It’s been two weeks since Rick Spencer made the case for a rolling release approach in Ubuntu. Having a rolling release is one of the very top suggestions from the hardcore Ubuntu user community, and after years of it being mooted by all and sundry I thought it deserved the deep consideration that Rick and his team, who represent most of Canonical’s direct contributions to Ubuntu, brought to the analysis.

It’s obviously not helpful to have mass hysteria break out when ideas like this get floated, so I would like to thank everyone who calmly provided feedback on the proposal, and blow a fat raspberry at those of you who felt obliged to mount soapboxes and opine on The End Of the World As We Know It. Sensible people the world over will appreciate the dilemma at being asked to take user feedback seriously, and being accused of unilateralism when exploring options.

Change is warranted. If we want to deliver on our mission, we have to be willing to stare controversy in the face and do the right thing anyway, recognising that we won’t know if it’s the right thing until much later, and for most of the intervening time, friends and enemies alike will go various degrees of apoplectic. Our best defense against getting it wrong is to have a strong meritocracy, which I think we do. That means letting people like Rick, who have earned their leadership roles, explore controversial territory.

So, where do we stand? And where do I stand? What’s the next step?

What makes this conversation hard is the sheer scale of the Ubuntu ecosystem, all of which is profoundly affected by any change. Here are the things I think we need to optimise for, and the observations that I think we should structure our thinking around:

Releases are good discipline, cadence is valuable.

Releases, even interim releases, create value for parts of the Ubuntu ecosystem that are important. They allow us to get more widespread feedback on decisions made in that cycle – what’s working, what’s not working. Interestingly, in the analysis that played into Rick’s proposal, we found that very few institutional users depend on extended support of the interim releases. Those who care about support tend to use the LTS releases and LTS point releases.

Release management detracts from development time, and should be balanced against the amount of use that release gets.

While reaffirming our interest in releases, I think we established that the amount of time spend developing in a cycle versus spent doing release management is currently out of whack with the amount to which people actually DEPEND on that release management, for interim releases, on the desktop. On the server, we found that the interim releases are quite heavily used in the cloud, less so on physical metal.

Daily quality has raised the game dramatically for tip / trunk / devel users, and addresses the Rolling Release need.

There’s widespread support for the statement that ‘developers can and should use the daily development release’. The processes that have been put in place make it much more reliable for folks who want to track development, either as a contributor to Ubuntu or as someone who ships software for Ubuntu and wants to know what’s happening on the latest release, to use Ubuntu throughout the development cycle. For those of you not aware, uploads to the edge get published in a special ‘pocket’, and only moved into the edge if they don’t generate any alarms from people who are on the VERY BLEEDING EDGE. So you can use Raring (without that bleeding edge pocket) and get daily updates that are almost certain not to bork you.  There is a real community that WANTS a rolling release, and the daily development release of Ubuntu satisfies this need already.

LTS point releases are a great new enhancement to the LTS concept.

On a regular basis, the LTS release gets a point update which includes access to a new, current kernel (supporting new hardware without regressing the old hardware on the previous kernel, which remains supported), new OpenStack (via the Cloud Archive), and various other elements. I think we could build on this to enhance the LTS with newer and better versions of the core UX (Unity) as long as we don’t push those users through a major transition in the process (Unity/Qt, anybody? ;-)).

Separating platform from apps would enhance agility.

Currently, we make one giant release of the platform and ALL APPS. That means an enormous amount of interdependence, and an enormous bottleneck that depends largely on a single community to line everything up at once. If we narrowed the scope of the platform, we would raise the quality of the platform. Quite possibly, we could place the responsibility for apps on the developers that love them, giving users access to newer versions of those apps if (and only if) the development communities behind them want to do that and believe it is supportable.

Phew.

That’s what I observed from all the discussion that ensued from Rick’s proposal.

Here’s a new straw man proposal. Note – this is still just a proposal. I will ask the TB to respond to this one, since it incorporates both elements of Rick’s team’s analysis and feedback from wider circles.

