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// Tales from software development

Why doesn’t Ubuntu Update Manager show an upgrade ?

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Having recently followed a series of upgrades in Ubuntu from 8.10 to 9.04 to 9.10 and finally to 10.04, I couldn’t understand why the upgrade to 10.10 didn’t show up in the Update Manager.

Ubuntu 10.10 was released nearly three months ago so why wasn’t it showing up when I ran the Update Manager ? I also wondered why the 10.04 release has the suffix ‘LTS’. It turns out the queries are related.

LTS stands for Long Term Support and guarantees that this release will be supported for three years. Because it’s a stable long term release, the default settings in the Software Sources configuration that control which upgrades are shown in the Update Manager are different from a non-LTS release and only LTS releases will be shown.

It’s easy enough to change this by starting the Software Sources app (from the Administration menu), clicking on the Updates tab and then changing the ‘Show new distribution releases’ setting from ‘Long Term Support (LTS) release only’ to ‘Normal releases’.

But you probably don’t want to do this – why would you want to upgrade a stable release that will be supported until 2013 for a minor upgrade that probably won’t be supported for more than a year or so…
The reason is that the updates shown in the Update Manager are controlled by the settings in the Software Sources app.
Because 10.04 is an Lts (Long Term Support) release, the default setting on the Updates tab of the Software Sources app is to show LTS upgrades only.

Written by Sea Monkey

January 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Environments

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