notifying users that a release is at EOL (was: feisty still in the archive?)

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at
Thu Dec 18 21:56:22 GMT 2008

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 09:47:53PM +1300, Tim wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-12-15 at 21:11 +0100, Mario Vukelic wrote:

> > Nevertheless, it would be a great thing if Ubuntu maintainers had a way
> > of informing admins of installed systems about important stuff like
> > EOL'ing of the release or similar.

> > Notifications or other well-integrated methods are a better choice I
> > guess.

> How are you going to get the notification to *all* the right people (and
> guarantee that they will understand - let alone act on - the message if
> they do receive it)?

So for the record, we do have a channel that we use to communicate lifecycle
status of our releases to users, and which we encourage users to subscribe

We also send these mails to ubuntu-security-announce:

This is documented as part of <>.

Adding more messaging channels will not, IMHO, substantially improve our
ability to reach end users with this information; we should instead make
sure we are encouraging users to make use of the ones already established
for the purpose.

> If a machine has no network connectivity (or at least, can't connect to
> the archives to update the package lists), it (and the administrator, if
> any) won't receive any notifications or updates.

That's an interesting scenario - if the machine has no network connectivity
to the Ubuntu archives, it's evidently not been getting the official
security updates, so in that case what difference does it make if the OS has
been EOLed when they haven't been taking advantage of the security support
in the first place?

> The only mechanisms I can think of are:
> * update the package that contains /etc/motd, /etc/issue etc, to put a
>    message in those files advising of the impending EOL, and advising
>    of options to deal with the problem (this may include updates to the 
>    *dm packages for the graphical login pages)

FWIW, there has already been discussion of doing something like this with
/etc/motd for jaunty.  Actually, the discussion centered around including
notifications of available package updates, but if EOL information is
available then we might as well include that too.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                          
slangasek at                                     vorlon at

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