It was Clean Thursday yesterday and hopefully you were cleaning your hard drive for a great new Ubuntu 8.04. It made it to the download sites in the evening and since then they creak under a heaviest load.

Have you ever wondered why they version their releases in that strange way – …, 7.04, 7.10, 8.04? I never mulled over that, but yesterday I was enlightened. Look at the numbers closely: 2007.04, 2007.10, 2008.04. Alright, now it does make perfect sense, doesn’t it?

While we are at it, let me explain briefly how I partition my hard drive to aid quick and painless system upgrades. Keeping in mind that Canonical releases a new version precisely once a half year, it is judicious to keep OS on a separate partition so that it can be easily replaced, while your home directories stay intact. This is how I do it:

  • / (root) partition – 5 Gb
  • /home partition – 5 Gb
  • swap partition – 2 Gb

Every time a new version of Ubuntu comes out, I simply format the root partition and install the release there from a Live CD. Certainly I need to restore all apps later, but it’s not a big deal actually as I maintain a nice list for this matter.

I know Ubuntu has a mechanism to upgrade itself to a newer version through the Updates manager, but, in practice, being upgraded in this fashion, OS doesn’t unveil its full potential, and more like “mimics” the previous version. I compared the two in the past and am inexpressibly happy about the discovery.

Hopefully this information will be valuable in the light of upcoming wave of upgrades.