At this point we stop introducing new features, packages, and APIs, and concentrate on fixing bugs in the development release.
Note that there is no actual freeze of the upload queue in effect, uploads will enter the archive, so be careful.
Exceptions have to be approved by the release management team for all packages in the archive (ie main, restricted, universe and multiverse). They should be granted if the upload
contributes to high-priority ReleasenameFeatureGoals,
contains only bug fixes (these do not usually require explicit exceptions; see FreezeExceptionProcess),
- is warranted due to other exceptional circumstances, as judged by the release managers.
See FreezeExceptionProcess for details.
Notes about particular aspects of features:
- Upstream microreleases of applications are usually fine after this point if they only fix bugs. This should be verified by reading the detailed upstream changelog and (cursorily) reading the diff between the version in the Ubuntu development release and the new upstream version. If in doubt, ask the release team for advice.
ABI/API compatibility is a special case of a feature: If a library breaks backward compatibility (i. e. changes existing API/ABI and introduces a new SONAME), then this always needs approval from the release team, since all reverse dependencies need to be adjusted and rebuilt.
New packages need to be checked by archive administrators before they find their way into the archive. This process can take several days up to a few weeks. For the purpose of the FeatureFreeze, the upload date matters, i. e. all packages which are in the NEW queue by that time will be processed without the need for an exception.
On IRC, the topic of #ubuntu-devel on freenode is generally updated to indicate the current freeze status.