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Thread: LTS or not for hpc lab

  1. #1
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    LTS or not for hpc lab

    Hi. I'm setting up a cluster for some scientific computing, and I'm thinking that Ubuntu would be a good choice of OS (opinions/alternatives are welcome). I'm just wondering if I should use 12.04 (LTS) or the latest release.

    It's been a while since I used ubuntu (probably since 8.04, or maybe 9.10, can't remember) and I have a couple questions:

    1. If I go with the latest release (e.g. 13.04) how seamless is it to upgrade to the next release when it comes out? I remember usually ending up with a partly broken system when I'd try to upgrade in the past.

    2. How much more up-to-date will packages be in the latest release compared to the LTS? How great will the difference be by the time 12.04 runs out of support?

    I welcome any other discussion on the matter too. Thanks a bunch for any advice.

  2. #2
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    Re: LTS or not for hpc lab

    I'd suggest that you ask for recommendations on the HPC forums to get better answers. It also matters if your cluster is 3 PCs or 50,000 which solution you should further research.

    When it comes to picking any Ubuntu/Mint release, I always choose LTS over "newer" when possible. Other releases only have 18 months of patch support where the LTS gets 5 yrs. That is very important in a long running project. LTS releases tend to be more stable and fewer "alpha level" programs are included. Stability is the primary goal for an LTS, unlike for the mid-LTS releases where Canonical seems to inflict changes on users following their vision, not necessarily what the community desires. The only time I'd select a newer release is when there is something specific in those newer releases that I need. For example, if you have an UEFI BIOS, then 12.04 isn't a good choice, you'd want something newer.

  3. #3
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    Re: LTS or not for hpc lab

    Thanks for your input. The UEFI BIOS is a good point. Is there any other distro you'd suggest maybe?...since the next LTS isn't due for a couple years. I have a feeling that some newer software may be needed. But I guess I could always install that stuff from source (right?).

  4. #4
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    Re: LTS or not for hpc lab

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    if you have an UEFI BIOS, then 12.04 isn't a good choice, you'd want something newer.
    That is no longer an issue. If you get 12.04 on Ubuntu.com you'll be downloading 12.04.4. That version supports UEFI.

    Regards.

  5. #5
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    Re: LTS or not for hpc lab

    Thanks papibe. Very good to know.

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