Updated Ubuntu Release Management proposal

In order to go even faster as the leading free software platform, meet the needs of both our external users and internal communities (Unity, Canonical, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and many many others) and prepare for a wider role in personal computing, Ubuntu is considering:

1. Strengthening the LTS point releases.

Our end-user community will be better served by higher-quality LTS releases that get additional, contained update during the first two years of their existence (i.e. as long as they are the latest LTS). Updates to the LTS in each point release might include:

  • addition of newer kernels as options (not invalidating prior kernels). The original LTS kernel would be supported for the full duration of the LTS, interim kernels would be supported until the subsequent LTS, and the next LTS kernel would be supported on the prior LTS for teh length of that LTS too. The kernel team should provide a more detailed updated straw man proposal to the TB along these lines.
  • optional newer versions of major, fast-moving and important platform components. For example, during the life of 12.04 LTS we are providing as optional updates newer versions of OpenStack, so it is always possible to deploy 12.04 LTS with the latest OpenStack in a supported configuration, and upgrade to newer versions of OpenStack in existing clouds without upgrading from 12.04 LTS itself.
  • required upgrades to newer versions of platform components, as long as those do not break key APIs. For example, we know that the 13.04 Unity is much faster than the 12.04 Unity, and it might be possible and valuable to backport it as an update.

2. Reducing the amount of release management, and duration of support, for interim releases.

Very few end users depend on 18 months support for interim releases. The proposal is to reduce the support for interim releases to 7 months, thereby providing constant support for those who stay on the latest interim release, or any supported LTS releases. Our working assumption is that the latest interim release is used by folks who will be involved, even if tangentially, in the making of Ubuntu, and LTS releases will be used by those who purely consume it.

3. Designating the tip of development as a Rolling Release.

Building on current Daily Quality practices, to make the tip of the development release generally useful as a ‘daily driver’ for developers who want to track Ubuntu progress without taking significant risk with their primary laptop. We would ask the TB to evaluate whether it’s worth changing our archive naming and management conventions so that one release, say ‘raring’, stays the tip release so that there is no need to ‘upgrade’ when releases are actually published. We would encourage PPA developers to target the edge release, so that we don’t fragment the ‘extras’ collection across interim releases.

 

That is all.

93 Responses to “Let’s go faster while preserving what works best”

  1. Ubuntu, Shuttleworth & rolling releases Says:

    […] anonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has an ambitious plan with a short time-frame: One operating system for computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs by early 2014. One problem with this is how do you get there fast enough and one answer, rolling releases, has got developers upset. Now, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has a new proposal on how to handle rolling releases. […]

  2. fhf Says:

    In some ways its good. Drop interim releases or treat them like BETA or something. My previous school introduced Ubuntu but not stable LTS 12.04 but 12.10 and they will get no updates for 13.04’s Unity (as you said in yours post). LTS should be standard and interim releases only BETAs for developers etc.
    Rolling from LTS to LTS! Ubuntu forever! :)
    Bests,
    fhf

  3. Jan Goulding Says:

    I’m agnostic about rolling releases – I just want me system to do what I want it to do when I want it to do it. If this means that I have to wait a few months for an upgrade then, okay. If I want an app that’s at the raw bleeding edge I can get the code for the developers site (or sourceforge) and install it before the update is in the distribution repositories. Sadly since the release of Unity this has not been the case. The fact that since upgrading to unity my PC has done an impersonation of a snail on valium to the point that I can go away and make a cup of tea whilst waiting for the browser to open (on a machine that is an 64 bit quad core with 1Gig of ram), due to badly integrated drivers tells me that Canonical have lost the plot. That the work round of launching Unity into 2D mode to speed things up was completely removed before the driver issues were resolved, leads me to believe that Canonical are entering a Microsoft frame of mind: “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature” and that is my issue with Canonical right now – not how they issue releases.

  4. John Mills Says:

    Mark,

    If you read this think about the utility for an end user who just wants a desktop that works and is up to date with the applications they use. The current point releases are in essence just point releases (beta) for the LTS anyway. By using a point release for the LTS something akin to a service pack in Windows you add value to that release over a long period of time. If you want a stable release with new versions of your applications in Ubuntu you have very little choice but to resort to using PPAs that are potentially unstable and break your system. There is no guarantee either that upgrading from release to release will result in a system that is not broken.

    As others have said using a semi rolling release is much more sensible and valuable for a typical desktop user. The separation of applications and the rest of the system should have been implemented years ago. Microsoft nor Apple support third party applications they have no control over and I don’t see why canonical must either. The software centre would work in a much better way if application developers uploaded the latest version of their software and made it available to all through this mechanism. PPAs in my experience have caused me significant issues and I would much prefer to see my updates come through a single interface in the same way as the Play store or Itunes. I would dearly like to see the Software Centre in Ubuntu work in a similar way. After all this is what the majority of users would expect having used a modern mobile phone or operating system. For a good few years now the subject of application updates in Ubuntu has been discussed. Infact there is a critical bug report that is assigned to MPT regarding this very point.

