Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/162768/should-you-use-ubuntu-lts-or-upgrade-to-the-latest-release/
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the recently-released Ubuntu 13.04 is that it isn’t remarkable at all. Ubuntu 13.04 contains the latest versions of software and additional polish, but there are no must-have features that will make you rush to upgrade.
My hp mini 311-1000nr that i have had for a few years have been through 2 system repair discs so i decided to get ubuntu. Actually I have got the 12.04lts and i am using it right now. It is different from the last time i used it but it is a big improvment. My mini also runs alot smoother. Also if anyone has ubuntu tips let me know as i do feel like a newb to it now.
Purely a matter of personal choice. I haven't used the LTS since 2008. I don't mind doing a clean install every so often. I also test the alpha and beta versions of each upcoming release.
For those who dislike doing clean installs or are not that good at doing them then the LTS is the best option. They are supported for 3 years I believe. See I am not quite sure because I don't use LTS.
Edit: I just checked, it is now 5 years!
Someone using any version of Ubuntu can still get software not available in the repositories, provided they know how to compile from source code.
If you have everything you need backed up then a clean install every now and then is a good idea. If not then stick to the LTS.The same applies to Linux Mint which you don't mention.Incidently the Gnome version of Ubuntu is worth looking into.
I went to the disk part on ubuntu and it says i have 1 bad sector but the smart status is still green, will i still be fine? Who knows how long it has been like that..
I use Debian, which, while not the same as Ubuntu, has different releases. It is known for being stable, but very slow to release updates. Here is what I do:
Servers run the stable release. When a new stable release becomes officially stable, I am a big chicken and still wait a month or two to upgrade.
My desktop runs testing. I treat it as a rolling release, and always have fairly new, but very reliable software.
The laptop tends to have more issues with updates (wireless drivers and such) so it runs testing, but the named release. Once the release has been stable for a couple of months, about the time I update the servers, I update the laptop to the new testing.
Ubuntu users could do the same thing. Run the regular release for machines that it would be nice to have the newer software, and don't do a version upgrade the day it comes out, while using LTS for machines where less volatility is needed.
Everything should be backed up anyway. Hard disks can fail at any time with no warning. If your data isn't backed up and you don't have an image of your OSs you are playing with fire.
I too prefer Linux Mint (MATE) but they don't exactly "support" the LTS concept very well. That's not to say that Linux Mint doesn't have a LTS version - they do! But visit Mint's web page to try and download a copy and you'll likely be downloading their current release and not an "LTS" version which I believe is Mint version 13 (which is also not what you might assume to be number 12 too). Mint's LTS version is not well documented and just finding it will not be very obvious either. You'll likely have to poke around someone's FTP area (likely, a mirror) to get it. And even if you get Mint's LTS version, you'll likely have a ton of updates after installing.
With Ubuntu and their LTS versions, they at least provide a more current (.iso) image. I believe the most current Ubuntu LTS version as of 5/10/13 is 12.04.2 where you should note the .2 suffix - it's akin to the Windows Service Pack idea. You simply won't get that kind of support with Mint (or most anyone else) and it's probably the one big gripe I have with it. Probably my other big gripe with Mint would be their seeming inability to focus on one desktop now that they're spidering off with more weird stuff like Mint Debian edition (LMDE), Mint Cinnamon, etc. (An indication that there may be too many cooks in the kitchen, if you ask me.)
It annoys me that I'll probably be using Ubuntu over Mint for any real systems. I'm annoyed since Mint really shines after it's installed. But just installing Mint and then receiving support do seem to be it's biggest weaknesses. So until the "head cook" for the Mint project is able to focus on one desktop and then actually support some kind of LTS concept, I'm afraid I'll only be using Mint in a virtual environment from now on.
... And in case you didn't know, you can have a GNOME desktop, or pretty much any other desktop with almost any "standard" distro too! Ubuntu just makes it particularly easy since the hardest part would be downloading a new/different desktop using the appropriate PPA (which is already configured).
That means that with Ubuntu, you just use something like the Synaptec Package Manager or the more pleasing Ubuntu Software Center to find and install the GNOME desktop - no fiddling around with repository editing. Afterwords, log out and then choose the new desktop when logging back in again - done! That logging in part may be the hardest part of the process since most desktop users probably never even see the log in screen (just like Windows).
And if you have the auto login feature enabled (which you probably enabled when installing), you only have to do this log in procedure once. (BTW, this also works with XBMC too.)
i agree mint should focus on one desktop. mint debian completely blows and i'm not sure why they took over netrunner when they already have a kde version. if they were to focus on one desktop environment i'm convinced they would pull away with the next operating system of choice.
I have been saying that since I joined the old HTG forum in response to the Unity haters who bailed out on Ubuntu without ever knowing they can have any DE they desire with Ubuntu. Or maybe they are just too lazy, I don't know but I can never figure out the so called logic in that argument against Ubuntu. But yet some of these same people will do everything they can to change the GUI experience for windows 8, but won't try to install Gnome in Ubuntu. Go figure.
I will typically install an Ubuntu version in a Virtualbox window and play with it there, LTS or otherwise. I have several Virtualbox Ubuntu servers, desktops and other Linux and Windows.
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