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I am now reinstalling my Ubuntu from 32-bit 12.04 to a 64-bit version, because my 2GB RAM is too small and I just bought 2x4GB RAM. I have to choose which version to install. What are the advantages and disadvantages of installing 64-bit 12.04 or 64-bit 13.10?

I know 12.04 is LTS, and 13.10 have new features that I have no idea of. Are the new features of 13.10 worth to try compared to its short supporting period till Summer 2014?

Here are my considerations:

  • My laptop is Lenovo T400, not a new model.

  • I plan to use my laptop to study for a computer science master degree. I hope the version can be less memory/cpu consuming, and support as many convenient applications and tools (such as for programming, documents (pdf, djvu)) as possible.

  • I don't reinstall my OS frequently until I have to.

Which version of Ubuntu do you suggest me to install, if you were me?

Shall I replace my RAM from 2GB to 2x4GB first or reinstall 64-bit Ubuntu first?

Thanks!

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Seth, Lucio, Braiam, Alvar, Avinash Raj Dec 22 '13 at 7:32

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers 3

Ordinarily I would be indifferent between installing Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 13.10 because either release can be upgraded directly to the Long Term Support version of Ubuntu 14.04 when it is released in April, 2014. In your case however I would prefer Ubuntu 13.10, because as a programmer you would benefit by having the latest packages available from the Ubuntu Software Center.

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Thanks! I am now reinstalling my Ubuntu from 32-bit 12.04 to a 64-bit version, because my 2GB RAM is too small and I just bought 2x4GB RAM. Shall I replace my RAM from 2GB to 2x4GB first or reinstall 64-bit Ubuntu first? –  T... Dec 22 '13 at 0:26
    
Replace the RAM first. It is always better to start the installation from a stable hardware configuration. You might also want to check that your RAM is working properly before you install anything by running the Ubuntu live DVD. This little trick has helped me avoid huge problems. However... I have added RAM to existing Ubuntu installations many times and I have never had any problems because of it. –  karel Dec 22 '13 at 0:33
    
If I replace 2GB RAM with 2x4GB RAM, will my current 32-bit 12.04 be able to tell the RAM is 2x4GB and is fine? How can I do that? –  T... Dec 22 '13 at 0:36
    
I've replaced RAM in existing Ubuntu installations many times and my results have varied, especially in older systems. Sometimes Ubuntu automatically detects all of the available RAM, sometimes it detects less than the full amount of RAM. Every time that I have seen Ubuntu not detect the full amount of RAM, it has been with RAM sticks that were matching in DDR type and memory size, but were made by different manufacturers. Nothing can be assumed as certain when installing new hardware, especially when you cross the line of the hardware recommendations provided by the computer's manufacturer. –  karel Dec 22 '13 at 0:46

I had 12.04 and 13.10. I am using 13.10 at the moment. I would focus on 12.04 if you are looking for a stability and you hard drive contains very important files.

You will not face as many errors as in 13.10. New features in 13.10 are not deal breakers in my opinion. Mainly you will get -from my point of view- a more polished system with some extra functions like connecting your social media account + latest packages.

I would go with 13.10 only because latest repos. It also looks nicer. If you are looking for a safety just install your home folder on the separate partition and that should help a lot.

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I can say from my own experience that Ubuntu 13.10 works great on a Lenovo T400. I would suggest installing 13.10 and then upgrading to 14.04 when it comes out in April. 14.04 will be an LTS release with support for 5 years, so you won't have to upgrade for a long time after that if you don't want to.

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