Upfrading from Ubuntu 14.03 to Ubuntu 16.0

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Sat Jul 30 03:58:26 UTC 2016

On Sat, 2016-07-30 at 12:54 +1000, Peter wrote:
> The reason for the question is that upgrading to ubuntu 16 has
> crashed the machine. I cannot get to the files since I cannot log on.

Create a LiveCD on any Ubuntu system that works. This means download an
ISO image and burn it to DVD (or create a bootable USB stick). The
result is a so-called "LiveCD".

Since you already have (had) a working 14.04 LTS install, you may still
have the boot medium you used to install it - that will work fine.

Now boot from the DVD or USB stick. You will be presented with two
options, "Try Ubuntu" and "Install Ubuntu". If you choose "Try Ubuntu",
you will have full access to all your drives (for encrypted ones you
will need the keys). You will have network and Internet access too,
assuming you have a spare ethernet connection or working wifi.

Using this system, you can then copy your files off to a network
location or to a USB memory stick. If you booted off a USB stick, DO
NOT REMOVE that stick! Add an extra one.

The same technique will work on both laptops, though you won't have
access to encrypted stuff without a key.

> If I use a DVD which enables me to try ubuntu before installing will 
> this let me get at the files and back them up?

Short answer: Yes (unless they are encrypted).

> What is meant by a live DVD?

See above.

The following is all off the top of my head; use with care.

If you don't mind recreating just the virtual machine you CAN just copy
the virtual disk to a new location and attach that storage to a new VM.
Just choose "New" in VirtualBox, set up the new VM with the same
settings as the old VM, but when creating it choose the option "Do not
add a virtual hard disk". After creating the VM, add the existing
virtual hard disk (or the copy of it) via Settings->Storage.

Alternatively, after installing VirtualBox on the new system, copy the
existing virtual machine files (probably in "~/VirtualBox VMs/" into
from the old system to the equivalent location on the new system. Then,
in VirtualBox on the new system, choose "Machine->Add" and navigate to
the copied files. It's a bit trickier, but it's way faster than the
export/import method, especially if your virtual disks are large. and
it gets you everything in one hit.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)

GPG fingerprint: E00D 64ED 9C6A 8605 21E0 0ED0 EE64 2BEE CBCB C38B
Old fingerprint: 3C41 82BE A9E7 99A1 B931 5AE7 7638 0147 2C3C 2AC4

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