Why are Linux Distributions Upgraded So Often?
Are you a Windows or Mac user? There are many computer users who have spent their computing lives on Windows or Mac, and Linux has always seemed like a strange beast to them. Linux, a descendant of Unix, is an OS software that users would rarely use unless a graphical user interface (GUI) is available. Without a GUI, it is difficult to work on a command line interface. Nevertheless, you can still find many different popular versions of Linux in daily use.
Unlike Windows and macOS, there are many versions of Linux (different Linux distributions). How many versions of Windows OS have been introduced so far? Windows 10, 8, 7, XP and some server versions at most. It’s the same story with the Mac versions. But why does the various Linux distributions seem to have some sort of upgrade every 6 months?
The reason for frequent upgrades
macOS and Windows upgrades come from Apple and Microsoft. One resource for each upgrade, which is very convenient for users. However, upgrades to Linux distributions come from several developers. Sadly, you won’t even know about the upgrade unless you subscribe to some newsletters (they’re free) that cover Linux upgrades. But why so many frequent upgrades?
As mentioned above, upgrades of Linux distributions come mostly from volunteers who work according to their abilities.
What are these updates about?
These can be invisible kernel updates that are designed to fix bugs, fix security bugs, or improve operating system performance. Some applications are updated in the distribution or even completely removed and replaced with new ones. Features such as hardware support may change from release to release. New changes to the Graphical User Interface (GUI) could be updated and required a total overhaul of how some features work. Because there are so many factors, many distributions choose to upgrade on about a 6-month cycle or at least once a year.
Do you need these upgrades?
Good question! But the answer is – it depends. Any update, if it is dedicated to a security bug, needs to be updated. It prevents your system from being attacked by cyber crooks. We are the ones who unwittingly make our computers easy targets for cybercriminals. In addition to security upgrades, if you want to change the look of the GUI or add new features, you can implement these upgrades. We hope this answers your question.
It is not necessary to implement every update unless it is critical. Updating your operating system frequently can drive you crazy.
Just because there is an upgrade doesn’t mean you have to install the new version. If you don’t need a new feature and are happy with what you’re using, use your current version.
Some distributions have LTS or long-term support distributions. Many of them have at least a three-year support cycle. This is because most companies tend to upgrade their hardware on a three-year cycle. Many distributions have corporate clients who don’t want to upgrade very often. If you want, use a longer-term version like this to avoid upgrading and not having to do frequent upgrades yourself. All you have to do is just patch the existing software and not upgrade it completely. A much simpler process indeed!
Remember that it is not necessary to update your operating system just because your current version has an upgrade. See if your system needs this upgrade and the features it offers and then act logically.