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View Full Version : Should Ubuntu move to a rolling release cycle?



Alex Fernandez
August 20th, 2007, 12:25 AM
that Ubuntu should adopt a rolling release like Arch Linux as opposed to the normal system?

omegamike3
August 20th, 2007, 12:56 AM
Maybe in the future this could work out, but I think that keeping the current release system will be less confusing to those coming from the windoze world who are used to the 'bigger' upgrades. Not that Ubuntu isn't a shot of cold water to them anyways, just a thought... :)

Hex_Mandos
August 20th, 2007, 01:32 AM
No. If I wanted a rolling release I'd use a distro with one.

lyceum
August 20th, 2007, 01:35 AM
The current release cycle is one of the things that make Ubuntu great.

:popcorn:

FuturePilot
August 20th, 2007, 01:46 AM
Nah, it's fast enough already.

Teh Dust
August 20th, 2007, 02:01 AM
The Linux world is moving fast, by the time a release is ready, something will either need to be upgraded or something completely new will be released that people would like to see in the release. We would never get a new release because it would allways be in development getting better and better.

The current twice a year release schedule is perfect.

ynnhoj
August 20th, 2007, 02:26 AM
i happen to prefer a rolling release, but i think ubuntu is fine the way it is. there's no need to fix something that isn't broken :)

picpak
August 20th, 2007, 02:33 AM
A rolling release would be nice, but so would be using Debian's stable, testing and unstable branch. Stable = 6.06, Testing = 7.04, Unstable = 7.10 (or something).

Omnios
August 20th, 2007, 02:35 AM
I like the way things are now but would have LTS changed so that there is the normal 6 month cycle and have it so that there is the LTS version with something similar to service packs that are roll downs from the bleeding edge 6 month cycle but not like windows vulnerability fixes but rather to support usability such as updating python etc to run with new versions of programs as they are released.

Also backporting may become very important with LTS wich may contain these service packs of program updates to support core programs.

I tried the LTS for a while till core components would not support new versions of programs. As for the 6 month cycle I would prefer a one year LTS but thats my personal preference.

phrostbyte
August 20th, 2007, 02:57 AM
I voted for the rolling release. Either that, or have a bunch greater emphasis on backporting. I think the power of apt-get is currently being underutilized, if Ubuntu was to get a rolling release we'd really feel the speed of Linux development. :) I hate to say this, but I think a 6 month release cycle is slow.

Happy_Man
August 20th, 2007, 03:27 AM
I'm in between. One one hand, rolling releases are one of the reasons I dual-boot Ubuntu and Arch. On the other, Ubuntu is fine as it is. No need to fix what ain't broken.

Geekkit
August 20th, 2007, 03:43 AM
Nah, it's fast enough already.

^ This.

goumples
August 20th, 2007, 05:14 AM
Im a fan of the current release cycle.

LookTJ
August 20th, 2007, 05:17 AM
I'm in between. One one hand, rolling releases are one of the reasons I dual-boot Ubuntu and Arch. On the other, Ubuntu is fine as it is. No need to fix what ain't broken.I don't dual-boot both distros...but I agree with you...I'm in between too...but I like Arch because it's more lighter...

dasunst3r
August 20th, 2007, 05:17 AM
Frankly, I would love to see a Linux distribution whose release schedule coincides with the winter and summer breaks of school.

SunnyRabbiera
August 20th, 2007, 05:31 AM
maybe, as its kind of annoying to upgrade the entire OS just for a few new packages.
its ubuntu's biggest flaw in my mind, every time there is a big update to a a few programs it seems you have to get the newest version of ubuntu to run it.
This is why ubuntu needs to be better with backporting, if there are security updates and new apps they should be available to older versions of ubuntu.
I think Ubuntu needs to take a path in the middle of what debian does, with a stable repo and a unstable repo and a testing repo but keep its six month cycle.
Debian's main issue is that updates are slow on its stable apps, and anything on the unstable repo could possibly break the system.
there needs to be a middle ground.

tehkain
August 20th, 2007, 05:46 AM
I like stability. So a rolling release cycle is not viable. If people want the latest and greatest the can compile it or use a third party repository.

A rolling release cycle will be even less viable in the future when the free desktop become sthe norm. Imagine a support contract from canonical that has to provide support for new features they did not have anytime to prepare for.

jimrz
August 20th, 2007, 05:59 AM
definitely prefer the current release cycle to roaming. I also agree , especially if Canonical hopes to get anywhere in the enterprise sector, that something (backporting, service packs or whatever) must be done to keep the LTS versions up to snuff and able to run more current versions of the various apps better than has been the case with dapper.

