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This is probably still too early to worry about, but I'm just curious.

I am not currently using an LTS Ubuntu on my laptop.

Now, when the next LTS comes out, should I upgrade? Or should I skip this version and wait till the next non-LTS version is released? I should note that I am one of those people that likes to keep having new stuff, thus I don't want to stay with an LTS version and wait 2 years till the next LTS is released.

In Summary: If I upgrade to an LTS, will it be possible/easy to update to the following non-LTS or will a re-installation of the OS be required?

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@OneZero I saw that question, and that is not what I meant. I do not plan on updating to the alpha/beta release at all. I am asking if I will be able to update from 12.04 to 12.10. – Dan Feb 3 '12 at 9:16
yes u will .... but what i think after releasing w8 for at least one month ...then update – One Zero Feb 3 '12 at 9:19
Normally people skip the non-lts releases as some people don't like having to upgrade every 6 months. – oshirowanen Feb 3 '12 at 9:34
@oshirowanen that's a very long itch for most of us ;) – Rinzwind Feb 3 '12 at 9:37
up vote 23 down vote accepted

When 12.04 LTS comes out (in mid/end April), it is still 'just another' release in the release cycle. Meaning it brings new and fresh things with it.

Now it's up to you - and you alone - if you want to keep the LTS for the full support time, or as soon as 12.10 gets released, to upgrade to it.

In any case though, if you want to stay on 11.10 and hop on 12.10, you still would need to upgrade to 12.04 in order to be able to upgrade to the 12.10 release.

Upgrades from one release to the following one are mostly seamless. A LTS release means, that it is a very stable release and conceived for long time users (companies, etc), but you are not bound to it!

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You say it's seamless to upgrade to the next immediate release. Does that mean that an upgrade will not be seamless if I skip one or more releases? Would it also not be seamless to upgrade from one LTS to another LTS? – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 3 '12 at 12:33
I can only speak of experience, and as it happened, I never upgraded from one LTS to another without stepping through the intermediate releases. It should, however, be possible to upgrade from one LTS to another, but it's not my place to answer that for I don't know. – Marc-André Appel Feb 3 '12 at 13:02
it is a very stable release is probably the intention, but if 10.04 was any indication, it won't be stable for at least a few months. And isn't 12.04 introducing a ton of new stuff in Gnome? – Izkata Feb 3 '12 at 16:05
I have successfully jumped an upgrade across 4 versions of Ubuntu at once. Trying that is insane. If you don't know the arcane inner secrets of dpkg, do it one version at a time. Ubuntu upgrades are only tested against the previous release and dependencies will go haywire if you jump multiple versions at a time. – Jeff Ferland Feb 3 '12 at 16:44
Also, what LTS means is, "We're going to push security updates for this version for 5 years instead of the 18 months we normally do." If you normally upgrade faster than that, then it's just another version. – Jeff Ferland Feb 3 '12 at 17:09

There is no need to skip an LTS release. Those who want long term support without having to upgrade often may want to skip non-LTS releases, but there is no reason to skip an LTS release! You can simply use it and ignore the fact that it's LTS. Yes, you will be able to upgrade from 12.04 to 12.10, but NOT directly from 11.10 to 12.10.

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If you install a LTS release of Ubuntu that will not mean you will be stuck with it until the next LTS release. You will still be able to upgrade to the next version on the release cycle when ever you desire.

An LTS release if just another release except you are given more support interval.

From the Ubuntu wiki

A normal Ubuntu release is supported for 18 months. Previous Ubuntu LTS releases are supported for 3 years on the desktop and 5 years on the server. Starting with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, LTS releases will be supported for 5 years on both the desktop and the server.

You are free to upgrade from 12.04 to 12.10 as soon as its out, but be aware that if you do so it will no longer be covered by the LTS support and will be regarded as a standard release.

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I would reccomend to wait a month or two, when the major bugs are fixed, and then go for LTS version. I only use LTS releases because more than innovations I need OS stability and robustness. And LTS releases (after some fixes at the very beginning) give me that. It is worth to use LTS releases IMHO.

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