so I recently started a web developer contract job and somehow now have become responsible for the server management for the company I'm contracted with (of course, without the required pay increase that should demand :)

I never claimed to be a server guru but can get around *NIX via command line SSH decently, but have been told (via ServerFault) that I need to upgrade the server from Ubuntu 13.04 to 13.10.

doing the do-release-upgrade thing, Im at the point where its asking me if I want to start the upgrade and it may take over an hour blah-blah...

my question...does the server become unusable during the entire time and so do I need to schedule the "event" with warnings and all that, or does the actual web server only go down for a 10-15 minute window where perhaps the company would just want to do it without a big announcement and all that?


so this morning I attempted the upgrade, and the websites did go down during the upgrade, so be forewarned.

1 Answer 1


Are you sure you want to upgrade to 13.10 instead of 14.04 (which is a long-term support version)?

Anyway, during upgrade (meaning downloading & installing packages) your system will be fully usable. Then, when all that is finished, it's time for a reboot and that is the point when

  1. everything works after reboot finishes or
  2. everything goes wrong after reboot finishes or fails

The reboot part will take only the time your server usually reboots and after that everything should be working. But, only should.

Plan your upgrade path in a way you can return to previous point easily, let that previous point be thanks to a virtual server snapshot, LVM snapshot or something else.

  • no...im not sure...in fact i would like to get to 14.04 ASAP but googling around it was indicated that 13.04->13.10->14.04 was a safer way to go. is there a better way?
    – menriquez
    Jun 18, 2014 at 14:52
  • 1
    fyi, the websites did go down a few minutes into the install.
    – menriquez
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:56

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