FuturePilot
August 20th, 2007, 06:03 AM
I like the way things are now but would have LTS changed so that there is the normal 6 month cycle and have it so that there is the LTS version with something similar to service packs that are roll downs from the bleeding edge 6 month cycle but not like windows vulnerability fixes but rather to support usability such as updating python etc to run with new versions of programs as they are released.

Also backporting may become very important with LTS wich may contain these service packs of program updates to support core programs.

I tried the LTS for a while till core components would not support new versions of programs. As for the 6 month cycle I would prefer a one year LTS but thats my personal preference.

I really like that idea and have envisioned something similar myself. Like certain python apps won't work in Dapper due to the older python.

tbroderick
August 20th, 2007, 06:17 AM
I like stability. So a rolling release cycle is not viable. If people want the latest and greatest the can compile it or use a third party repository.


A rolling release doesn't necessarily mean Canonical/Ubuntu have to push the latest software as soon as they are available. They can wait until the packages are deemed stable enough.

tehkain
August 20th, 2007, 06:28 AM
A rolling release doesn't necessarily mean Canonical/Ubuntu have to push the latest software as soon as they are available. They can wait until the packages are deemed stable enough.
If we did not have to deal with updating libraries and dependencies I would agree, but sadly that is not the case.

tbroderick
August 20th, 2007, 06:39 AM
If we did not have to deal with updating libraries and dependencies I would agree, but sadly that is not the case.

You don't.

r_l
August 20th, 2007, 06:42 AM
maybe, as its kind of annoying to upgrade the entire OS just for a few new packages.
its ubuntu's biggest flaw in my mind, every time there is a big update to a a few programs it seems you have to get the newest version of ubuntu to run it.
This is why ubuntu needs to be better with backporting, if there are security updates and new apps they should be available to older versions of ubuntu.......Debian's main issue is that updates are slow on its stable apps, and anything on the unstable repo could possibly break the system.
there needs to be a middle ground.

Rolling release or not, I absolutely agree on this one. The current support on Debian is really too slow, especially regarding some critical fixes. Yes, you can comply the package yourselves and no big deal if it works smoothly. Yet, when for some reason it doesn't, it is often a lot of work and frustration.

Sepp1
August 20th, 2007, 07:39 AM
I like the 6/18 month, because i really donīt need the "latest of the latest". Ubuntu is my first Linux, and i rely heavily on support from ubuntuforum.org, and being able to tell exactly what version i was using has helped me in the past.

Alex Fernandez
August 20th, 2007, 10:42 AM
I'd prefer an Arch style rolling release - even if it was not as frequently updated (Arch tends to give you stuff that is unstable).

My ideal "situation" would be to have stable - testing - unstable branches, but not how we have ATM (ie not seperate "alpha" system like Gutsy that does not always play nice).
What I want is have new packages added to unstable - making it a rolling release almost (but unlike Arch the basic settings for the packages will be predefined - as this will make it a bit easier for people rather than have to add EVERY setting by hand to config files), then after 3 weeks or so the packages get moved to testing, which is a slightly more stable branch, and say after 3 months to stable.

The only "reason" for keeping this 6 month release schedule is because it seems more familiar to Windows people, but end of the day - is Ubuntu ment to please the Windows users - or the Linux users? Linux was always probably thought of as having a rolling release system - unfortunately corporate ideas took over, and companies always tend to prefer to have versions rather than "VERSION" - as multiple versions show it as if its "progressing".
If they want releases, they can package stable every 6-12 months and call it a new release for all I care.

Currently all this forces us to do is either run Alpha of Gutsy (but since its a completely new version things dont always play nice), or use 3rd party repos for packages that we want to run bleeding edge ... I would be using Arch Linux, but I'm too much of a fan of the Debian system after using it for many years now.

Edit:
If Conical need to make updates to the GUI, all they have to do is release new versions of say Ubuntu-Theming or something, that will update the old GUI to how the new "idea" is, if people dont want these updates - they can just blacklist that package to keep thier old default looks.
Fact is, once Gutsy is out - we wont be able to use XServer 1.4 until Gutsy+1 because XServer 1.4 release is just a bit too late, meaning we have to wait 6 months for an official package for it.

kellemes
August 20th, 2007, 11:29 AM
I'd prefer an Arch style rolling release - even if it was not as frequently updated (Arch tends to give you stuff that is unstable).

