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How to upgrade to Pop_OS 20.10

Pop_OS, the operating system developed and maintained by Linux computer manufacturer System76 has a new release. It is Pop_OS 20.10, which is based on the new Ubuntu 20.10. Pop_OS 20.10 is the best update yet, packed with lots of improvements and new features!

In this guide, we’ll show you how to upgrade your Pop_OS 20.04 system to the new Pop_OS 20.10 using the Pop_OS upgrade manager. Let’s get started!

Installing Update Manager on Pop_OS

Pop_OS 20.10 is the first update after Pop_OS 20.04. However, some users may not see the update notification, as 20.04 is built on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has a setting that tells the system to only accept LTS upgrades.

To upgrade to Pop_OS 20.10, we must first install the Ubuntu Update Manager and change the settings so that the operating system accepts all updates and not just the LTS ones.

Open up a terminal window on the Pop_OS desktop. Then, with the terminal window open, enter the following command to install the Ubuntu Update Manager. 

sudo apt install update-manager -y

After installing the Update Manager, launch it on the desktop by searching for “Software & Updates” in the app menu. However, when the update manager asks to install updates, ignore it as we will not be using the Ubuntu Update Manager to do updates.

Changing update preferences

Changing update preferences in Pop_OS with the Ubuntu Update Manger is much easier than the command-line. To do it on your system, locate the “Updates” tab, and click on it with the mouse.

Once you’ve made it into the “Updates” tab, there are several options to choose from. Look through the long list of options for the “Notify me of a new Ubuntu version” menu. Then, click the drop-down menu and change it from “For long-term support versions” to “For any new version.”

Changing this setting seems simple, but it will allow Pop_OS (which is based on Ubuntu) to notify you of all upgrades, rather than just the LTS releases. From here, click the “Close” button to save your settings.


Changing update preferences in Pop_OS should work with the GUI. If it does not, it is also possible to change this setting in the terminal with the following command.

sudo sed -i 's/Prompt=lts/Prompt=normal/g' /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades

Uninstall Update Manager

Now that we’ve used the Ubuntu Update Manager to change the settings for how the system notifies you of upgrades, it is time to uninstall it. The reason we must uninstall it is that it is no longer helpful, and keeping it on the system could interfere with the Pop_OS upgrade system.

To uninstall the Ubuntu Update Manager, launch a terminal window. Then, with the terminal window open and ready to go, execute the apt remove command. However, be sure that “Update Manager” is closed before attempting to remove it.

sudo apt remove update-manager

With the Update Manager removed, we need to uninstall all of its dependencies. To remove the dependencies from your system, run the apt autoremove command. It will automatically remove all dependencies related to the Update Manager.

sudo apt autoremove -y

Once the Update Manager is uninstalled, move on to the next step in the guide to get your Pop_OS system upgraded to 20.10!

Upgrading to Pop_OS 20.10

To upgrade Pop_OS to 20.10, you will need to use their built-in GUI upgrade tool. However, before that, you must ensure your Pop_OS system is up to date. Why? Often, Pop_OS will not notify you of a new OS upgrade until your existing operating system has all the patches installed.

To install updates on your Pop_OS system, follow the instructions below.

Update via GUI

To update your Pop_OS system via the GUI, launch the Pop Shop, and click on the “Installed” tab. Once on the “Installed” tab, look through your updates, and install them by clicking on the install button.

Update via terminal

To update your Pop_OS system with the terminal, do the following. First, launch a terminal window. Then, once the terminal window is open, run the update command to refresh your software sources.

sudo apt update

With your software sources up to date, install all updates using the upgrade command.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Doing the upgrade

To upgrade your Pop_OS system to 20.10, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Press the Win key on the keyboard. Then, search for “Settings” and open up the settings app.

Step 2: Look through the sidebar on the left in the settings app for “OS Upgrade,” and click on it. Inside of “OS Upgrade,” you should see a notification that says Pop_OS 20.10 is available.

Select the “Download” button to begin downloading the upgrade.

Step 3: Allow Pop_OS 20.10 to download. It may take a while.

When the download is complete, click on the “Upgrade” button to begin the upgrade. Then, select the “Reboot & Upgrade” button.

Step 4: Upon rebooting, Pop_OS will begin to upgrade your system to 20.10. Sit back and be patient, as this process takes time.

When the upgrade is complete, your system will restart a second time and load into Pop_OS 20.10!

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