LTS and release methodology

Evan eapache at
Mon Jul 7 17:45:04 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 1:04 PM, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at> wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 07, 2008 at 10:43:44AM -0500, Luke L wrote:
>> Considerations for an LTS
>> One idea to prevent such a rush of higher version numbers and new gadgets
>> from breaking a distro is to use a "STS" release as an LTS. For example,
>> Freeze the software versions in 7.10 for use in 8.04, and work on fixing
>> every error reported in those 6 months before the LTS release. This would
>> allow the "beta" of the LTS to be based on an official release, with the
>> testing and feedback of every user of the OS. This would next apply to the
>> 9.04 release, in preparation for the 9.10 LTS (assuming Ubuntu keeps its
>> 6-18 month dev cycle).
>> This solution may seem extreme for a distribution on the "bleeding edge",
>> but if Ubuntu plans to get respect in the mainstream, a balance must be
>> found between development and stability. Currently, that balance is too far
>> toward the former.
> This is a very difficult balance to strike, and we have considered many
> approaches (including the one you describe above).  None of them are
> perfect, and the tradeoffs are complex.

I would propose a compromise between the current LTS pattern and the
proposed bug-fix only pattern: maintain the current upstream merge, but add
no new packages. That way newer software is still in the repositories (and
thus supported upstream for the longest time possible), but the more
intrepid changes (ex: pulseaudio) are dropped. Users get a system that is
still up-to-date, and developers get much more time to fix bugs.

Decisions would have to be made on an individual basis for packages that are
officially discontinued upstream in favour of newer implementations.
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