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/software-center/+bug/578045

    Please Mark consider the semi rolling release model and put some ‘wait’ behind the idea that applications be separated from the core Ubuntu desktop. If this is done there will unquestionably be a big uptake in the number of desktop users for Ubuntu and potential revenue stream for Canonical.

    Best regards,

    John

  5. Donald Says:

    Cool, maybe you will manage to reclaim some power users from the clutches of Arch Linux.

  6. John Mills Says:

    Mark,

    If you read this think about the utility for an end user who just wants a desktop that works and is up to date with the applications they use. The current point releases are in essence just point releases (beta) for the LTS anyway. By using a point release for the LTS something akin to a service pack in Windows you add value to that release over a long period of time. If you want a stable release with new versions of your applications in Ubuntu you have very little choice but to resort to using PPAs that are potentially unstable and break your system. There is no guarantee either that upgrading from release to release will result in a system that is not broken.

    As others have said using a semi rolling release is much more sensible and valuable for a typical desktop user. The separation of applications and the rest of the system should have been implemented years ago. Microsoft nor Apple support third party applications they have no control over and I don’t see why canonical must either. The software centre would work in a much better way if application developers uploaded the latest version of their software and made it available to all through this mechanism. PPAs in my experience have caused me significant issues and I would much prefer to see my updates come through a single interface in the same way as the Play store or Itunes. I would dearly like to see the Software Centre in Ubuntu work in a similar way. After all this is what the majority of users would expect having used a modern mobile phone or operating system. For a good few years now the subject of application updates in Ubuntu has been discussed. Infact there is a critical bug report that is assigned to MPT regarding this very point.

    See launchpad bug : 578045

    Please Mark consider the semi rolling release model and put some ‘wait’ behind the idea that applications be separated from the core Ubuntu desktop. If this is done there will unquestionably be a big uptake in the number of desktop users for Ubuntu and potential revenue stream for Canonical.

    Best regards,

    John

  7. Andy S Says:

    Mark, very good proposals. I have one worry which I don’t think other commenters have addressed – experienced end users installing Ubuntu on inexperienced end-users’ computers (for example me, in Northern Ireland, installing on my mother’s computer, in Scotland). Currently the Ubuntu website points straight to the interim release for downloads, unless you go looking for the LTS. So my mum ends up with 12.10.

    Now it’s one thing to expect the inexperienced user to run updates, but an upgrade is a different process which I wouldn’t expect that user to do. However 7 months support is not enough for this situation to work.

    The main reason my mum (and presumably many other people like her) use and like Ubuntu is the feeling of safety online. Realising they are no longer receiving updates and are out of support would probably make her lose much of that confidence.

    I’m not suggesting that more than 7 months is required (cutting it back seems like a very fair move), but the website should be changed to point primarily to the most recent LTS, specifically so that inexperienced users don’t end up routinely unsupported.

  8. Fred R. Says:

    “separating apps from core.”
    That’s what is happening in the BSD world from ages, and applications are called ports…
    The tricky point would be to define what is called “core”, as kernel dev is separate from basic utils (sorry, no troll here :-))
    core = kernel+gnu utils ? Everything from grub/kernel to Unity ? Adding only “official apps” ?

    In the past months/years, Canonical took some strong/courageous/controversial (pick what you think…) decisions.
    Maybe the future of Ubuntu is grub/kernel/upstart/Mir/Unity/selected GTK apps and leave all the rest in separate repositories ???
    For sure, maintaining a rolling process, with such a reduced amount of packages, should be much mode doable !

  9. Link: Mark Shuttleworth über die Zukunft der Updates in Ubuntu. :: 1337core Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth über die Zukunft der Updates in Ubuntu. […]

  10. André Says:

    I agree, been waiting 6months for a fix to this problem, what happened about preserving working samba ? https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1075923

  11. LinuxLife Blog » News: Shuttleworth: LTS-Versionen von Ubuntu mit mehr Updates Says:

    […] dass er ein Rolling-Release-Modell ablehne, und deutete einige mögliche Änderungen an. In seinem aktuellen Blog-Eintrag wird er jetzt konkreter und stellt einen neuen Vorschlag […]

  12. MattiK Says:

    Great! This is right way to go.

    Do not have to reinvent the wheel again, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-system_environment_reference_model

    I see Ubuntu here as “Application Platform”, and this is simple for end users and developers.

    What is necessary, is to define those interfaces and backward compatibility/support policy. Two release backward compatibility should be enough. Next step is to get certification.

