Kubuntu LTS

Luka Renko lure at ubuntu.com
Sat Dec 22 08:28:54 GMT 2007

On Thursday 20 December 2007 18:05:33 Jonathan Riddell wrote:
> The release schedule for KDE 4 is now clear, and it will be released
> during the development cycle of Kubuntu 8.04. This new major release
> is already attracting significant interest from users, and is the
> focus of most KDE developer effort at this point. The majority of
> enquiries are now about KDE 4, and an unsupported Live CD of the 7.10
> platform with KDE 4 RC2 we released earlier this month was downloaded
> by a significant number of developers.

Agreed. On the other hand, we have to also understand that KDE 4.0 will be 
only the first release in great series and will lack substantial components 
(kdepim is most notable one), while most of kde4 extragear must-have 
applications (amarok, digikam, koffice...) will also be several months behind 
the kde 4.0 release. 

> We regularly review each release during the development cycle, keeping
> an eye on the work that our upstreams are doing. From time to time,
> this work reaches a natural rest point resulting in a particularly
> stable release. For these releases, Canonical makes a commercial
> commitment to provide support for a longer term and these become known
> as "LTS" releases.

I personally think that LTS makes a lots of sense and know how important 
stability is for some business deployments. They also show strong commitment 
of the commercial entity (Canonical) to the project.
It is therefore even more important that decisions about Kubuntu LTS are not 
done on short-notice, without validating the concerns of the community.
This statement somehow indicates that LTS decision is actually decision of 
Canonical (which makes sense), while some other people have indicated that 
this decision was taken by Technical Board (which I doubt, as I have not seen 
any public discussion or official communication from TB which they normally 
I am Cc: this to TB in order to also get their view on this.

In any case, I feel that decision was:
- taken too late 
  (should be done before or on UDS)
- not discused with community 
  (UDS could be used for that, why we have Kubuntu Council/Members?)
- not communicated well enough (unclear reasoning)

> Since KDE 4 is a major change to the platform, it is not currently at
> one of these natural rest points so would not be suitable for long
> term support.  Instead, due to the very high interest, development
> efforts will be directed towards KDE 4 and releasing Kubuntu 8.04 with
> the option of using either KDE 3.5 or KDE 4.

I think we completely agree that KDE 4.0 will not be ready for LTS, even more 
I think it is best suited for universe for the time being, as it allows much 
more people (MOTUs) to actively contribute to it.
Is it suggested that both version will be supported by Canonical for 18 

> Users currently running Kubuntu 6.06 will be able to upgrade through
> the usual path to Kubuntu 8.04, keeping to the KDE 3.5 release series,
> and will receive the usual 18 months of support for that
> release. Future Kubuntu releases are likely to be based on the KDE 4
> series.

That is clear, but this non-LTS story complicates even more things for the 
future. Open issues:
- when will Kubuntu gets next LTS version (if at all)?
- if there will be one, will it be before dapper support expires ?
  (to allow LTS->LTS upgrade)
- will dapper be only upgradeble to hardy or also to hardy+1 directly 
  (LTS are claimed to be directly upgradeble only to +1 release or LTS+1 
- how will upgrade work from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4.x version?

I would personally suggest to whoever did the decision, to reconsider it. My 
concern is that it may send wrong message to the market and as decision was 
not discussed with commuity it may have negative effect on it. 
And we all know that for Kubuntu, community is very important aspect, as  
dedicated KDE full-time Canonical resources limited (even though that 
Jonathan uses his super-powers regularly ;-)).

If this decision stays as it is, I will dive in options that we can take as 
community, but I really would not like to spend much time on it until this is 


More information about the kubuntu-devel mailing list