Upgrade of applications

Sam Tygier samtygier at yahoo.co.uk
Thu May 26 14:34:41 UTC 2005

ubuntu uses the debian definition of stable. that is that upstream version numbers are frozen with the release. the idea is that if you dont allow any new version you should not get any new bugs in the released version.
the only new things that go into a ubuntu relases after its upstream version freeze are securtiy fixes. these fixes are backported from new upstream versions to the ubuntu versions. for example firefox 1.0.2-0ubuntu5.2 contains the fixes from firefox 1.0.4. 

some people consider this to be a very good thing. it means if you install ubuntu hoary, it will still be just the same in 18 months, with security fixes, but no new bugs or features.

some people consider this a bad idea. because they want new features.

it is generally not a good idea to install a version of firefox from www.mozilla.org, when there is a firefox in your packaging system, it can cause conflicts, especially when you then want to upgrade to the next version of ubuntu.

one solution is the ubuntu backports project. http://backports.ubuntuforums.org/ they build or find new packages from ubuntu breezy (the next verion) or debian unstable, and put in an unofficial repository called ubuntu backports. installing a few pieces of software from here should not cause you any proplems. they have the latest firefox, gaim, gimp etc.

sam tygier

John French wrote:
> Please could one of you kind people explain to me, as a newbie, 
> something which I haven’t understood.
> On Windows, I am using :
> OpenOffice.org 1.9.97
> Firefox 1.04
> On Hoary, to which I am moving, I find :
> OpenOffice.org 1.1.3
> Firefox 1.02
> Now I can understand that the ubuntu builders would not have wanted to 
> delay Hoary by rebuilding every time there is a new application release. 
> So, on Windows, I would download, and install, that myself. And it 
> doesn’t seem a very tough job to do the same on Linux. But I detect that 
> this may not be wise, because I read postings asking when ubuntu will 
> release such and such a new component. So am I advised to upgrade 
> myself, or not ?
> John French

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