This is that time of year (or twice a year, I guess I should say), when a lot of eager, well-meaning but somewhat out-of-their-league Ubuntu users get crazy and start installing the beta of the next release.
I have two things to say to that, and in no way am I trying to be rude or demeaning.
First, if you have to ask how stable or safe it is, you probably shouldn’t be using it. It’s still development software, possibly buggy, and likely to cause problems for you. Unless you’re prepared to tackle anything that might come your way, you should probably wait until the release candidate, and possibly later.
Don’t pin your expectations on beta software, please. It looks like fun and it probably is, but breakage happens. I’ve been there. And it can be frustrating if you don’t have the know-how to resurrect your machine when it turns crashtastic. I’ve been there too.
This is where someone always says, “Well it works fine for me and I’ve been using it since Tribe 2!” or something like that. Okay, sure. Maybe it has worked perfectly for you. But reassuring someone less experienced than you that beta software is safe to use is … a little foolhardy. You might be creating problems for someone who isn’t prepared to solve them, by telling them “things are fine” on a unique installation.
And this is also where someone usually says, “Well, I’m going to try it because I need the patches that are included in kernel 220.127.116.11, that support my Raybotec 802.11w wireless firewire transponderizer-plus-blender attachment.” Okay, sure. Maybe that’s something you’d rather not live without, and for that I support you.
But in that case (and this is the second thing I have to say), is a periodic release really what you’re after? Arch has been using the latest kernel for weeks, if not months now. Crux uses whatever kernel you tell it, no matter how new or old. And if you’re capable of riding the software development wave, why rely on beta software with future product support, when you could be using rolling release software that’s current, fresh and improved on a daily basis?
Again, I don’t want to be rude by insinuating that you can’t handle beta software, or that you should wait around sucking your thumb while things get fixed. I’m arguing for prudence as the better part of valor, and waiting until the cake is baked before you start eating it.