How fast will you upgrade your Linux installation?

I think the alacrity with which we upgrade depends at least partly in the credibility we offer the vendor.

Beyonce Upgrade U cover art
Both Red Hat and Novell are out today with news of major upgrades to their Linux distributions. (We go the extra mile here to keep our illustrations workplace safe.)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now on Version 5.2. This new version has much better support for virtualization, up to 64 CPUs and 512 GBytes of memory. There's also new support for Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA).

Novell says SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 is now on Service Pack 2. It also offers virtualization, based on Xen, supporting Windows guests and live migration of guests across physical machines.

So how fast are you going to upgrade?

If you're dependent on virtualization I'd say pretty fast. When a technology trend is moving this fast you want to stay on top of it.

But what if that's not your thing? What if you're an ordinary, garden-variety Linux user? How fast will you move?

This is an important question for several reasons:

  • Upgrading to other OSs is getting slower-and-slower.
  • Upgrading is an important way to help the community find and stamp out bugs.
  • Upgrading is an important element in distro support
  • Upgrading is always a pain in the patootie.

Personally, I think the alacrity with which we upgrade depends at least partly in the credibility we offer the vendor. Besides, this Memorial Day you can't afford the gas to go to the beach.