I started using Ubuntu about 2 years ago and at that time installed 16.04 LTS. A few days ago 18.04 LTS launched. Is it necessary to upgrade to this new version right away, since LTS distro's are supported for 5 years?
In my opinion, it's not worth it.
I had been using Ubuntu 16.04.1 for 2 years. Apart from a few minor bugs, I had no problem with it. As soon as the new Ubuntu 18.04 was released (26 April), I did a clean installation.
But then came the major bugs.
Eclipse would refuse to start and give a missing runtime error, even though I installed it the exact same way I did it 2 years ago. After fixing that problem, Eclipse works, but it hangs alot.
Visual Studio Code refused to start, even though I installed it using command line (
sudo apt-get), the exact same way I did few months ago. I had to manually make changes in the installation folders to fix it.
sudo apt-get upgradegives Error 404 too often.
Ubuntu 18.04 lagged a lot, even though Ubuntu 16.04.1 ran smoothly.
Ubuntu 18.04 hangs an average thrice a day and doesn't recover from it, so I have to do a force shutdown. Unlike Ubuntu 16.04.1 which would usually recover on its own.
Sometimes Ubuntu 18.04 hangs at the login screen itself. Again, force shutdown is the only solution.
Most problems reported on Ask Ubuntu, Stack Overflow and YouTube are for older versions. And their solutions don't work for Ubuntu 18.04.
- SciDAVis, a plotting software for scientific data, is not available in Ubuntu 18.04 anymore due to dependency issues.
It took me an entire Sunday to get all my software running again. And I haven't solved all the problems yet.
So, if you really want to upgrade, wait for Ubuntu 18.04.1 which will come out soon. The current version has been released in a hurry to meet the deadline. If you don't need anything from the new upgrade, then it's a risk you're taking.
Good luck ;) if you're willing to risk it.
Not necessary at all to upgrade now, but you are welcome to do it
You are welcome to upgrade to 18.04 LTS, but several bugs will be found (and squashed) during the first months. If you want to join the adventure to test the latest and greatest, yes you can try to upgrade, but first you should 'Try Ubuntu' live from the installation media, and then make a test installation alongside your production operating system or installed in an external drive.
You should always backup everything important before you start upgrading to a new version.
Wait for 18.04.1 LTS, if you want a smooth ride
If you want a smooth ride, you should wait until the first point release in July or August. By that time this new version, 18.04.1 LTS will be polished and debugged. Also the procedure for upgrading will be much more reliable than now.
If you have enough disk space to hold an extra copy of Ubuntu 16.04 then I'd say it's worth upgrading to 18.04 on a cloned test version today, tomorrow, next week and next month.
Each time you upgrade you will learn a little bit more about new features, new bugs and new fixes to bugs you encountered the last time. By the time you are ready to upgrade for real you'll be confident the process will be error free and have a good understanding of how to use the new applications and OS.
You can boot with a Live USB and manually clone your Ubuntu 16.04 partition or you can run this script: Bash script to clone Ubuntu to new partition for testing 18.04 LTS upgrade.
You can also create a test plan for what you need to test after upgrading your cloned 16.04 to 18.04: Is 18.04 already somewhat safe for installing?
Is it necessary to upgrade to this new version right away, since LTS distro's are supported for 5 years?
It is not "necessary" and you're not "required" to upgrade if you don't want to. Generally, it's recommended that you do so, but it doesn't need to be "right away", as in immediately.
You can wait for the first point release of 18.04.1, which comes out roughly one month from initial release. At that time, the system will show a message that a new release is available, in which case, the command
sudo do-release-upgrade will find and apply the update.
However, if you choose to upgrade before then, you can do so with the
sudo do-release-upgrade -d (notice the extra
You should take a look at the documentation, as it lists the known issues and other things you should probably be aware of before you choose to upgrade.
 By "necessary", I mean in the sense that your system won't stop working if you choose not to upgrade.
 By "required", I mean you're not obligated/forced to do so.
My latest post was deleted apparently.
So I'll answer again (yes again, to warn the topic starter that what he wants to do might indeed be bad idea right now... having found out by actually performing the upgrade.):
so here it goes: Yes it would be a bad idea.
why? because i just tried upgrading 16.04 to 18.04 today and it froze up.
the 16.04 install was completely up to date and didn't have any custom packages installed so fairly clean to begin with.
Well, define necessary. This decision is totally up to you and I would say it depends on your needs. If by necessary you mean that you need to upgrade to 18.04 so that you can do something that at the moment you can't do, then I guess you would know the answer yourself. Otherwise if you're happy with 16.04 and you don't see the need to upgrade to 18.04 then don't, your system will run the same way it's doing now.
I don't think this community can make this decision for you.
I personally like running the latest LTS on my work laptop and the latest version (LTS or not) on my personal laptop, but that's just my personal decision.