Long Term Support

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Arbor
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Long Term Support

Post by Arbor » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:01 am

Hello,

I'm using Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce and I don't see any need to upgrade. This version of Linux Mint is supported until April 2021. Then, why Xubuntu 16.04 is supported only until April 2019? Both distros have the same package base - Ubuntu Xenial. The only exception is obviously the Linux Mint Sylvia repo not available on Xubuntu.

1) Why is there a difference?
2) Is it safe to use Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce not only in 2018 and January - April 2019, but also in 2020 and January - April 2021?

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Pjotr
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Re: Long Term Support

Post by Pjotr » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:12 am

Arbor wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:01 am
Hello,

I'm using Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce and I don't see any need to upgrade. This version of Linux Mint is supported until April 2021. Then, why Xubuntu 16.04 is supported only until April 2019? Both distros have the same package base - Ubuntu Xenial. The only exception is obviously the Linux Mint Sylvia repo not available on Xubuntu.

1) Why is there a difference?
2) Is it safe to use Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce not only in 2018 and January - April 2019, but also in 2020 and January - April 2021?
Good question. To be honest, I'm not convinced that the Mint team will deliver security updates to the Xfce components of 18.x after April 2019. Same goes for other components in Universe and Multiverse.

Which is why I advise to upgrade after three years instead of five. More detailed explanation:
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... of-support
(item 5, right column)
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Re: Long Term Support -deciding when to upgrade

Post by Boca » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:15 pm

Hi,

I tend to agree with Arbor
I'm using Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce and I don't see any need to upgrade
Thanks to Pjotr for his insight
Before those three years are up, you can upgrade to a new Mint series (e.g. 19.x), because every two years a new Mint series is being released. The safest upgrade moment is the release of the first point version of the new Mint series ("Service Pack 1"), for example 19.1.

I think I will follow Pjotr's advice. Where is the easiest place to see when such a Service Pack is released? Is it possible to subscribe to be informed when SP1 is released? or is it a matter of routinely checking? Where is the definitive list; is it https://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=257 ?

Rgds, Tony

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Re: Long Term Support -deciding when to upgrade

Post by Pjotr » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:37 pm

Boca wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:15 pm
Hi,

I tend to agree with Arbor
I'm using Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce and I don't see any need to upgrade
Thanks to Pjotr for his insight
Before those three years are up, you can upgrade to a new Mint series (e.g. 19.x), because every two years a new Mint series is being released. The safest upgrade moment is the release of the first point version of the new Mint series ("Service Pack 1"), for example 19.1.

I think I will follow Pjotr's advice. Where is the easiest place to see when such a Service Pack is released? Is it possible to subscribe to be informed when SP1 is released? or is it a matter of routinely checking? Where is the definitive list; is it https://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=257 ?

Rgds, Tony
Mint 19.1 won't officially be a Service pack; officially, it'll be another new Mint edition with its own code name. As such, it'll be widely announced by means of the usual channels. :)
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lmuserx4849

Re: Long Term Support

Post by lmuserx4849 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:42 pm

Arbor wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:01 am
Hello,

I'm using Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce and I don't see any need to upgrade. This version of Linux Mint is supported until April 2021. Then, why Xubuntu 16.04 is supported only until April 2019? Both distros have the same package base - Ubuntu Xenial. The only exception is obviously the Linux Mint Sylvia repo not available on Xubuntu.

1) Why is there a difference?
2) Is it safe to use Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce not only in 2018 and January - April 2019, but also in 2020 and January - April 2021?
Xubuntu is a Flavor of Ubuntu: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/flavours. They are often called Community Editions.

At https://xubuntu.org/tour, it says 3 years of support rather than the 5 years. Better info here: https://xubuntu.org/releases/. Click on the 16.04 release on the right-hand side to see the EOL.

Instead look at:

https://www.linuxmint.com> Download > All Versions > 18.3 > Xfce (64-bit) > Release Notes > Scroll to the bottom
Linux Mint 18.3 is based on Ubuntu 16.04. Make sure to read the Ubuntu release notes.
Click the link for "Ubuntu release notes":
These release notes for Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS (Xenial Xerus) provide an overview of the release and document the known issues with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and its flavours. For details of the changes applied since 16.04, please see the 16.04.4 change summary. The release notes for 16.04, 16.04.1, 16.04.2 and 16.04.3 are available as well.

