As you have probably heard, the next release of Ubuntu, 10.04 ("Lucid Lynx") will occur during the final days of April 2010. My production systems (the ones on which I do my writing and photography) are running Ubuntu 8.04 and I have decided to upgrade them to the upcoming version. This is the first of five-part series that will document my transition to the new version.
The 10.04 version, like the earlier 8.04 and 6.06 releases, is a so-called LTS or Long Term Support version of Ubuntu. This means that it receives security and bug fixes (but not application version upgrades) for a period of three years. This differs from the usual eighteen month support period for ordinary Ubuntu releases. I have used the LTS versions for several years and feel that it is the best choice for my production systems. I use a lot of Linux distros in my work, but for the machines I must rely on, I choose stability over the latest features. For example, my server systems are running CentOS 4 which first appeared in early 2005 and is still supported by Red Hat and the CentOS team. In fact, the main reason I switched from Red Hat (Fedora) to Ubuntu for my desktop systems was the availability of the Long Term Support versions, a feature that Fedora does not offer.
In a past life, I ran the QA department of a software company and I often employ these skills to perform software testing on new Linux releases. This case will be no different. The first beta release of 10.04 is scheduled for March 18 so we will begin our work then. Testing is not just something I do for fun (it isn't) but it's important to look for problems that might interfere with the deployment. By checking for problems now, we have a better chance of getting them fixed before the final release.
Our mission is to upgrade the production systems while preserving the existing data and functionality of the current systems. We'll also look for exciting new features and applications that will enhance their productive capacity. We will probably do a little scripting and system administration along the way, too :-)
The two production systems involved are my Dell Inspiron 530N (which originally shipped with Ubuntu 8.04 factory installed) and my IBM ThinkPad T41 laptop. We'll also use my main test computer, a Dell Dimension 2400N which is currently hosting our All-Text Linux Workstation. We might also take a look at the 10.04 Netbook Remix version to see if it offers any compelling reasons for upgrading my two netbooks, which are now running 9.04 UNR.
Stay tuned. This ought to be fun.
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