Server packages and support time

Holger Berndt berndth at
Wed Jul 16 16:22:48 UTC 2008

Hi list,

I was just discussing a question concerning Ubuntu Server support time 
in an Ubuntu forum, and was told that this list is probably the best 
place to ask.

Ubuntu server edition is advertised with 5 years of support (security 
updates), while the desktop edition features 3 years of support.

Now, since server and desktop edition share the same repositories, how 
do I know whether my installation only consists of packages with 5 years 
of support? Because, if I cannot know which ones have 5 and which ones 
have 3, I basically have to assume 3 years.

In my case, I want to set up a local in-house subversion server. I would 
think that the subversion packages have 5 years of support (but again, I 
cannot really know that), so a minimal installation should be fine.

As a case study, let's say that unfortunately, our system admin is a 
Windows guy. If I want to give him something remotely familiar and 
install X and a desktop environment, I guess suddenly I cannot count on 
5 years of security updates anymore. Again, I cannot know this for sure. 
Or can I?

I was also given a the following link to another forum where this 
question was asked, but the answer doesn't really make up for a good 
argument when trying to convince our sysadmin of Ubuntu:

Any insight on this would be appreciated.


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