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Canonical Could Switch To Rolling Releases For Ubuntu 14.04 and Beyond 222

massivepanic writes "For the longest time Canonical has slapped an LTS ("long term support") moniker on some of their Ubuntu releases. Currently, a new major release of the operating system happens every six months, and is supported for 18 months after release. Whereas in the past when LTS versions received two years support or more, the current model — starting with 12.04 — supports new LTS releases for five years. However, a recent public Google Hangouts session revealed that Canonical has been thinking about switching from the venerable LTS model to a rolling release, starting with version 14.04."
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Canonical Could Switch To Rolling Releases For Ubuntu 14.04 and Beyond

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:09PM (#42663927)

    Although, there was this in the article:

    Assuming switching to a rolling release between LTS versions doesn’t disrupt Ubuntu’s growth in any way, the casual Ubuntu user doesn’t really have to pay too much attention to the switch should it happen, though they might get a little annoyed at the probably-higher frequency of software updates. To satiate the more in-depth user, Canonical could theoretically put out a test version in between the LTS releases, which would also help cut down on bugs in the LTS.

    Which leads me to believe that this is targeted at the desktop builds, but the article was a bit skim on details.

    If they dropped LTS for their server builds, I guarantee Ubuntu's popularity would drop faster than a whale out of the sky.

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:12PM (#42663955)

    It's not the new versions of existing packages that are the downside of this. It's the deal where they might roll out a whole new UI or privacy sucking 'feature'.

    Right now I am sitting on 12.04 with a Gnome UI. I don't plan on going anywhere for a couple of years. When I do it's going to be a distro that makes sense, and that is likely to mean NOT Ubuntu.

  • Re:But...Unity. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @10:06PM (#42664475) Homepage

    Me thinks you miss the whole point. If you piss off most of your user base the answer is not "just install something else" the answer is FIX the dang mess you made.

    But I see Ubuntu swirling the drain, They are making moron decisions, and getting worse. But everyone else is as well. . Fedora 18 is also a steaming pile of doo-doo..

    So Linux follows it's normal cycle of every 7 years making it crappy to the point that it get's reborn again. Mandrake was king until they pooched that one, then they died and Ubuntu rose from the ashes... Ubuntu is now pooched, so let's see who rises from the ashes this time.

  • by kriston ( 7886 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @11:09PM (#42664917) Homepage Journal

    I'm a big fan of long-term releases, only because I may be one of those individuals who might be responsible for systems that do not have access to the internet in order to support the "rolling release" model.

    It's nice to be able to have a stable, known-good server installation on several isolated networks that just need an occasional update of dpkgs and completely expect it to work fine after it's been restarted. I don't think the same is expected in a rolling release model.

    The idea that a rolling release maintains binary compatibility is, so far, been proven false. In our world, long-term releases make sense.

  • Re:But...Unity. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <> on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @12:59AM (#42665771)

    the amount of bitching i hear about unity versus the amount of time it takes to install something else (TM) is ridiculous.

    I volunteer for an organization that collects old and used PCs then builds new ones with the good parts from the old ones. We then install Ubuntu. Until the start of 2013 we used Ubuntu 10.04, however with the new year we switched to Xubuntu 12.04. Some of the people in the organization don't like the new DE Canonical is using, Unity. As ease of use is one of the criteria we use, I suggested that we use Linux Mint as studies and surveys rate it as the easiest. However no one replied. Not right now, as I'm booted into Snow Leopard, but I have Ubuntu 12.04 installed on my Mac to dual-boot.


  • Steam success (Score:4, Interesting)

    by failedlogic ( 627314 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @01:06AM (#42665815)

    Purely speculation here but part Steam seems to be promoting Ubuntu for their Linux-based Steam client. Games often require patching to get acceptable or optimal performance. This announcement for Rolling Releases might be directed at keeping Valve / Steam happy.

    Anything that improves Linux distros is good news. However, if Steam suddenly gets 100 million Linux gamers, the sudden popularity of Ubuntu (assuming at some point Steam might only work with Ubuntu) might not work in favor of other distros. I'm concerned that it might push too much development resources to get X & Y working which is popular for the gaming community but not for all other Linux / ''Nix users (personal, business, enterprise...).

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission