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I was amazed to see 13.04 "just work" when it came to getting my wireless internet up and running. Not sure if it was the firmware or the drivers or just having a very up-to-date linux kernel... but I digress. The short term support concerns me a little.

Am I going to need to keep a spindle of CD/DVD's with me at all times to always be updating (every 6 months or so)?

Is it possible to update cleanly without having to completely wipe out my existing install?

Is there any way to go from 13.04 to 13.10 (or any future releases) purely through updates, as opposed to completely replacing the operating system?

Thanks guys!

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Please read UpgradeNotes and DesktopUpgrade to be informed. You don't need a CD/DVD to upgrade, this can be done directly from the internet. In layman terms, upgrading Ubuntu is just a glorified upgrade (like upgrading Firefox or Gedit but on a bigger scale). – edwin Jul 26 '13 at 1:22
Are there any issues I should look out for when updating to a new version, as opposed to a clean install? Is it stable? (Sorry for the amateur questions lol) – Derek K Jul 26 '13 at 1:50
Look at this post: Is a clean install better than upgrading? – edwin Jul 26 '13 at 2:29

I wouldn't recommend any rolling release of Linux to a new user. It's easy to break your system with a rolling release, and then you may have to reinstall the operating system anyway. Compare this with installing a Long Term Support release which only takes about a half an hour, and is supported by updates for a 5-year term of support. The latest Long Term Support release of Ubuntu is Ubuntu 12.04 which is supported by updates until April, 2017.

Regarding your other questions: no, Ubuntu does not have rolling releases. It is possible to do an operating system upgrade to the next available release in the 6-month release cycle, and in addition to that it is possible to upgrade a Long Term Support release of Ubuntu to the next available Long Term Support release.

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