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I had Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installed and that was fine until I read online that I could upgrade it to Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). I did what it said and now I am running Focal Fossa but in the title it says '(development branch)'.

Does this mean it isn't stable? Or that it's a version for developers? Also, If I stay with this and the official release comes out will my version be upgraded to it?

I am afraid of there being bugs in it that might make me lose stuff or worse. Would it be safe/possible for me to upgrade from this to the latest non-LTS version?

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    I may have found my answer here but I'll appreciate any extra help/answers :) – Barra Jan 28 at 23:43
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    I wrote an answer below as I didn't read it as a support request for 20.04, but a generic question about using a development release which maybe is on-topic (or I felt appropriate for here; at the very least we can stress that development releases are off-topic for support issues for users of those releases). I felt it belonged here more than meta. – guiverc Jan 29 at 1:19
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    I just saw this referenced on Ubuntu Forums - askubuntu.com/questions/1018033/… (Questions about the Ubuntu Development version) – guiverc Jan 29 at 12:19
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    This is currently perilously close to being closed under the "problems specific to development version of Ubuntu" reason, but I have to remind wouldbe Closers that that reason is to stop bug reports with dev releases, not block questions about the development of Ubuntu. Closing for that reason is not appropriate here. By my eye, this is on-topic but I'd be surprised if there wasn't already a Q+A for this here. – Oli Jan 29 at 13:12
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The development release is not treated as 'stable'; it won't be treated as stable until release date.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS users won't be offered to upgrade at that time though, as LTS users are seen as wanting the most stability. Instead it'll only be offered for upgrade to 18.04 LTS releases when Ubuntu 20.04 reaches the 20.04.1 milestone.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BionicBeaver/ReleaseSchedule

Current date of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release - 26 April 2020

Current date of Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS release - 26 July 2020 (ie. this--or normally a couple of days after--is when existing Ubuntu 18.04 LTS users will be offered the upgrade; with the delay to ensure stability for LTS only users)

Development releases have more updates, more reboots required, and yes, because it's a development release and thus still in testing, it may not be stable. Not all users may experience instability (it can depend on software they use, hardware or a number of factors), but myself using the development release for testing purposes since 17.10 have had only 3-4 issues.

I dual boot, and my other OS choice is Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, so if I have issues with this 20.04 development release, I can fall back to 18.04 on the same disk to correct any issues (or use a 'live' thumb-drive) though I can't remember needing to do that in more than a year (or when 19.04 was development, 19.10 and now 20.04). About a week after 20.04 is released, I'll bump to 20.10 staying on development as it's useful for me as a development team member (a tester).

Other parts to your question

Your development release will automatically turn into the released version as long as you keep upgrading, it'll turn to the full release in the hours before ISO becomes available most probably.

Can you upgrade to the latest non-LTS release easily? No, the next non-LTS release is actually 20.10 as far as 20.04 is concerned, which won't be started until 20.04's actual release. Ubuntu tools for upgrade work to 'upgrade', not 'downgrade' so whilst it's technically possible, it'd take a lot more work (and many times longer) than a re-install would.

Please note: Ubuntu 20.04 support questions cannot be asked on this site though as it's currently a development release. Ubuntu Forums, and IRC have ubuntu+1 areas for development release support requests; so your support options are reduced. Being a development release, many problems encountered belong instead in bug reports so any questions closed will suggest filing bugs so they can be fixed.

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    Go to this link to review to leave this question open. The rationale for closing this question because it is a general question about development releases seems dim to me. – karel Jan 29 at 1:51
  • I ignored the support issues in my answer (now added in the "Other parts to your question" blab.. Thanks @karel I see it as a borderline issue; had the OP not already moved to 20.04 the case of keeping it open would I believe be stronger – guiverc Jan 29 at 3:08
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    " Would it be safe/possible for me to upgrade from this to the latest non-LTS version?" The problem is not that it's impossible to upgrade (upgrading software after the official release is possible), but the bugs in the development release may be persistent and upgrading the software after the official release date does not get rid of all bugs from the development release, and the user could get stuck with an unstable operating system. – karel Jan 29 at 3:12
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    The 'upgrade to latest non-LTS' is still in the future to me, ie. 20.10. I suggested re-install in the answer on that topic, but it's still incomplete; later releases contain later program (packages) which may have made changes that earlier programs won't know what to do with.. I discovered this with evolution back in ~11.10/11.04 era when a backwards step had messages become 'invisible' on messages i'd use a later evolution feature.. ie. it's not just 'bugs' – guiverc Jan 29 at 3:31
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    When I tested pre-release 18.04 in VirtualBox I let it upgrade to the official release via Software Updater, but some package management bugs remained, so I quickly resolved what package management issues I could by harvesting low hanging fruit. Even after doing this some vexing package management bugs remained. My 18.04 that I'm typing this from is a new installation from the Ubuntu 18.04 iso file via Startup Disk Creator, and it has zero bugs in it. That never happened with Windows. – karel Jan 29 at 3:52
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I had Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installed and that was fine until I read online that I could upgrade it to Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). I did what it said and now I am running Focal Fossa but in the title it says '(development branch)'.

Does this mean it isn't stable? Or that it's a version for developers? Also, If I stay with this and the official release comes out will my version be upgraded to it?

It means that it is still in development, basically each ubuntu release starts as a copy of the previous one. Then new versions of software are imported (both stuff imported from Debian and stuff manually Packaged by Ubuntu). Then a period of testing and bugfixing follows.

I am afraid of there being bugs in it that might make me lose stuff or worse.

It happens sometimes, but it's far more common for stuff to just not work. Keep backups of things that are important to you.

Would it be safe/possible for me to upgrade from this to the latest non-LTS version?

The latest non-lts version is currently 19.10, so would be a downgrade from what you are running now, in general the Debian/Ubuntu tools are not designed to support downgrades.

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