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I don't quite understand how the LTS releases work. Will gcc be updated to the newer 4.5 version or will it remain 4.4 and I'll have to wait for 11 before seeing 4.5?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

gcc is one of the core base components, part of what we call the toolchain, of an Ubuntu release. Everything else on the system depends on it, changing it for everyone could easily introduce new bugs.

Once an Ubuntu release has been completed and published, updates for it are only released under certain circumstances, and must follow a special procedure called a "stable release update" or SRU.

You might like to take a look at the wiki page for Stable Release Updates that explains the few situations in which updates are published for Ubuntu packages..

So yes you will have to wait until 10.10 for gcc 4.5 to appear in the main repositories. However there is a PPA with gcc 4.5 in it for Ubuntu 10.04. If it breaks your system, you get to keep the pieces - this isn't officially supported by any means. To upgrade:

sudo add-apt ppa:ubuntu-toolchain/test
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
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