How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri Beta from 21.04

Ubuntu’s new incoming short-term release, codenamed Ubuntu Impish Indri 21.10, sees GNOME 40 as the default desktop. However, Ubuntu 21.10 is expected to ship with GNOME 41 on eventual release and Linux Kernel 5.13 or newer. Other features that will be included:

  • Yaru light theme by default
  • New installer made with Flutter
  • Zstd compression for packages
  • Wayland enabled for NVIDIA driver users
  • Touchpad improvements
  • New wallpapers

The following tutorial will show you how to upgrade to Ubuntu Beta 21.10 easily with screenshots in preparation for when it hits. You can use this method now for upgrading to the development branch.

Ubuntu 21.10: Release Date

Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri will be available for download on October 14, 2021. This is the date that is current on LanchPad, which is the source of Ubuntu development.

The following is a milestone or timeline for Ubuntu 20.10

  • Feature Freeze: Aug 19, 2021
  • UI Freeze: Sept 9, 2021
  • Ubuntu 21.10 Beta: Sept 23, 2021
  • Kernel Freeze: Sept 30, 2021
  • Release Candidate: Oct 7, 2021
  • Final Release: Oct 14, 2021

These are subject to change and can be delayed or extended at a moment’s notice.


  • Recommended OS: Ubuntu 20.04 or higher
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.

Update Operating System

Update your Ubuntu operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status. To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@ubuntu ~]$ sudo whoami

If you have not set up a sudo user account and would like to, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Ubuntu.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.


Run the Upgrade Manager

The first step is to open your Ubuntu terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and type in the following command:

sudo update-manager -d

The command opens the update manager, but the with -d option. For those that did not know, the -d option tells it to look for development releases.

Depending on your Internet connection and other factors, it can take a few moments; however, most users should see the following window appear within a minute:

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Beta from 21.04

Once the window appears, hit the Upgrade… button.

Upgrading to 21.10 Impish Indri

The actual upgrade is straightforward. However, depending on your computer or server hardware and your Internet connection, it can take 15 to 30 minutes to several hours. The tutorial will run down the screens you will see during the upgrade.

Step 1. You will see first the release notes. Remember, this is a development branch release which is clearly stated. Do not use this release if you run anything that works in production environments or your primary operating system that cannot afford issues.

Click the Upgrade button to proceed with the upgrade.

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Beta from 21.04

Step 2. Once you have proceeded from the release notes, you will come to a screen showing Do you want to start the upgrade? This screen shows the details of what will be installed, no longer needed, and what packages will be upgraded.

Click Start the Upgrade to begin the process.

Example only:

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Beta from 21.04

Note, you will see the following pop-up informing you that the screen lock will be disabled during the upgrade process until your operating system reboots to ensure a smooth upgrade.

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Beta from 21.04

Step 3. Once the upgrade installation has been completed, you will be prompted to remove old packages no longer required. Most users should click Remove unless they have a particular reason to keep the packages.

Click Remove(Recommended) or Keep:

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Beta from 21.04

Step 4. After you have chosen to remove or keep the obsolete packages, the installation is complete, and you will need to restart your Ubuntu system for the upgrade to be finalized.

Click Restart Now:

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Beta from 21.04

Step 5. Once you have rebooted your operating system, the 21.10 Impish Indri development release should be successfully installed. To confirm this, re-open your Ubuntu terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and use the following command:

lsb_release -a
How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Beta from 21.04

Congratulations, you have successfully installed and upgraded to Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri.

First Look Impressions

Once you have logged in, you will notice a new default background with some slight UI changes/improvements:


How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri Beta from 21.04

And now the applications menu:

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri Beta from 21.04

Optional – Remove Old Obsolete Packages

After the upgrade, If everything has worked out correctly and no errors have occurred, you feel safe enough to clean your system up using the following command to remove and clean the operating system.

sudo apt autoremove --purge

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to upgrade your existing Ubuntu 21.04 short-term release to the development branch and future Beta for 21.10 Impish Indri. Overall, the development branch should only be used for enthusiasts, developers, or power users who can deal with broken packages and system bugs. These builds are not for the average user until a final RC candidate is available.


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