I am trying to find out how software upgrade works in Ubuntu LTS version.

Let's say I am using Ubuntu LTS xx.xx. At the time of release, user can install PHP 5.3 and Python 2.6 (this is just an example). After 2 years, the available stable Major release of PHP and Python are 5.5 and 2.7 respectively (this is also an example only).

Let's say I run these commands in Ubuntu LTS:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

Will it upgrade the PHP and Python version to the latest available stable Major release, i.e. 5.5 and 2.7? Or it will only upgrade to the new Minor release, e.g. 5.3.2 and 2.6.3?

  • 2
    Yes, apt-get upgrade will always install the latest version (as long as it does not require removing any installed packages).
    – bain
    Jul 29 '14 at 10:52
  • 1
    possible duplicate of What does "sudo apt-get update" do?
    – bain
    Jul 29 '14 at 10:53

Basically, versions from Ubuntu's main package sources will always stay the same save for some exceptions like Firefox.

Security- (and sometimes bug-) fixes will get backported into those versions, though.

If you want to use more recent versions of any kind of software, you can always add a PPA (personal package archive) as a package source that makes minor or major updates available, depending on what you want.


Version numbers of the software are only used for determining the version to be installed, taking pinning and other preferences into account. Some software don't even have a version number in the major.minor form (e.g., ca-certificates), so I doubt apt will ever do the form of checking you describe. So, if the users do an apt-get upgrade, they will get the current version of PHP and Python (5.5, 2.7).

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