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I am wondering will it affect my server if I upgrade to the latest version. Anything I should be careful about?

Also, im wondering what is an intelligent way to update a ubuntu server normally. Would you update every week for instance? also would you have lots of errors to handle with scripting systems like perl/cpan modules etc, since these are always tough to install anyway with compatibility issues?

Cheers,

K

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Ke: forgive me mentioning this, but you've been a member for over a year, asked 14 questions, and accepted answers to two of them. This gives you poor reputation as an acceptor, which we see as a warning by your username ("17% accept rate"), and which may discourage people from spending much time answering your questions. Might I suggest that you go back through your old questions and accept the best answer to each? This will help the reputation both of those who gave answers, and yourself. –  MadHatter Jun 20 '11 at 14:28

4 Answers 4

Whatever you chose to do, based on the other answers and your research ... make a backup first. I keep a few spare drives around to make ghosts of the boot drive before I make any major changes to an OS.

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Unless you need specific new features in Natty, I would recommend keeping your server on it's current version and continuing to apply security patches and updates.

Then, spend time reviewing Natty yourself and seeing how much work it will be to migrate to it. Migrating to new releases can be a big piece of work, but it depends on how many packages you have installed, how much customisation you've made and what kind of customisation that includes. There's no simple answer.

If it was a Desktop, it's less of an issue, but since you say it's a server I would take a cautious approach.

So, stay at your current version. Take a good look at the Natty release notes, consider how much you've configured / changed on your server and then do the upgrade in your own time, at your own speed, when you can live with the downtime.

When I last did this (with Debian), I built a new virtual server (very cheap, only needed it for 2 days), built an environment which matched my current live server and ran through the upgrade. Learned those lessons, and then applied them on the live server to make the upgrade quicker and less problematic.

As for your other question, you should be applying security updates to your Ubuntu server on a very regular basis, certainly weekly if not more often. Security updates shouldn't impact any functionality (but you can never be 100% sure). For anything other than security updates, on a server, you should upgrade only when you need required functionality or your current versions no longer receive security patches.

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Tom's Hardware just posted a great writeup on this latest version of Ubuntu. Its up to you if you want to go with this new system but at least Tom's gives you a good overview of the OS.

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If you upgrade to natty, you'll get a new system, with new versions of all your packages. Obviously, if you've done lots of custom things, this is quite likely to cause issues. For non-distro upgrades however (as in, regular upgrades, not upgrades between distros), there shoud be no compatibility issues - fixes are just bug fixes, although you may occasionally need to recompile any non-standard kernel modules. In any case, compatibility issues should be noted in the change logs for regular updates. As such, you should probably do updates regularly. Updates between distros, I'd only do when I needed large amounts from the newer version of the distro, or when the version I'm running is going out of support in the near future.

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