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I'm using fedora 13 but i'll like to know how safe is the fedora updates, 'cos i have read some comments from people who have complained that they started having issues on their fedora box after doing an update;i'll like to update the OS and i presently do not have any problems but i want to avoid a situation where i'll start having issues after the updates.
If you don't update, you don't get fixes (especially security-related), which on the other hand means that your system won't get new bugs, but on the other hand means you won't get current ones fixed, and keep potential security holes wide open. Therefore you should update. If you take backups often enough (depending on your own needs) you shouldn't have to worry, because you can pull them back if things get nasty. If you don't take backups, consider doing so. Lastly, if you're really that worried about updates screwing your system, you're using the wrong operating system/distribution; Fedora is known to be somewhat "bleeding-edge", which means it's not as stable/rock solid as some other distributions might be. Either accept it and keep backups as plan B, or switch your OS to something that you can update without fear.
I've been using fedora since fedora 10 and the only problems I've seen have been rpm dependency resolutions when running yum update or install. This has happened only a handful of times over the past two years. When it happens, you may be unable to install/update certain packages, but is usually resolved in a day or two and had no effect on using the existing programs.
I have yet to see something break due to an update, but as b0uncer mentioned, fedora tries to be at the forefront of development. So if stability is a major factor for you, perhaps something like centOS would be more appropriate.
I've seen a lot of complaints of the type "X stopped working after I updated Fedora." Personally, I've never done a full update (I've used Fedora since version 1) and I've never had any problems.
If you look at the updates on offer, they are divided into security fixes, bug fixes, and enhancements. Forget the enhancements; if you've done without it so far, you wait till the next version. Look at the bug fixes and ask yourself whether you have experienced the bug; if the answer is no, forget it. Finally, look at the security fixes. Do you actually use the software in question? If you never use ssh, it doesn't need fixing. What is the risk? If it's a possible denial of service attack, that's only a risk to a server.
You can have problems after updating, but you need to understand that Fedora is not, nor was it ever, intended to be a "stable" distribution. It has always been a Red Hat project to put together a completely FOSS distribution from applications very close to the "bleeding edge" of development. Some of the applications included are "beta" releases. The point is to expose some applications that are under consideration for inclusion in the commercial RHEL releases to more extensive usage than could be achieved in a test lab.
Fedora is a rapidly updated distribution, with new releases made about every six months, and support for any release is terminated after about a year. (See the "sticky" note at the head of the Fedora sub-forum for details. The one about the "unsupported version.")
If you use Fedora, you should be prepared to make frequent bug reports.
All that being said, I've been quite happy using Fedora. But I like trying to resolve bugs and glitches.
I run a full update about once a week on my systems. With locational problems. (I keep a copy of the smart update manager on my system for those times that yum gets in a huff about dependencies.)