose how to partition Ubuntu Daily. For best results, select the “Erase” option, as it will allow you to delete your existing OS and start fresh with Ubuntu Daily.

Step 7: Set up your timezone, user account in the Ubuntu installer. Then, allow the Ubuntu installer to set up Ubuntu Daily on your system. Be patient; this installation may take some time!

Step 8: When the installation of Ubuntu Daily is complete, reboot your PC and log into it. Once logged in, open up a terminal window and use the following commands to update to the latest patches for Ubuntu Daily.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y
sudo apt dist-upgrade -y

Allow Ubuntu Daily to install all of the patches. Keep in mind that there may be a lot of updates to install, depending on if your ISO of Ubuntu Daily is slightly old. Be patient!

When the updating process is complete, move on to the next section of the guide.

Converting Ubuntu Daily to Rolling Rhino

To convert Ubuntu Daily to a rolling release (AKA Rolling Rhino), open up a terminal window and follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Getting the script that converts Ubuntu Daily to rolling is on GitHub. To get the script from GitHub, you will need the Git utility. To install the Git utility, enter the following command below.

sudo apt install git

Step 2: With Git installed, it is time to download the latest release of Rolling Rhino to your Ubuntu Daily PC. Using the git clone command below, grab it from the developer’s GitHub page.

git clone https://github.com/wimpysworld/rolling-rhino.git

After downloading the Rolling Rhino files, take a look at the included Readme.md file, as it outlines how the software works, as well as notes from the developer.

cat ~/rolling-rhino/README.md

Step 3: Execute the rolling-rhino script to convert your Ubuntu Daily release to Rolling Rino!

sudo sh ~/rolling-rhino/rolling-rhino

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