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Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:07 pm
What will happen if LTS runs out and I don't upgrade to the supported version? Not that big of a deal is it?!
Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:40 pm
For a while it may not be a big deal for you. but that is up to you. Once a release reaches it end of support date, it will no longer be managed by the security teams--meaning you will no longer receive upgrades for your installed software to fix new security issues. If you are a home user, that may be acceptable. If you are using it in a business or on a server, this will most likely not be acceptable.
At some point in time after a release reaches its end of support date, the repositories for the Ubuntu package base will be shut down and you will also no longer be able to install new software.
While it is generally fine to continue to use a release for a few months after it reaches it end of support date, I would recommend making a plan to replace it with a newly supported release. You can install a new release alongside your existing release, thus giving you the opportunity to gradually migrate to the new release.
Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:45 pm
The "S" in "LTS" stands for "Support" and that is what runs out at the end of the LTS official support period. What that really means is that you won't receive the regular security updates and the upgrades to both the operating system and its applications.
Will the system break or stop working? No. You just won't receive automatic updates. If you search out new versions of applications and other components, but you will need to install and update them yourself. With that in mind, the longer you leave the system on line without updates, the more out of date it becomes. If you use browser plug-ins, you wiYOll eventually become at risk because of those vulnerabilities. Linux is not immune from malware. It's just not a big target, and because updates are automatic and easy to get, Linux is not as vulnerable as other operating systems.
You will be OK without support for some time, but I would recommend upgrading to the next LTS when support for the current one expires. That's every two years or so.