Why You Can’t Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 (For Now)
By Joey Sneddon Updated Tuesday
Still waiting to see that Ubuntu 21.04 upgrade prompt? Well, you’re not alone — and it’s not coming anytime soon.
Turns out there’s a pretty severe bug in the Ubuntu 21.04 upgrade process. The bug is so severe that Ubuntu developers have chosen not to trigger the upgrade notification that many Ubuntu 20.10 users are (rather patiently) waiting for.
It’s still possible to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 from Ubuntu 20.10 from the command line but this still carries a risk.
So what’s up?
Ubuntu’s Brian Murray explains in an email to the Ubuntu developer mailing list, where he writes: “I wanted to let you know that users of Ubuntu 20.10 are not being prompted to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 […] due to a bug with the current version of shim in Ubuntu 21.04 which can cause systems with an early version of EFI to
fail to boot after the upgrade.”
Being unable to boot your computer after an upgrade is a pretty serious drawback so Ubuntu’s devs are (rightly) advising that users do not manually upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 until an updated version of the shim is pushed out and available.
And the upgrade notification prompt won’t be going out until it’s fixed.
“The latest update on Hirsute made the MacBook Air from 2012 unbootable,” writes an affected user, adding that they were able to recover their system using an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS live CD and overwriting the files in EFI/ubuntu and EFI/BOOT with the files shipped in that release’s shim package.
Those running super-modern hardware are unlikely to be affected, but I’d suggest waiting just in case. Those on older hardware will, however, want to hold off until the issue is addressed — so keep an eye on the status of the bug report.