Strawman: Change the Ubuntu Release Cycle

Mackenzie Morgan macoafi at
Tue Jan 1 19:07:48 UTC 2008

On Jan 1, 2008 5:16 AM, Pär Lidén <par.liden at> wrote:

> Today, the non-LTS releases could be sometimes quite unstable (sometimes
> very stable, it seems to be a little bit of a lottery...). I've had myself
> some problems after upgrading to Gutsy, and from reading the forums, I'm not
> alone. One user called Gutsy the buggiest Ubuntu ever. So I would not dare
> to recommend any non-geek to install any other release than an LTS. But as
> the LTS might contain (after time) so outdated software, it would not be
> very compelling.
> However, I have some modifications to Evans suggestion. I think that
> applications should not be upgraded if their resource usage is significantly
> higher than in the original release. I would also like this distribution to
> contain updates for hardware support. I don't think my dad would be happy if
> he had bought a new scanner/dvd-burner/graphics card/whatever, and if he
> wants to use it with the Ubuntu system I might have installed for him, he
> has to upgrade to a new, potentially buggy distribution. I know that it is
> very difficult to update hardware support and at the same time keep things
> stable with the current kernel development release model, but hey, you are
> allowed to state your wishes, aren't you? ;-)

Hey, there's such a thing as "too stable."  Debian Stable is so stable it
crashes when it encounters my laptop's hardware (too new..a year old when
the last Stable release happened).  Ubuntu, thankfully,
doesn' long as it's Feisty.  Feisty was the only stable
release I've come across, and I had to compile drivers for my card reader
myself (regression from Edgy, fixed in a kernel update a few weeks after
Feisty's release).

 Dapper's instability (crashing, no sound on some boots, sky2 dying) made me
go to Edgy, and its instability (same) made me upgrade to Feisty.  Feisty
still had sky2 issues, but it was the most stable Ubuntu release I've come

I think we all know about Gutsy's OOo crashing bug where the entire system
would go down if OOo didn't like your theme (there were about 100 dups of it
on Launchpad...yeesh).  I've got another bug that means I often have to
reboot up to 4 times to get GNOME to load, but I'm experimenting to see if
reinstalling some gnome libraries will fix it--it could just be some
corruption in my system (I installed Edgy using a broken CD drive and
upgraded because Feisty couldn't be installed with a broken drive and the
drive was dead by Gutsy's release).  The long time (nearly a full minute!)
between login screen and a working GNOME desktop (what does it do when it's
solid brown anyway?  and why does it feel like XP?) is also a big regression
from Feisty.

I still wouldn't call Gutsy the most unstable release I've used though.
That was Dapper, simply by virtue of being released right around the same
time my laptop was made.  It didn't have time to get proper hardware support
for it.  It would still be completely unusable for me, a year and a half
later (when there has been plenty of time), because there are no hardware
updates available for it, short of compiling a vanilla kernel (and what
"normal user" is going to do that?).  We have LRM for adding support for
restricted hardware.  Couldn't there be a LUM (linux-updated-modules)
compiled for LTS to add support for newer hardware?

Mackenzie Morgan
Linux User #432169
ACM Member #3445683 <-my blog of Ubuntu stuff
apt-get moo
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