Support lifespan

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be supported for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Core, and Ubuntu Kylin. All other flavours will be supported for 3 years.
In addition: Ubuntu Release Table @https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases
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ubuntu-releases.jpg
Last edited by lmuserx4849 on Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:56 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Pjotr
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Re: Long Term Support

Post by Pjotr » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:45 pm

@lmuserx4849: did you read what I wrote? There's a difference between official claims and cold reality. That I've learned in 12 years of full-time use of *buntu and Mint.
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lmuserx4849

Re: Long Term Support

Post by lmuserx4849 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:04 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:45 pm
@lmuserx4849: did you read what I wrote? There's a difference between official claims and cold reality. That I've learned in 12 years of full-time use of *buntu and Mint.
HHHmmmm. Ouch.

1) Why is there a difference?

Xubuntu is a community edition with a different time table.

2) Is it safe to use Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce not only in 2018 and January - April 2019, but also in 2020 and January - April 2021?

If we didn't believe Clem and the Linux Mint distribution, why would anyone use it in the first place.

I don't have 12 years of experience with Linux Mint. I've used others in the past. I read the documentation they provide.

Sorry for trying to help.

Good-bye.

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Re: Long Term Support

Post by Pjotr » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:00 pm

No need for hard feelings, surely? :shock:

I'm just sharing my practical experience, namely that especially the community-maintained Universe and Multiverse repo's in real life aren't as LTS as the company-maintained Main repo. Do with my information, what you want.... But why take it personal?
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Re: Long Term Support

Post by I2k4 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:58 am

Arbor wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:01 am
...
1) Why is there a difference?
2) Is it safe to use Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce not only in 2018 and January - April 2019, but also in 2020 and January - April 2021?
I started with Ubuntu 10.04, and after decades of Windows was seriously disappointed to learn that while "LTS" applied to OS updates, at that time third-party software support dried up after about 18 months and at two years everything but the core OS was out of date. I've never been an enthusiast for operating systems as such, and don't like spending hours to fresh install then reconfigure to reconstruct all my preferences any more often than necessary. I moved to Mint 15, which was better than Ubuntu, but it's really only with Mint 17.x and the full implementation of in place "point releases" that I'm now expecting serious five year support of both the OS and third-party software (i have had to install a PPA for the current releases of LibreOffice, otherwise M17.3 is fully current.) Barring mechanical breakdown, I expect my Windows 7 and Mint 17.x machines to need a refresh in 2020, and will likely go all Mint on them then.

The big difference is Mint's focus on refining the current Ubuntu LTS platform through point releases, rather than squandering time and talent on interim platform releases, and since both Ubuntu and Mint organizations have good records and commercial ambitions for enterprise deployments with contract commitments, I think they're "safe" going forward. My main concern at this point is whether and for how long third party software will survive for a couple of 32 bit systems, and have been testing 64 bit Mint (so far so good) on M18 and M19 for when M17.x finally dies.
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Re: Long Term Support

Post by gm10 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:33 am

I2k4 wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:58 am
I started with Ubuntu 10.04, and after decades of Windows was seriously disappointed to learn that while "LTS" applied to OS updates, at that time third-party software support dried up after about 18 months and at two years everything but the core OS was out of date.
I'm not sure if it's clear so:

LTS only applies to security updates and bug fixes, not feature updates. That's intentional. The point is that your software will behave the same for the duration.

If you want to stay current on software versions then a rolling release-style distribution is what you're looking for.

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Re: Long Term Support

Post by I2k4 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:52 pm

gm10 wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:33 am
I2k4 wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:58 am
I started with Ubuntu 10.04, and after decades of Windows was seriously disappointed to learn that while "LTS" applied to OS updates, at that time third-party software support dried up after about 18 months and at two years everything but the core OS was out of date.
I'm not sure if it's clear so:

LTS only applies to security updates and bug fixes, not feature updates. That's intentional. The point is that your software will behave the same for the duration.

