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I'm wondering what the benefits of upgrading to 11.04 for my ubuntu VPS. I'd stay with the last LTS release (10.04), except that my host doesn't have a template for it (I could ask, but I don't plan to wait for support. the company's support kind of sucks).

I'm seeing two options:

  • Stay with 10.10, which should be more stable
  • Move to 11.04, which has newer software
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I'm confused: you can't stay with 10.04 LTS because they don't have a template? Isn't your server already built/running 10.04 LTS? –  gravyface Apr 30 '11 at 0:34
    
@gravyface He's on 10.10 (judging by the title of his question); he would prefer to be on 10.04 LTS, but his host doesn't offer that, so now he's asking if he should stay on 10.10 or upgrade to 11.04. –  Kromey Apr 30 '11 at 0:50
    
ah, ok, I misinterpreted what he meant by "stay". –  gravyface Apr 30 '11 at 0:52
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'd say the biggest reason to upgrade to 11.04 is to keep you on track for the next LTS release (which should be 12.04). You cannot upgrade directly from 10.10 to 12.04, however once you do get onto an LTS release you can stay there until the next LTS, and then upgrade direct to that one if you want. So if your goal is stability and consistency, I'd say stay on top of the most current releases until you can get yourself into that LTS cycle.

While I've never had any problems with any Ubuntu (and I typically run the most current version), I do recommend the LTS versions for business-critical servers, mostly because of the consistency -- you have at least 2 years, give-or-take, before you need to consider an upgrade, versus 6 months to 1 year (well, really, you can push that out to 18 months without losing security updates, but then that gets painful because you have to upgrade multiple times in sequence to get up-to-date) with the non-LTS releases.

FWIW, I just upgraded one of my servers from 10.10 to 11.04. A tad tedious going through all the "conflicted" config files -- especially since most of the "conflicts" were simply new/removed comments -- but it was hardly painful and I had no problems. I'll be updating another server to 11.04 over the weekend, and then I've got a third, neglected server I need to somehow get off of 9.04...

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I feel you: I had an 8.10 production Web server that I took up to 10.04 LTS... and it was remote. Thank God for an IP-KVM. –  gravyface Apr 30 '11 at 0:46
    
Yeah, this 9.04 one is a remote VPS. My host does provide a terminal, but it's really crappy. I'll just make sure to back everything up first, and I can provision a new one pretty quickly if I need to (but I'd rather not...). –  Kromey Apr 30 '11 at 0:48
    
Thanks a lot. I think that as long as I'm not on an LTS right now, I might as well upgrade. –  Sam Bloomberg Apr 30 '11 at 1:19
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Benefits I can think of in a few secs:

  1. Ubuntu is one of the few free Linux Distributions that 'matures' with each LTS release a lot towards the 'professional horizon'.
  2. Said that, you'd be able to use a great collection of tools with less effort, because those tools mature along the same time line as their host (tools: maintaining, monitoring, deploying).
  3. The Ubuntu support (OK, some guys may dislike this) found its way into the business world. You can order some. If not - the Ubuntu community is still growing.
  4. Support until 15.04.

As long as you're not bound to specific/default package versions of your current install (Apache/Python/Perl/PHP/MySQL/PgSQL..), I'd recommend - upgrade.

Cheers

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