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This chapter is from the book

Upgrading to the Next Ubuntu Release

One of the original goals for Ubuntu was to have frequent releases. With only one notable exception (the 6.06 LTS release, which was delayed by two months), six months has separated each release since 4.10.

This book has been revised to match the latest version—14.04—but another release will be along soon. Release 14.04, like the earlier 12.04, 10.04, 8.04, and 6.06, is an LTS version of Ubuntu; it will be supported for five years on both the desktop and the server.

All other versions, such as 13.10, are supported for nine months, yet also superseded by a new version every six months. Essentially, if you are running the LTS version, you might not be too interested in moving to the latest and greatest release until the next LTS version comes out. In contrast, if you are running a regular release version, you might be the sort of person who is more interested in the latest and greatest software updates. In either case, this is how you perform the upgrade.

Doing the Actual Upgrade

A graphical tool called Software Updater tells you when a new version of Ubuntu is available and walks you through the upgrade process. Note that if you already know or want to learn the manual method, that is fine, too. Both means will achieve the same result.

When a new release is available, Update Manager alerts you, as shown in Figure 3-19. All you need to do is click on the Upgrade button to start the process. You are first shown the release notes, which mention new features or any outstanding bugs. After you click the Upgrade button on this screen, the necessary changes to your software repositories are made, and then the program downloads and installs the new distribution. You may be prompted if you have changed any configuration files. After the actual installation is complete, you are told which, if any, packages are no longer officially supported by Ubuntu (i.e., have moved to the universe repository). All you need to do is restart your computer when prompted, and you will begin enjoying the new release.

Figure 3-19

Figure 3-19 Upgrading from Ubuntu 13.10 using Software Updater and an Internet connection

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