Avoiding fragmentation with a rolling release

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at ubuntu.com
Fri Mar 1 21:21:10 UTC 2013

On Fri, Mar 01, 2013 at 10:55:14AM +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:

> Certainly we don't want people to instinctively dismiss the dialog.
> The recent redesign has aimed at getting consent more often.

> But changing the updates frequency instead is a valid option, because
> Software Sources has two update frequency settings.
> <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SoftwareUpdates#settings>

> "When there are security updates:", defaulting to "Display immediately".

> And "When there are other updates:", defaulting to "Display weekly".

> You can change the latter right now to "Display every two weeks",
> without delaying your exposure to security updates at all.

> As I understand the purpose of monthly snapshots so far, we could
> achieve the same effect simply by adding a "Display monthly" item to
> that second menu.

"Display monthly" wouldn't guarantee that users who update monthly are
updating to the *same* set of monthly packages.  Displaying the prompt
monthly, even if the user consistently acted on it as soon as they saw it,
would cause inevitable drift over time; we would therefore not be able to
provide security support for these users, because the security pocket would
be updated with packages built for the previous monthly snapshot and the
user has (for example) monthly + 5 days installed.

So in that case I don't see any advantage to trying to provide security
updates against the monthlies at all, and we should just pull users forward
to current rolling with each security update.

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                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org
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