This page captures various proposals for changing the Ubuntu release cadence.
Current release scheme
Currently we have:
- LTS releases every ~ 2 years (8.04 -- only on the server, 10.04, 12.04); Ubuntu Desktop has 3 years of support for 8.04 and 10.04, with 5 years on 12.04 LTS
- interim releases every 6 months
- development release (currently raring) where next interim or LTS release is prepared -- see diagram below
Issues with current release scheme:
- releases every 6 months are too far apart when compared with web and mobile standards (updates ~ every month)
- lots of time spent on security updates and SRUs of many past supported releases
- insufficient amount of testers of SRUs
- insufficient quality checks of uploaded packages before they reach developers (raring-proposed to raring migration)
Proposed rolling release + monthly updated release scheme (Rick Spencer)
Rick Spencer proposed on ubuntu-devel@ a new release cadence dropping the interim (non-LTS) releases but adding monthly releases supported only until the next month.
An initial proposed implementation was captured in the foundations-1303-monthly-snapshots blueprint -- see diagram below
Details on the ReleaseCadence/RollingRelease sub page.
- fresher software in the hands of users thanks to monthly releases
- less releases to deliver SRUs on
- no 13.04 and 13.10 series with 18 months of support
True Monthly Releases
Can we make even MORE releases in a year? And can we automate that process to make it bulletproof for end-users?
- make the update process from point to point really bulletproof? Upgrading today is possible, but to keep the system clean over multiple successive upgrades requires an uncommonly high level of skill with APT.
- strengthen the definition of point releases in the LTS so that interim releases are obviously less relevant?
- do a reasonable amount of release management on, say, MONTHLY releases that they are actual releases rather than just snapshots?
More frequent releases (multiple proposers)
Speed up / automate further the creation of new Ubuntu releases (series).
This is currently a costly operation in terms of release engineering time, means going through various freezes, updating a bunch of packages and locations and seems out of reach in the short-term.
More point releases
Deliver frequent point releases with a more open SRU policy allowing new software versions.
Backport latest desktop bits to latest stable release and update installation media monthly as we do for 12.04.2 etc.
other proposals to be added here
(Add your own proposal in a new section here.)