If you want to stay current on software versions then a rolling release-style distribution is what you're looking for.
The third party software I'm using on M17.3 is exactly the same by version as what's on M19.x now - same Firefox, Chromium, and with the new PPA LibreOffice 6.5RC, etc. Just got FF61 today. The updates come on the same schedule through the Mint 17.3 Update Manager. That never happened before M17.x, which I've run continuously on a Dell laptop since Fall 2014,without a glitch, I don't know the relationship between "LTS" which is Canonical / Ubuntu's term for its version support, and what Mint is doing differently for its point releases with M17 - it's obvious things changed with that:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Min ... on_history

M15 and M16 were still dealing with the short-life Ubuntu interim releases 13.04 and 13.10. (I think Ubuntu should just label those interim releases "beta" and so-called "LTS" as its only final releases.)
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Re: Long Term Support

Post by gm10 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:12 pm

I2k4 wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:52 pm
The third party software I'm using on M17.3 is exactly the same by version as what's on M19.x now - same Firefox, Chromium, and with the new PPA LibreOffice 6.5RC, etc. Just got FF61 today. The updates come on the same schedule through the Mint 17.3 Update Manager.
Browser updates count as security updates, and PPAs obviously don't count at all for they are not part of the distribution.

Ubuntu's own definition of LTS is here:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LTS

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Re: Long Term Support

Post by lsemmens » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:15 am

Security issues aside (i.e. SECURITY is the MAIN reason to update), if your OS and software is performing adequately now, and in 20 years, there is NO need to update. Heck! If I want to, I could still run DOS and dBaseII if it did all I needed. In fact, for a database, it would still do all I need just not all I want now.
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Re: Long Term Support

Post by smgordon1259 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:15 am

Each distribution has it's own guidelines for end of life. not sure how each sets their timelines but I am sure they know what they do.

Why? Each distribution has it's own team of developers and dedicated users, the users suggest updates , upgrades, and changes and those developers try to do what the people want while inserting their own features.

Yes it is safe to use each distribution to the end of life date.

They do support these distributions and update up to the last date regardless of who thinks what. The Linux Mint Team is not in the habit of being LAZY or too LAZY to do those updates. even for distributions that will end in 2019.

the choice is yours to update or upgrade. use your freedom wisely
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Re: Long Term Support

Post by gm10 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:24 am

smgordon1259 wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:15 am
They do support these distributions and update up to the last date regardless of who thinks what. The Linux Mint Team is not in the habit of being LAZY or too LAZY to do those updates. even for distributions that will end in 2019.
Nobody is calling the Mint team lazy here. We don't doubt that they will keep maintaining their own modifications to the distribution. The doubt Pjotr expressed - and I agree with him on that - is whether the Mint team will take over maintenance of all the upstream packages that will stop being supported in 2019. It has not happened in the past, but it may not have been necessary, either. Ask the devs on IRC maybe if you're concerned.

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Re: Long Term Support

Post by Pjotr » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:16 am

Indeed it has nothing to do with laziness, but everything with manpower. Some figures, when I check with Synaptic:

Combined contents of tara/main, tara/non-free and tara/universe (maintained by the Mint team):
688 packages

Contents of community-maintained bionic/multiverse:
2.108 packages

Contents of community-maintained bionic/universe:
A whopping 135.987 packages!

It's clear that it's completely impossible for the Mint developers, to take over maintenance of all that the Ubuntu community maintains. It would even be totally crazy to expect that from them.

In the past (as said, I've been -and still am- a full time user of *buntu and Mint for over 12 years), maintenance of some of the Multiverse and Universe packages hasn't always been, well, stellar. It's just a practical rule of thumb I've learned, that, securitywise, it makes sense to upgrade your LTS after three years instead of five.

Note that I'm not claiming that using your Mint or Ubuntu LTS for the full five years is insanely irresponsible. Far from it! The practical risks pertaining to potentially badly maintained bionic/universe and bionic/multiverse packages, are generally not so big. The really critical stuff (web browser, email client, etc.) is thankfully usually in the well-maintained tara/* and bionic/main.

So: is it reasonable to use your Mint/LTS for the full five years? Answer: yes. But is it more secure to upgrade after three years? Answer: again yes. That's just a small extra effort, so why not spend that small effort?

To close it off, and to put things into perspective: there is no 100 % security. Not in real life and not in the digital world. Not even when your computer is running Linux. You should always use your common sense. And even then it can go wrong. A certain amount of risk, however small, is unavoidable. A Frenchman would say: c'est la vie. :mrgreen:
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