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If you want to upgrade from 10.10 to 12.04, then you'll need to follow the upgrade path; 10.10 > 11.04 > 11.10 > 12.04. However, with LTS versions, you can upgrade directly, so that you can upgrade from 10.04LTS to 12.04LTS directly.

But now, LTS versions are supported for five years while there's still a new LTS every two years. That means you can choose to skip an LTS. So the question is; will I be able to upgrade from 12.04LTS to 16.04LTS directly, or will I then have to follow the LTS upgrade path; 12.04 > 14.04 > 16.04?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

I decided to drop Mark Shuttleworth a comment on his blog.

My Question:

Mark – its not clear what the LTS upgrade strategy is beyond 12.04.

i.e. – could a 12.04 business jump to 16.04 directly – i.e. plan to upgrade in 4 years time?

and Mark's response:

We support LTS-to-LTS upgrades, so yes, you could stay on 12.04 LTS, then move to 16.04 LTS (in our current testing plan we would test the migration from 12.04 to 14.04 and then to 16.04, not directly).

Thus, any business on 12.04 LTS staying for 4 to 5 years, their upgrade plan would be first 14.04 LTS and staying with that for the 3-4 years that LTS gives, or to plan a double upgrade - 14.04 and then 16.04.

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This answer is some years old now and 16.04 is wating at the doors... Any new info on this? Your answer is the most current I could find. – Thorsten Schöning Feb 27 at 14:44
@ThorstenSchöning - let's wait until the release date. Until then we can only assume that the existing advice applies. – fossfreedom Feb 27 at 18:22
I just tried to make sure that I'm not getting surprised on release date to be forced to upgrade my 12.04 install directly to 16.04 instead of being able to jump to 14.04 first and stay with that for a while. :-) But I guess that's pretty unlikely... – Thorsten Schöning Feb 28 at 10:08

Server LTS releases have always had five year support windows, and it has not previously been supported to skip an LTS on the server.

Similarly, standard releases are supported for 18 months. This means that when a new version comes out, two versions back is still supported. But skipping a release is not supported.

Therefore it seems very unlikely that it will be possible to skip an LTS upgrade. However, Canonical have surprised us before (e.g. extending Desktop LTS support to five years), so they might again!

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Well, you can never skip a release that has never been possible. Because the LTS are special releases so you don't skip the releases in between since there aren't any. The normal releases (10.10, 11.04) are like test cases where they test stuff like Unity or other changes.

to answer your question, NO you can't skip a release LTS or not.

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With LTS-es now being supported for 5 years on the desktop as well, there will be an LTS in between if you use one for four years. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Mar 28 '12 at 9:44
@Jo-erlendSchinstad their will be, but at the moment there isn't... – Alvar Mar 28 '12 at 9:46
It is impossible to skip into second-next LTS due to massive differences coming in four years' time... – Erkin Alp Güney May 27 '14 at 9:37

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