    And what are those interfaces?

    My opinion is that for compatibility reasons there should be full support for LSB interfaces, Java and PHP. And then you need some preferred native API. My opinion, it should be Qt 5 based on platform scope (touchscreen, sensors etc.).

    If you are supporting LSB, prepare to support X Window system next 10 years or something, even if X is deprecated in standard.

    LSB may be not necessary to support any more in future if the standard doesn’t updated. If the standard is updated and X is deprecated, it need to be supported next ten years. If more drastic approach are taken andLSB support is dropped in Ubuntu, then in future it is nice if the platfrom is “cleaned” to support only Qt5, Java EE and Python 3 top of *nix. Of course, default applications and most used “killer apps” should be rewritten then.

  13. Dragos Says:

    I am only interested into LTS. I still have a 8.04 LTS production box running :))

    You should only produce LTS every 2 years and support them for 7 years: 3 years + 2 of extended support1 + 2 of extended support2.

    This will help Ubuntu into business customers.

  14. Alex Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for everything you have done to make Ubuntu so great. I know there’s been a lot of drama and controversy lately but I’d like to let you know that I highly appreciate what you are doing and I’m sure there are many others who feel like me. Keep up the awesome work.

  15. Clive Says:

    Mark,

    This strategy makes a lot of sense – I applaud you for it. However, one request of you please… Would you be kind enough to institute a new “roll-up” process when a release [let’s start with LTS] comes to the end of it’s support window. Basically, take the original installation ISO and update all the packages with the “current” editions that you’ve patched over the lifespan of that release. The idea would be, for those of us who have to continue to support a release, that you’ll be saving us excessive downloads and updates [and taking load off your servers in the process].

    If you feel like a stretch goal, how about an ISO-building utility that would let me “roll my own ubuntu” DVD ISO, adding those packages I use most frequently and creating a new ISO image. This would allow me to make a customised ubuntu that contains what I need, and again, takes load off your servers.

    Nice idea thought…

    Thanks

    Clive

  16. sujal Says:

    Hi Mark,

    I am an end user. If you wish to have total control, then you will have to make everything in-house. This will help you to get a clear picture, decide future direction and increase confidence when making deals 😉

    Ubuntu is good and canonical taking good direction. For people who do not like Unity, there is no-nonsense traditional Xubuntu. Mir is good initiative and will surely help canonical. I think cutting down support period will help a lot. I also suggest

    1) Have only one release per year. So next version has a lot of new stuff, to upgrade. Also devs will have enough time to think, implement and innovate.

    2) No rolling release please. Nothing happens if you are not using latest software. So I do not like rolling release. I do not like daily updates. I want my PC to be stable and forget about base system so that I can work properly.

    3) Have a dev release after RC and then wait for 1 month for bug fixing. Then release it for common public – end users. An extra layer will give more confidence to non-technical end users. So End User version may be 12.0.1

    4) Yes to LTS and Point Releases, ISO respins.

    Thanks and Regards

  17. Momist Says:

    As an ordinary “consumer”, I would welcome better quality in the LTS releases. I moved away from plain Ubuntu on the upgrade from 10.04 to 12.04 as one of those who found the jump into unity, together with loss of support for older hardware, a step too far. I understand that the updated versions now available will have resolved those issues with a quicker unity and better hardware support, but those features should have been in the 12.04 LTS at the outset.
    I would also welcome the chance of updating apps within a supported LTS.
    I also agree with those who suggest that the LTS should be better promoted, with the latest/greatest being offered with the caveat that it will only be there for a limited time.

    Keep up the good work, whichever direction it goes!
    Momist

  18. historyb Says:

    I like the idea of a rolling release.

  19. Ubuntu: Kürzerer Support für Zwischen-Releases | virtualfiles.net Says:

    […] der Diskussion ist ein Vorschlag von Mark Shuttleworth für ein überarbeitetes Release Management. LTS-Releases sollen in den ersten zwei Jahren ihres […]

  20. Dave Says:

    I would appreciate Ubuntu to go back on focussing, that things work, rather than making too big changes. A stable Ubuntu with the newest programs in the repo is always better than totally renewed one with a lot of unfinished or badly supported features

    -the ATI fglrx drivers are causing problems since the switch to unity… there are tutorials in the web on how to fix this, why not let it work out of the box
    -Samsung printer drivers still don’t seem to work
    -Performance has drastically dropped in 12.10

    More than that tho, a how about a better upgrading system. Generally I would love to always have the newest distro, but it is well known that the upgrades don’t work as well as clean installs. I would love to have an upgrade option, where Ubuntu would backup the user’s Home directory (along with mailboxes and programm settings) and makes a list of installed programms. Ubuntu should then wipe the old installation, restore the home directory and reinstall the programms on the list (if found in the new repos).

