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Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu's Engineering Director Debunks Rolling Release Rumours 80

Responding to yesterday's post indicating that Ubuntu might move to a rolling release schedule, reader ddfall writes "This is wrong! Engineering Director of Ubuntu Rick Spencer says 'Ubuntu is not changing to a rolling release.' He goes on to say, 'We are confident that our customers, partners, and the FLOSS ecosystem are well served by our current release cadence. What the article was probably referring to was the possibility of making it easier for developers to use cutting edge versions of certain software packages on Ubuntu. This is a wide-ranging project that we will continue to pursue through our normal planning processes.'"
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Ubuntu's Engineering Director Debunks Rolling Release Rumours

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  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @11:18AM (#34342714) Homepage
    Please take it as a sign that you need to spend more time with your compiler and less with the Director of Buzzword Bingo.
  • Re:That's a relief (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @11:20AM (#34342726)

    I personally like the idea of scheduled releases which have been somewhat reasonably tested. Giving developers a mechanism to deal with the cutting edge versions of each package is nice, but I'd rather not have those in the releases on my servers.

    I agree. Rolling releases works for beta but the idea that substantial changes could be rolled out in a daily update (as opposed to security updates) would kill any corporate use. They don't want changes that could involve the users seeing something different appearing without testing, training, etc. Many people like the LTS releases [] for this reason.

  • Re:That's a relief (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lennier1 ( 264730 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @11:30AM (#34342788)

    Many people like the LTS releases for this reason.

    Unlike the half-baked release of 10.10, where it was obvious that there was still a lot of critical stuff unfinished?

  • Already possible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paugq ( 443696 ) <pgquiles@e l p a u e r . o rg> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @11:49AM (#34342946) Homepage

    Do you want rolling releases in Ubuntu? It's always been there, really

    You only need to edit /etc/apt/sources.list and every file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d and replace "maverick" with "natty". Now apt-get update && apt-get full-upgrade.

    When Natty is out, repeat only this time replacing "natty" by the natty+1 name.

    Same thing works for Debian: replace "stable" or "lenny" with "testing" (or "unstable", if you are brave).

    IMHO, Ubuntu should provide a "next" name, like the "testing" and "unstable" release version names in Debian, for people who want rolling releases.

  • Re:Faked Story? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shish ( 588640 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @11:57AM (#34342998) Homepage

    So is this just another completley fabricated story to get page hits?

    From what I can see, Mark is basically saying "backports might be something worth looking into"; then the media, being the media, blow it out of all proportion into "Mark Shuttleworth declares that every Ubuntu package will be bleeding edge tomorrow".

    I wonder what it's like for the poor guy, any time he mentions anything, in any context, people take it to the extreme then claim that that is what Ubuntu will do next...

  • Re:That's a relief (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MonsterTrimble ( 1205334 ) <monstertrimble AT hotmail DOT com> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:12PM (#34343152)

    Just for me, the biggie was the new Xorg 1.9 which broke almost every nvidia-produced driver out there. Mine (nvidia 96) was the last to get fixed. I had to put off upgrading for about a month until it was fixed.

    I realize bitching about waiting a month extra for a new release makes me sound like a douchebag, but when it's something as high profile as display drivers I must take offense.

  • Re:That's a relief (Score:2, Insightful)

    by asvravi ( 1236558 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:23PM (#34343232)

    How about the broken lirc/IR ecosystem? Stock hauppauge IR controls stopped working because the 10.10 userland did not jive well with a premature backport to the kernel version used.

  • Re:That's a relief (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fri13 ( 963421 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:40PM (#34343394)


    + It is very easy to roll back to state before upgrade if the upgrade did not work. And especially if user use btrfs the snapshotting comes very very handy. Just take a snapshopt, upgrade and if there comes problems, rever to snapshot.

    I have found that rolling release distributions (like Arch Linux) being more stable and more pleasant to use than 6 months release scheduled distributions and definitely nicer than Debian's Stable and Canonicals LTS based to Debian testing branch. On servers the situation is different but on desktops the rolling release is nicer.

    And this makes the development and testing much nicer when developers gets bug reports from the newest code what they itself can use, without solving so much possible problems caused by depencies to code what is older.

    Well it must say that Canonical had it glory few years ago and now it is going down. Other distributors are already packaging their distributions in such manner they meed more casual and basic users needs than Canonical's Ubuntu does. But it does not make Ubuntu bad distribution, just not best one.

    (this all after maintaining 15 computers with rolling release and all with custom upgrade schedules on different houses)

  • Re:Like Arch Linux (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:42PM (#34343412)

    If you like rolling releases and crave more stability, you should try aptosid [ ]. It's built on Debian sid and stabilized with it's own fix.main.

  • by Fri13 ( 963421 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:45PM (#34343438)

    Mark has never listened the open source community saying that the community is already working together. Mark believes that the magical fix would tie everyone to same schedule. As everyone would work at same corporation and at same building and at same room with same working times and everyone would get paid from 8-16 hours working.

    Open source has worked wonderfully now since the first mainframes were started at 50-60's in universities. And Linux community (big role in the OSS community) has proofed that current schedule thing works very flexible and powerful way.

    We do not need Mark to ruin everything with his RDF talks.

    The important thing is the users and their connection to developers and skills to discuss about changes between projects. Locked schedules would not change that at all.

  • Re:That's a relief (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Knuckles ( 8964 ) <> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @02:14PM (#34343990)

    Sounds like something to complain to Nvidia for.

  • Re:That's a relief (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:08PM (#34344390)

    Rolling releases probably work just fine when you're only running it on your personal laptop or desktop. It's a very different matter when you have a site installation on a large number of machines where installations and upgrades are a bit more complex than to insert the CD and click next a few times. It is in those environments you appreciate that you can come in one day and things still work consistently with what they did yesterday.

  • by choongiri ( 840652 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:51PM (#34344690) Homepage Journal

    Debian unstable is not, usually, the latest unstable GIT/SVN from upstream.

    If I understand correctly, debian unstable is usually the most recently *released* version from upstream. So, if you want the latest *stable* version from upstream, you need debian / ubuntu *unstable*. I use this in practice on a debian (stable) web server, with a few select web apps such as wordpress pegged to unstable. It's the only way to ensure wordpress / drupal etc are up to date without installing by hand. (In theory, debian pack-ports security fixes to the stable version, but in practice, users typically demand the latest and greatest as soon as it's out, so we go with that.)

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.