It says here that Ubuntu updates every six months

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  gmd3006 10 months, 1 week ago.

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    It says here that Ubuntu updates every six months. Does that mean that every six months x percent of your computer stops working?

    I want to get out from under Microsoft but quite a few of the applications I live by aren’t Linux compatible. I have dozens of programs that all do different things. Having to attend to all of them all the time would be unpleasant.



    Not sure just what you are reading about the updates. Ubuntu comes out with a new release every 6 months. The current release version is 16.04, meaning it came out in April of 1016. Next release will be 16.10, due out in October.

    However, during the lifetime of a release there will be a constant stream of updates to the software, and you can expect these almost on a daily basis. They will cover security fixes, bug squashes, and other worthwhile patches. You can decide whether to install these or not — your choice.

    I think the lifetime of a release is 2 years. However they also tag some releases as LTS, and those have a lifetime of 5 years.

    When a new version is released you can upgrade to it, or not. Your choice! However, after some period of time, maybe 2 years, you would not be able to update to the current release. And I assume that would be longer than 2 years for the LTS editions.

    There are a number of different ways you can run Windows programs under Linux. Look for information on wine or virtualbox as a couple ways that come to mind.


    I’d advise switching to the closest equivalent Linux applications where possible. Ubuntu can automatically install them for you and they’ll receive security updates and fixes along with the operating system.


    Here’s a guide to the most popular Ubuntu applications, organized by type.

    This page contains a few lists for finding alternatives to specific Windows applications.



    Just like a lot of widely available software, Canonical (just like Microsoft) has a support lifetime policy. Generally, it is from nine to eighteen months for non-LTS releases, and from three to five years for long-term support (LTS) releases. It depends on the specific release (e.g., 11.04 was supported for 18, but 13.10 was only 9), and version (desktop usually 3, server usually 5).

    Furthermore, the only supported in-place upgrades are from LTS to LTS (for example, most recently, from 14.04 to 16.04) or from release to release (e.g., from 15.04 to 15.10). This implies if you wanted to go from 14.10 to 16.04, you would have to apply successive upgrades 14.10 -> 15.04 -> 15.10 -> 16.04.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  RChandra.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  RChandra.


    To answer your question more directly, AFAIK, no, specific parts of your system do not stop working, everything in a particular Ubuntu release is either supported or has reached support end-of-life. Also, it doesn’t follow that if you stop updating, things fail to work. It’s not like some DRM schemes where your license and therefore function only lasts for a given period. You could be running Ubuntu 8.10, it’s just that you will not have any updates for over six years, and depending on what you’re running, it may work just fine, or you may be subject to vulnerabilities. In that sense, it’s kind of like running Windows XP; it works fine most of the time, but it’s best not to connect it directly to the Internet, and to be extremely careful when accessing anything not on your computer. It’s even moderately unsafe to put Ubuntu 8.04/Windows XP on your LAN because if one of your other systems is compromised, it’s possible that could be used as a springboard to attack your out-of-date system (so the BEST suggestion is not to network it at all).



    I was wondering what if I went past 2019 with my version of Linux Mint 17.3. Thanks RChandra for your points, though I’m not sure that running an older version of linux could be as bad as say, XP on the same system.
    I should just burn a disc of Mint 18 and see if it’s worth an upgrade or clean install. I would hate to think I’m missing out on all the fun if there is any.



    I was running ubuntu 10 on an old dual-boot Dell w/ a Celeron D. Ubuntu didn’t run any faster than XP, and I never could figure out how to install a Brother printer driver.
    Ubuntu fixed all that with an upgrade from V10 to V13. Something crapped out, and I couldn’t get it to work at all.
    I recently did a clean install of V16, which did install. It works OK in command-line mode, but the gui looks like my old 300 baud terminal from 1982. Probably a video driver problem, but I’m only running a very plain-vanilla mother-board video chip.

    So, yes, Ubuntu can fail to support or drop support for anything at any time. One gets what one pays for… and it goes down hill from there.

    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  gmd3006.


    I don’t know what you were running, because Canonical (the Ubuntu people) do not label their releases as V-anything. Their release version numbering starts with the year of the release minus 2000, a dot, and a zero filled on the left two digit month number within that year. So for example the last release which has been made is 16.10, released this past October. Their long term support (LTS) releases have occurred every 2 years in April, the last of which was 16.04.

    If you had a “GUI” that looked like a terminal, it’s rather likely you didn’t have a GUI, and yes, it would have likely been a video hardware driver issue.

    The usual case for hardware support though is USUALLY but not always decades. There really has to be a compelling reason to remove support, such as security flaws found or a kernel architectual/API change and noone willing to take responsibility for maintaining the code. I have a Keyspan USB to four RS232-C port adapter that I bought in the mid 1990s which still works on the latest Ubuntu LTS. As a counterexample, an ISA Industrial Computer Source watchdog timer board I bought around the same time no longer has support, only the later PCI version of that circuit has a module anymore.



    Mr Chandra,
    Thank you for responding.

    By Ubuntu 10, I meant the 2010 LTS release.
    By V10, I meant the 2010 LTS release.
    By V13 I meant the 2013 LTS release.
    By V16 I meant the 2013 LTS release.
    I never installed any of the interim experimental releases, only the ones they claimed are the stable ( LTS ) releases. Sorry, I thought my little bit of shorthand would be decipherable.

    By gui, I meant GNOME, which is the default, most common gdesktop. I just couldn’t remember the gname of it when I last gposted.

    One can open a “terminal” window under any of the linuxi, which is what I meant as a “terminal”. You are correct, one would not usually run a “terminal” and a gui simultaneously, and I do realize that the gui and terminal are different interfaces.

    Still, the Dell has a very common, vanilla on-board video chipset that’s shared among a wide variety of mfrs. It’s not like I had some exotic niche video card installed. It really should have had continuing support.

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