Wednesday, October 26, 2011

using ubuntu

I've been running Ubuntu here since 2006, along with, at times, Kubuntu and the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint. I see Ubuntu as a great distro, but it helps to pay attention to what the distro is all about.

Ubuntu is gonna push the envelope; they're gonna try different things, and the user might not like many of those things.

Although I have an Ubuntu 11.04 installation running here on one of my machines, I generally avoid the non-LTS versions. I see no point in keeping up with the 6-month release cycle. I have the most recent LTS version, 10.04, installed on my main pc, and I'll stick with that until the next LTS version comes out next year.

Even with the 6-month release cycle, one thing to keep in mind is that those releases are actually supported for 18 months -- not 6 months, as many people assume. If you have a non-LTS version running, and if everything's fine, there's really no reason to jump to the next version right away, unless you simply want to try it out for whatever reason.

If I was running only Ubuntu here, what I'd do is go with the latest LTS version as my primary system, and dual-boot with the latest non-LTS version, just to keep an eye on where things are going, and to play around with whatever new things they've come up with. But it seems to me that most people who have problems with Ubuntu are folks who are constantly trying to keep up with the 6-month release cycle, and who almost blindly move on to the next release without either keeping a back-up of the old release or keeping the old release running on (a) separate partition(s).

Dual- or mulit-booting Linux distros isn't all that difficult, and comes with many advantages; one of the biggest advantages is when it comes to distros like Ubuntu, where the stability and quality of the next release isn't guaranteed. Keep the old version running while you thoroughly check out the new one; save yourself from some headaches.

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