Ubuntu LTS or latest release?
You have the option in Ubuntu to install only LTS releases or keep upgrading to every new release. This option is in the Update Manager under Settings > Updates > Release upgrade. But what should you choose, LTS or newest release? I'll give here some clues for you to chose what is the best option for you.
When I first started using Ubuntu there was no such doubt because the latest release was the LTS. I decided to stick to it because I just got used to my desktop and expected it to get better with the support. As new releases came out I realized that things were not quite as I expected.
So let's have things clear from the beginning, LTS only stands for “long term support” and nothing else. Since Canonical doesn't want trouble for a longer period of time, these LTS releases are usually more tested and less feature-rich, let's say that they adopt a more conservative approach. Instead of adding new features, they will work on the existing ones. There might be some advantages to LTS depending on your computer needs. I have been upgrading to the latest releases since I realized that the latest release is, most of the time, just a better version of the previous OS. But it's all a matter of personal needs. Here goes some tips to help you chose:
Reasons why you should stick to LTS:
-If you install Ubuntu on a large number of computers (let's say a company), and a small change can cause a big problem, then you might as well keep one OS for as long as you can. This will avoid the need of updating the technicians and users to the new OS (not everybody is familiar with computers and ready for changes and learn fast enough).
-If you work on a particular software (or particular set of software) that might not be supported on future versions of the OS and also at the same time you do not need other software that will be supported only on newer OS versions. The principle of this strategy is that if it works then keep it the way it is.
-If you are installing the software on the computer of someone else than yourself, someone that is not really a computer expert. Let's say you install it for your grandma and spend some time explaining to her how it works. It might be a big and hard step for her to adapt to Ubuntu on the first place, now having the OS changing every six month might be just too hard.
Reasons why you should upgrade to the latest version:
-You will have the latest, cutting edge, state of the art Ubuntu technology for the same price (it's free right?)
-You will be able to install the latest-cutting-edge-state-of-the-art third party software of the market... probably for the same price as well.
-To my experience there is no major hassle in making upgrades frequently. Your files and preferences are maintained where they are. The new features will compensate the loss of some good old habits.
Maybe one should consider Ubuntu new versions more like software updates than a real OS upgrade. That's what it feels like. Appart from my own experience I have asked the question to other Ubuntu users and company technicians, most of them will upgrade to the latest version at some point. The six month upgrade schedule seem to have been thought by Canonical for everybody. There's a good chance that every new version will keep being as easy to upgrade than to operate.