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I have been using Ubuntu since 8.04 as my primary OS and every six months I upgrade to the latest distribuition release. I am currently using 12.04 LTS.

Thinking ahead, if I upgrade to 12.10 or any other future release, do I lose the Long-Term support (LTS)?

This may be a stupid question as I found part of my answer in this link .

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3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Yes

Once you upgrade to 12.10, you will no longer be running 12.04, and no longer running an LTS release.

The purpose of the LTS releases if for those who don't necessarily need the absolute most up-to-date packages, and would rather not upgrade every 6 months, but still get critical security updates and bug fixes for longer than the 18 months of support given to a standard (non-LTS) release.

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Sometimes features go away permanently. For instance, if you like Gnome 2 or the Gnome screensaver (my favorite is Cosmos), stick with 10.04.04 until support runs out. At other times it depends on your hardware. For less than 640MB RAM or no 3D Graphics, get the latest release of Lubuntu or Xubuntu, and keep ubgrading every six months. As long as the lightweight desktops run on an old machine, the more new features, the better, especially with LXDE/Lubuntu. But with 768MB to 1GB RAM, you will need Gnome 2, not 3, stick with 10.04.04. Gnome 2 is still on 10.10 (possibly also as Ubuntu Classic on 11.04, depending on how you installed/upgraded), but support runs out earlier. Whenever you are not sure, either use a live CD to test all features you use, or try an install on a replacement hard drive. You can keep your data and settings by cloning the old hard drive first, then upgrading (safeguard the old hard drive in case you want to go back). If hardware constraints or preferences for Gnome 2/KDE 3 are not an issue, go with your gut. Upgrade every six months if you love to try out the newest and latest software. Upgrade every LTS release if you prefer not to do unnecessary work on you computer.

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This doesn't address the update and support cycle. –  hexafraction Sep 28 '12 at 8:45

LTS is just a flag that stops the distro from having N+1 updates made available to it, only N+LTS. So yes if you choose to break the update cycle, you've lost the LTS release. You've got to make up your mind and decided do you want the latest whiz bang features or stability? Once you get into PPAs, staying on an LTS is quite nice.

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Have you found the normal 6 monthly releases to be unstable? I have not. I have been updating every 6 months since 07.04. A lot of people say "stability is a priority." The issue really is about the effort needed to upgrade to get continued security updates. In a commercial operation that might be considerable. –  grahammechanical Apr 5 '12 at 13:19
    
No, i have always found every release stable, I always put a lot of research and planning in before each upgrade. if there were significant benefits to sticking with an LTS I would plan my upgrade to 12.04 differently. I have learned here there is not, thanks for everybody help.(My education continues :-) –  Stephen Myall Apr 5 '12 at 17:06

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