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I'm unsure how to ask this question, but I'm switching hosting companies and got to migrate everything. I'll probably set up everything up manually, no copy paste work, except the regular files. However, my old server was set up with Ubuntu 12.04, the latest one available at that time, but at this very moment, Ubuntu 14.04 is released. Now I'm unsure whether I should stay on 12.04 or upgrade to 14.04 for performance/security or other relevant reasons.

I'm not a server-programmer, but rather a front-end developer, so my command-line skills are equal to my google-search skills, and I think I have to do equal amount of searches to get everything working on Ubuntu 14.04 as for Ubuntu 12.04.. (Oh, and I'm not paying for a support plan, so got to do everything by myself)

Although it might be opinionated answers, please answer based on as much facts as possible, as regarding the StackExchange rules.

Thanks in advance!

Description of the server content A server with a Zpanel Admin Panel (which requires 12.04, so 14.04 wouldn't be an option, but still interested!) and a MySQL database of course. I will be running static websites on it and Wordpress too. I als will run an Email server on it via DoveCot/Postfix.. So it's pretty straightforward, I guess, nothing extraordinary or special.

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    I'm interested in the same. Let's see what people have to contribute.
    – ewwhite
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 13:38
  • I just built out a 14.04 system using much the same thing, lots of google searches and needing to clean up the differences in currently availible information found that pertained to 12.04 rather then 14.04. Then I ran across this article online. It may have some opinion in there but it also seems to back it up with some pretty detailed information. tim.siosm.fr/blog/2014/04/25/why-not-ubuntu-14.04-lts
    – LarryD
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 11:41

3 Answers 3

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performance reasons

Performance is largely dependent on the actual application you're running. If there's specific kernel improvements in the area of performance you'd like to take advantage of you can leverage the LTS Enablement Stacks for a later kernel version and associated programs

security reasons

Given that 12.04 is an LTS edition, any security fixes in supported packages will be backported to 12.04.


In order to minimize risk and changes in your environment, I'd suggest sticking with 12.04.

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When it comes to performance, lots of things have changed between 2012 and 2014 when it comes to Linux kernel, glibc, and all the other layers you meet between the kernel and your application.

If your application is truly fine-tuned and everything below it is the true bottleneck, then upgrading to 14.04 might help you. This is very unlikely, most of the time when it comes to performance the bottleneck is the application you need itself, not the underlying software/libraries/kernel.

In case you are sure your software is such a top-notch piece of diamond which absolutely can gain huge improvements in terms of performance by upgrading to the latest software, then go for it. If this is not the case, stick with 12.04 LTS.

If you have spare time / resources, just install your software to 14.04 LTS, benchmark it (and QA it to see if it works), then see if you could gain something if you upgrade.

Whatever your situation is, it never hurts if you have an idea how your software performs on some more recent piece of operating system / Linux distribution.

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I think it's worthwhile to weigh in a bit with a different pragmatic sort of view rather than technical.

Since you are relying on google and community support, a year or two from now you will be more likely to find legitimate help with new packages and whatnot with 14.04 than 12.04

Though the opposite might be true right now...

Worth factoring into the equation imho

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  • yes, I already can see the same people who suggested to stay on 12.04 telling him to update to 16.04 when he complains he have problem installing a new shiny software on 12.04
    – pqnet
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 6:34

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