16.04 versus 16.10?

As a n00b with UbuntuMATE, I’m puzzled about 16.10. Is this the current operational release or still a project in progress. Is 16.04 still the recommended version? It seems as though the readily find-able discussion about 16.10 ended sometime last fall (Oct. '16). Or am I totally missing something about the 16.10/16.04 relationship?

If this question is in the wrong place, please let me know where it should be.

Ubuntu MATE 16.04 is a so-called LTS (long-term-support) release, which gets 3 years of updates (or 5 years in case of Ubuntu proper).
LTS releases happen every two years, with three inbetween releases with a shorter support lifespan, such as 16.10, 17.04 (currently in beta) and later this year 17.10.
After that the next LTS version (18.04) is due in April 2018.

Using LTS releases usually means you get a more stable platform, but with older packages.


However, you can add a software source (known as a PPA) which will allow you to use slighter new software then the version provided with 16.04. For example, the base desktop utilities, MATE 1.16 (16.04 ships with 1.12)

I also moved your topic to the Support & Help Requests category, but I suppose as feedback, do we need to make this version difference a bit clearer?

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I’m still uncertain about which way to move. I was told about LTS and its value by the person who pointed me at Ubuntu MATE after I expressed frustration with SuSE. But, heck yeah, The Latest and Greatest has a powerful attraction.

When I tried to sort out what version of Ubuntu MATE was the best choice, as I said any readily found discussion stops six months ago. At this point, that’s quite a big gap.

If I hadn’t had advice from a user, I’d probably still be wondering which way to turn. I guess tightening up the distinction between the two versions is a good idea. But then, I’m a n00b, what do I know? [/LOL]

If you’re a ‘latest and greatest’ kind of guy, then go with the latest interim releases. In fact, Zesty Zapus (17.04) will be officially released in less than 2 weeks, and is quite nice.

I used to be a ‘latest and greatest’ kind of guy with a passion, but now I’m an LTS guy. I have come to strongly dislike surprises. It all depends on your personal threshold for putting up with glitches, most of which are just annoyances. I have become annoyed at being annoyed, that’s all :slight_smile:

But 16.04 LTS is rock solid.


Why not install both and switch between the two. I have test installs of Mate on just a 12G partition. That gives me plenty of room to add packages.

Like @sgage, I have both 16o4 and 17o4 installed.

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Thanks for “sgage advice” (v3xx, no easy pun there). Whatever version goes up, I’ll stay with that. Rev. flipping usually makes me dizzy. I forget which rev. I’m using, try to do, in rev. B, what only rev. A does and… hello, digital vertigo.


How to choose is very simple: do you want to (have to) upgrade your OS to a new version every 6 monthes or do you want to keep it 2-3 years?

If you don’t mind updating every 6 monthes then take the latest release (16.10), you’ll have more recent software. If you want to keep your OS for 2 years or more, take the latest LTS (16.04) but be aware that you’ll have older software until the next LTS (april 2018).

As @sgage pointed out, the next version will be released this month. So, if you go with 16.10, expect to already upgrade your version in a few weeks (technically, you’ll have until july, when support for 16.10 ends).


Thanks for the “do you want to put up with this” caution. I’ve gotten used to (more or less) one OS that updates when it wants and how it wants - Windoze. What’s another one in my life? [/big grin]

Seriously, thanks for the heads-up. I appreciate it.

This. And "But 16.04 LTS is rock solid."

The statement "with LTS you are stuck with older software" sounds scary and very... Debian. With Debian stable (Jessie) you currently have MATE desktop 1.8.1. Now that is old. And you are stuck with it until next stable release.

With Debian you get some updated software via backports, but it's a very limited set. Ubuntu based distros, on the other hand, have the wonderful PPA system that allows you to get newer apps on top of your solid, LTS base.

I run 16.04.2 LTS for stability and because I need to get work done (stopped using Windows in 2003). I have MATE 1.16.1 and LibreOffice from the PPAs, browsers and their plugins + add-ons are up-to-date. Sublime Text, my preferred code editor, was installed using a tarball downloaded from their site. The app prompts when new version is available and it takes a minute to download new tarball, extract and be done with the update.

Little helper scripts (like youtube-dl) I update straight from their repos with an automated script handled by cron. I cannot name one piece of software in my system that I feel is outdated.

I do install betas and short support releases on a spare machine to take a look at what's going on with them. So far I haven't felt like I've been deprived of something by sticking with the LTS version.

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Note that on every version of Ubuntu, you’ll have updates more or less frequently during their life cycle anyway. It’s not very different from Windows (except that Ubuntu will tell you that there are updates available and let you do them manually, it won’t do them by itself and then reboot while you’re in the middle of something).


SuSE works much the same way, so this isn’t a huge inconvenience. OTOH, when I was doing work for NOAA, stability was everything, and any update was “oh, please don’t break my system”. Scary stuff that. Now the worst that happens is I do my film editing elsewhere. No biggie. :slight_smile:

My advice if you are a Linux noob (I hate that name :wink:) is probably go with the long term to start with. That way you can explore and learn with stable base. Either way there are quite often little annoying bugs when a new release comes out so unless you have some knowledge or/and patience for them to be ironed out it’s best to wait a few weeks before testing on your machine. In my experience this applies to most Distros no matter the support period. I would also add it’s a very good idea to read the release notes of the version you choose to get a heads up of bugs and new features that may startle :smiley:

I think the basic idea of lts is to provide stability for the more commercial user who may be also running servers etc and doesn’t want to faff around every 6 months.

So as I said as LTS would be good as it’s been out a while and potential pitfalls ironed out… but then that’s just what I think…

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Sorry… I’m not new to Linux. One way or another, I’ve been messing with it since pre-1.0. It’s this flavor of Ubuntu that’s new to me. I did an install a long time ago, before Ubuntu split in however many directions it’s gone. For better or worse I went with SuSE. It became frustrating to try to sort out, so here I am.