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I've had to upgrade a couple of Ubuntu servers recently. Here are 4-commands I usually use.

1) First: Update the current release list with latest versions of all packages:

Command: apt-get update

2) Second: Upgrade all installed packages to their latest available versions:

Command: apt-get upgrade

In this step, user is prompted for a list of upgrades and I just answer 'yes'-Y for all prompts

3) Third: Next is to upgrade all dependencies, adding / removing packages, and any other upgrade not settled by step#2 above

Command: apt-get dist-upgrade

4) Lastly: Once the current system is updated, this commands upgrades it to the next release

Command: do-release-upgrade

All the above have usually taken about 30minutes.

At the end of your installation, check your release:

command: lsb_release -a

Output:
No LSB modules are available
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS
Release: 16.04
Codename: xenial

If at this point you check for a new release with command:do-release-upgrade...again,

You should get the message: No New release found.

Thats all Folks!!

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