  21. Ubuntu to halve support length for non-LTS releases Says:

    […] Developer Summit (UDS) in March; project leader Mark Shuttleworth commented on the suggestion and put forward a “strawman proposal” on his blog. The decision by the distribution’s Technical […]

  22. bsniadajewski Says:

    Hello!

    I have been using Ubuntu variants (mainly Kubuntu) since 9.04 and Linux in general since 2005 (started with Suse and Mandrake). I really like your proposal here. I have a couple ideas though:

    – Create a “pointer” in the repositories that always points to whatever the current interim and lts releases are at the moment. Opensuse has something like this, called “OpenSuse_Current” I believe.

    – make the universe (at least) repo “rolling” as in the way you’d have the applications be updated in your proposal. This would untie the universe repo from the release scheduling and allow those who are, say, using Kubuntu 12.04 LTS to have access to the latest KDE without having to add PPA’s, which could cause problems when it comes time to upgrade.

    Thanks,

    Brandon

  23. Cosas que hacer ANTES de instalar Ubuntu 13.04 #1: Copia de seguridad de las PPA | Linux-OS.net Says:

    […] que las versiones LTS tendrán cada vez más protagonismo en el futuro. El mismo Mark Shuttleworth ha confirmado esta nueva tendencia, que supone el refuerzo de las actualizaciones parciales de las LTS.  Y […]

  24. kikl Says:

    “Separating platform from apps would enhance agility.

    Currently, we make one giant release of the platform and ALL APPS. That means an enormous amount of interdependence, and an enormous bottleneck that depends largely on a single community to line everything up at once. If we narrowed the scope of the platform, we would raise the quality of the platform. Quite possibly, we could place the responsibility for apps on the developers that love them, giving users access to newer versions of those apps if (and only if) the development communities behind them want to do that and believe it is supportable.”

    One of the major reasons for dumping an LTS for an interim release is the fact that the apps on the LTS are not up to date. People would stick to long term releases much longer if they could easily keep the software up to date. I think at least well maintained key applications like libre office should be upgraded on long term releases – say for 2 years until the next LTS is published.

    “Very few end users depend on 18 months support for interim releases. The proposal is to reduce the support for interim releases to 7 months…” I think the direction is good, but 7 months appear to be too short. Most people want to wait 1 or 2 months until the release stabilizes. Consequently, I would favor a support cycle of 9 months.

    I think you should keep the 6 month cycle. It is dependable and creates reasonable dead lines for developers.

  25. wulan Says:

    Hi,Mark, I have heard that ubuntu has been choosen to be China’s standard OS recently.
    In fact,though I like ubuntu for such these years,but I really disappointed this time.
    Open source has dark future in china I think, besides, to speak straightly,I really don’t want to see spywares in ubuntu, if there is.
    Ubuntu is for human beings, I understand the dificulties in developing and spreading it, however, I prefer to make my donation to ubuntu instead of seeing it donated by some “devil” goverments…

    that’s all ,thank you.

  26. Gjermund G Thorsen Says:

    How can I buy shares in Canonical Ltd?

  27. Duncan Murray Says:

    I agree with most of those premises Mark. As an Ubuntu user since 2009, can I just say a big thank you for all the work you, Canonical and the community has put into making a terrific distribution. I think the last idea of separating platform from apps would be great. I don’t understand the workings of linux/ubuntu (as it is nothing to do with my day job), but I always wondered why you couldn’t give the keys to the repos to trusted people in Libreoffice/GIMP etc… But however you do it, updating the LTS applications would be really superb. Keep up the brilliant work please!

  28. Bhaskar Says:

    How about abandoning non-LTS release altogether and focus on LTS releases? I think that will be brilliant. You guys will be able to concentrate your effort within a longer span of time. Bug fixes, software and security updates will be provided. Are the non-lts releases necessary?

  29. Davor Says:

    Update apps and kernels for LTS – i was always wondering why people must stuck for 3 years with old repos.
    Excellent idea.

  30. foo Says:

    “Change is warranted. If we want to deliver on our mission, we have to be willing to stare controversy in the face and do the right thing anyway, recognising that we won’t know if it’s the right thing until much later, and for most of the intervening time, friends and enemies alike will go various degrees of apoplectic.”

