At the moment it ist not really easy to upgrade to higher version of a programme in a stable Ubuntu release.


Ubuntu stable versions don't provide upgrades to programmes while it is not about security. For many people it is concern to get newer Versions of programmes while not using an unstable release. At the moment we have the »backports«. The problem with the »backports« is that there applications may change more often than wished as it is not »frozen«. This is problem for users with an ISDN or even modem internet connection. While people with ISDN could download OOo once it is OK. But these people can't dowload every crap three times a week. The idea is to have some kind of a »Service Pack« for stable Releases so some important desktop applications can get an update while the base system remains untouched. One such service pack per Ubuntu release would do the Job.

Use cases

John heard that programme XY had a major upgrade he wants to use. He doesn't want to compile it himself as he thinks only nerds do so. He also does not want to use the backports in which the might be as he only as an ISDN connection. He thinks having a few newer programmes and GNOME bugfixes would be cool for his desktop. As he heard of the »service pack« being available 3 months after the release he fires up Synaptic an types in »service pack«. He finds one package »ubuntu-service-pack« and reads the description containing the list of major changes. With only a few other clicks is desktop is up to date while still being stable.


Provide a .deb Package containing a script. After installation the script is run and does something like the following: 1. backup & replace sources.list; 2. apt-get update and apt-get (dist-)upgrade; 3. do eventual changes or offer services to the user (»blah blah changed would you like more information?« in a Zenity pygtk window, with a link to wiki containing more information); 4. replay old sources.list, add repository for SP security updates and apt-get update.

Outstanding issues

When the »ubuntu-service-pack« package is removed the SP itself should also be removed (revert to »normal« stable release). Could be done through a script. The problem is to make this as clean and safe as possible.


  • Why not add backports, set it to lower priority (in /etc/apt/preferences) and give the package you want a higher priority?


UbuntuServicePacks (last edited 2008-08-06 16:41:43 by localhost)