Saturday, October 27, 2012

Upgrading Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to 12.10

Ubuntu releases are made semi-annually by Canonical every year. Each Ubuntu release has a version number that consists of the year and month number of the release. For example, the latest release is Ubuntu 12.10 as it was released on 18 October 2012. Ubuntu releases are also given alliterative code names in an alphabeltical order, using an adjective and an animal as their naming scheme for a quick determination of which release is newer.

There are also two types of releases namely LTS (Long Term Support) and a non-LTS release. Every fourth release, in the second quarter of even-numbered years, has been designated as a Long Term Support (LTS) release. The LTS releases (for both Servers & Desktops releases) after 10.04 are supported to receive updates for five years. There is also a provision to avail paid technical support from Canonical Ltd. Earlier before 12.04 the desktop version of LTS releases were supported for only three years whereas server version of LTS releases have been supported for five years. The non-LTS releases (Servers & Desktops) have been typically supported for only 18 months. For example the Ubuntu 12.10 which is a non-LTS release will be supported till April, 2014. Upgrades between releases can be done from one release to the next release (e.g. Ubuntu 12.10 to Ubuntu 13.04) or from one LTS release to the next LTS release (e.g. Ubuntu 10.04 to 12.04). The below shown diagram from wikipedia shall give you a better explanation.

Code name
Release date
Supported until
4.10 Warty Warthog 2004-10-20 2006-04-30
5.04 Hoary Hedgehog 2005-04-08 2006-10-31
5.10 Breezy Badger 2005-10-13 2007-04-13
6.06 LTS Dapper Drake 2006-06-01 2009-07-14 2011-06-01
6.10 Edgy Eft 2006-10-26 2008-04-25
7.04 Feisty Fawn 2007-04-19 2008-10-19
7.10 Gutsy Gibbon 2007-10-18 2009-04-18
8.04 LTS Hardy Heron 2008-04-24 2011-05-12 2013-04
8.10 Intrepid Ibex 2008-10-30 2010-04-30
9.04 Jaunty Jackalope 2009-04-23 2010-10-23
9.10 Karmic Koala 2009-10-29 2011-04-30
10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx 2010-04-29 2013-04 2015-04
10.10 Maverick Meerkat 2010-10-10 2012-04-10
11.04 Natty Narwhal 2011-04-28 2012-10-28
11.10 Oneiric Ocelot 2011-10-13 2013-04
12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin 2012-04-26 2017-04
12.10 Quantal Quetzal 2012-10-18 2014-04
13.04 Raring Ringtail 2013-04-18 2014-10
Red Release no longer supported
Green Release still supported
Blue Future release

LTS in simple terms means that the version will NOT receive any major new functional upgrades to our favorite packages but only “security updates” for three or five years depending on the version of LTS release. The primary reason for using an LTS release is that we can depend on it being updated regularly and therefore it is more secure and stable. It just means that we can guarantee a system for a long time. Applications wont be jumping to higher versions. This makes an LTS release a very solid deployment platform. Therefore users who are using a non-LTS release can still safely set the Update Manager to notify about the “LTS releases”.

Some think that the newest version of a software is more secure, but it is not true. Instead, the newer version may bring more features and hence more code that makes the operating system more vulnerable to bugs.

Since 12.04 is more stable and secure than later release because of it's LTS tag, I shall stick to it as I don't find any better reason to choose to upgrade to 12.10.

Well below are a few simple steps to upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 to 12.10.

Open "Update Manager" and click "Settings" tab on the left bottom of the window.
In the "Updates" tab, go to the last menu "Notify me of a new Ubuntu version:" and select "For any new version".

Do not alter anything other than this unless you are sure about it. Once the changes are done you will be prompted for user password. After this close the "Software Sources" window and reopen the Update Manager. You will be prompted for an upgrade.

Click on "Upgrade" and the upgrade process will begin. This normally takes some time, so be patient.

Note: It is always a good idea to backup your important files before upgrading your operating system.

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