    As a long-time Linux user I think I am on the friendly side.

    I agree that “we have to be willing to stare controversy”, but if you don’t recognize when your friends go apoplectic, you may end up with a situation similar to Windows 8, where 90% of the users dislike the new interface.

    The only thing is that Microsoft is an stablished player with 90% of market share, and can afford to make mistakes. This is a privilege that new entrants, like Linux, don’t have.

    And here’s what I think are the two big problems with Ubuntu right now:

    1) Radical changes that alienate old users

    2) A general bad taste in design

    I think both items could be solved if Canonical acquired Linux Mint, and gave them the status of designers of Ubuntu.

    The people behind Linux Mint demonstrated, year after year, that they can excel in design.

    With their talent, plus Canonical resources, we could have an operating system that would rival Mac OS X — which I also happen to use and think is overrated.

  31. foo Says:

    @Franck “What about delta updates? That Ubuntu takes 100x the bandwidth of Windows for security updates is such a major embarrassment”

    I think you are comparing apples to oranges.

    Windows is a barebones operating system, with no decent drawing programs (GIMP) or office suite (LibreOffice).

    If you add MS Office to Windows, you’ll probably make the updates 10 times bigger.

    “due to stone age apt-get that redownloads half the distribution every time”

    I love apt-get, because it allows most system updates to be performed without a single reboot. Compare that to Windows, which requires several reboots per update.

    As you can see, there are pros and cons, and while you don’t like apt-get, many people enjoy its power and flexibility.

  32. Allan McRae » Blog Archive » Interesting Links – March 2013 - One day this will feature a witty tagline… Says:

    […] also looked at rolling releases, but decided not […]

  33. Noah Says:

    Mark, thank you for Ubuntu!
    I love it! 😛

  34. Kenny Strawn Says:

    So I take it the “rolling release” branch will in fact be Ubuntu’s Rawhide?! Yeah, it makes ALL the sense in the world…

  35. Anoop Says:

    I agree with making updated applications available for LTS releases and advertising LTS as the recommended Ubuntu system for new users.

  36. nemekan Says:

    This strategy makes a lot of sense – I applaud you for it. However, one request of you please… Would you be kind enough to institute a new “roll-up” process when a release [let’s start with LTS] comes to the end of it’s support window. Basically, take the original installation ISO and update all the packages with the “current” editions that you’ve patched over the lifespan of that release. The idea would be, for those of us who have to continue to support a release, that you’ll be saving us excessive downloads and updates [and taking load off your servers in the process].

    If you feel like a stretch goal, how about an ISO-building utility that would let me “roll my own ubuntu” DVD ISO, adding those packages I use most frequently and creating a new ISO image. This would allow me to make a customised ubuntu that contains what I need, and again, takes load off your servers.

    Nice idea thought…

  37. Dave Anderson Says:

    I too like the idea of splitting the apps out. My Ubuntu updates very regularly and I don’t have any problems with it, but as things get larger, let people have more choice about updating important core stuff alone. And thanks for the excellent product

  38. Ike ahloe Says:

    Ubuntu has always needed to separated applications form the release cycle. I come from the art-user area, which is an area that is not interested in being a power user beyond making sure they have the newest programs and features. I could never get any of my artist friends to switch because having to deal with PPAs just to use a a new stable release of something is totally a deal breaker (not for me but I’m a FOSS enthusiast). People want to be able to enjoy the release of the new stable product the day (or at least week) it comes out hassle free. a dual system of official repo with shipped software, plus application bundles for third-party programs would fix this.

  39. SonikkuAmerica Says:

    I would agree with kikl (above) on the idea of supporting 9 months’ worth of interim releases, primarily because Ubuntu is the 3rd most popular OS in the world, and every 6 months I would imagine there would be a 30-day window in which the Ubuntu distro servers would be overrun by users trying to upgrade (not to mention getting punted from the server in the process because of the amount of hits). Extending the proposed release support from 7 months to 90 days seems to be the way to go.

  40. SonikkuAmerica Says:

    And, by extending from 7 months to 90 days, I meant to say extending the 7 months to 9 months.

  41. Craig Says:

    Rick Spencer? Sorry, never heard of him. He’s no Lennart Poettering.

  42. Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) Says:

    […] (in order to minimise critical pre-judgment of the release), suggestions about changing to a rolling release for the non-LTS desktop version, and hints from Mark Shuttleworth about exciting new features, […]

  43. mark Says:

    Too damn true.