[ubuntu-za] jaunty install

Morgan Collett morgan at ubuntu.com
Thu Apr 30 08:50:50 BST 2009

On Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 20:51, David Robert Lewis
<ethnopunk at telkomsa.net> wrote:
> Sorry to be pedantic, but am I right in assuming that Ubuntu develops
> along a particular path for six months whereupon there is a feature
> freeze and the only thing distinguishing one version from the next is
> that if version A was completely updated it would almost be version B
> but for the addition of one important update and one can only go past
> this point by accepting the Ubuntu versioning system as a point of
> reference? Or am I completely lost? Are there serious changes in the
> architecture from one distribution to the next /or/ is this really all
> an incremental evolution/experiment with opensource?

Usually, there are not serious changes in the architecture from one
release to another, which is why you can upgrade (reasonably) reliably
from one release to the next.

Once a particular release of Ubuntu is out, then the version numbers
of packages in that release are not increased (with the exception of
Firefox*) during the lifetime of that release, for stability.

Here's an example: Synaptic package manager was version 0.57.8ubuntu11
when dapper released. It was updated to version 0.57.8ubuntu13 through
dapper-updates - not a security update, but a bug fix update. dapper
is still supported on the desktop until June, IIRC - so there's still
the possibility of another bug fix update (hypothetically, although
unlikely) for synaptic in dapper - which would remain version

hardy has synaptic version 0.61ubuntu9 - unchanged from its first
release. intrepid has 0.62.1ubuntu10, and jaunty has 0.62.5ubuntu2.1
(although 0.62.5ubuntu3 is in jaunty-updates, suggesting a bug fix

These updates are "patches" - small changes to the source code which
fix a given problem without updating any of the other functionality
(and hence keeping a known version number). Often, if there is a
security problem discovered in a package - e.g. Apache - then the fix
is available as a patch to a certain version of the source. That patch
can usually be back ported - applied to an earlier version, to fix the
same problem in it. So you keep the same older stable known version of
Apache, but get the fix from the newer version.

So if for example you have hardy installed with all the updates, it's
not close to intrepid - if that's what you were asking. It's just a
"better" version of hardy.

The reason for all of this is so that updates to one package do not
break all the other packages which depend on it - code which links to
a known version and which would (possibly, probably) break if a newer
version is installed.

* Firefox is an exception, because Mozilla don't play nice with Linux
distributions. They do not release individual patches for individual
security problems - they just release a monolithic new release -
3.0.7, 3.0.8, 3.0.9 - with a whole lot of fixes applied, and it's just
too difficult and time consuming to compare the entire source tree to
find the changes and try to back port them to whatever version of
Firefox was originally shipped. So the Ubuntu Tech Board made a
decision some years back to update to the new release of Firefox,
including all the dependent packages (xulrunner, etc). This takes some
coordination to make sure they don't break any other (supported)
package in the process.


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