Strawman: Change the Ubuntu Release Cycle

Evan eapache at
Sun Dec 30 23:59:16 UTC 2007

This is a strawman, so feel free to rip it apart.

While I generally like the current Ubuntu release cycle, I find it has a few

   - Forcing LTS users to make do with software that is 2 or 3 major
   versions out-of-date is just wrong. I understand that the focus is on stable
   software rather than cutting-edge, but some of the stuff in 6.06 is
   just plain obsolete, forcing people to upgrade to a non-LTS to get programs
   that do what they need.
   - I find that the 6 months between major releases is just a touch too
   short for the developers to make significant changes *and* do a proper
   test cycle.
   - Their are no 'service pack cds' meaning that any bug which makes it
   into the final release stays there forever. This has led to what is
   basically a never-ending early adopters penalty.

Here's my proposal. While it isn't perfect, I think it fixes the issues
mentioned above.

   - Every six months, coinciding with the current releases, put out a
   'service pack' for the current LTS. This service pack will include:
   - All normal updates previously released.
      - A selective upstream merge. Core, (and breakable) components
      such as X and the kernel remain unchanged, but normal apps
(especially ones
      that are 'user-visible' such as Firefox) get updated.
      - A new cd image with all of the above changes.
   - More features, less testing for non-LTS releases and vice-versa.
   - Add a note that the non-LTS are 'stable for everyday use except
   where 100% uptime is required' or something along those lines.

While my suggestion does solve the problems I mentioned, I'm sure it
introduces other that I haven't noticed. Just my two cents.

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