Not my experience at all.. this instability that is.. the thing is, it's up to the user..
Arch isn't made with average users in mind and should be seen as a base you build your own system on.
And so Archers tend to have more knowledge then the average *buntu'rs, upgrading the system (ergo, upgrading individual packages) is one "pacman -Syu" away but should be done consciously and with care..
I probably will stay "rolling" for a long time.. but I do understand what I'm doing with every "pacman -Syu".

*buntu's periodic releases seem perfect for the public it aims for, reasonable bleeding edge and reasonable stable and predictable, and also trying to keep the user out of the upgrade process as much as possible.

Frak
August 20th, 2007, 11:40 AM
I like the way things are now but would have LTS changed so that there is the normal 6 month cycle and have it so that there is the LTS version with something similar to service packs that are roll downs from the bleeding edge 6 month cycle but not like windows vulnerability fixes but rather to support usability such as updating python etc to run with new versions of programs as they are released.

Also backporting may become very important with LTS wich may contain these service packs of program updates to support core programs.

I tried the LTS for a while till core components would not support new versions of programs. As for the 6 month cycle I would prefer a one year LTS but thats my personal preference.
Dapper is coming out with a 6.06.2 version very soon. (It may be out already)

Alex Fernandez
August 20th, 2007, 11:55 AM
Not my experience at all.. this instability that is.. the thing is, it's up to the user..
Arch isn't made with average users in mind and should be seen as a base you build your own system on.
And so Archers tend to have more knowledge then the average *buntu'rs, upgrading the system (ergo, upgrading individual packages) is one "pacman -Syu" away but should be done consciously and with care..
I probably will stay "rolling" for a long time.. but I do understand what I'm doing with every "pacman -Syu".

*buntu's periodic releases seem perfect for the public it aims for, reasonable bleeding edge and reasonable stable and predictable, and also trying to keep the user out of the upgrade process as much as possible.

Yes, but thats my gripe, I want to sometimes be able to have both rolling and non rolling on the same system, meaning that a 3 branch approach where one branch is always rolling, one is a bit behind for stability, and one is stable would be much better - a system far closer to how debian is with stable/unstable - and further away from the Ubuntu "scheduled release because thats what Windows users expect" way.

Frak
August 20th, 2007, 12:04 PM
Rolling - Gutsy
Stability - Dapper
Stability/Rolling - Feisty

kellemes
August 20th, 2007, 12:15 PM
Yes, but thats my gripe, I want to sometimes be able to have both rolling and non rolling on the same system, meaning that a 3 branch approach where one branch is always rolling, one is a bit behind for stability, and one is stable would be much better - a system far closer to how debian is with stable/unstable - and further away from the Ubuntu "scheduled release because thats what Windows users expect" way.

I understand, Debian's-system would be my second choce for sure.. Creating your own mix of packages, great system indeed.
Still, I wonder if average *buntu'rs (may not be you) are able to handle the added complexity of this system, but it could be I underestimate them.

Alex Fernandez
August 20th, 2007, 12:39 PM
Rolling - Gutsy
Stability - Dapper
Stability/Rolling - Feisty

But its not ... Feisty is not rolling, its stable ... It does not get new packages in official repos.
Dapper is just pointless, LTS is not ment to be "stable", its ment to be something that is constant for a long period - hence not updated.
And Gutsy is not rolling, there is going to be a feature freeze in it very soon, meaning that it stops being rolling - and besides Gutsy has a few issues here and there (as one would expect from a rolling system).

Feisty would be rolling if backports were used more, but they aren't .. we dont see any of the new features from Gutsy backported to Feisty.


I understand, Debian's-system would be my second choce for sure.. Creating your own mix of packages, great system indeed.
Still, I wonder if average *buntu'rs (may not be you) are able to handle the added complexity of this system, but it could be I underestimate them.

The average user can just use stable from the stable/testing/unstable - stable would be roughtly what Feisty is right now, testing would be what Feisty backports SHOULD be (but aren't) and unstable is roughly what Gutsy is - but without a release schedule or new releases every 6 months, just constant updates. If a relatively smaller distro like Arch can do it, then Ubuntu should be able to do it given the fact that it has far more resources.

EDIT: Perfect examples of when Ubuntu systems fails is the fact that we dont get XServer 1.4, KDE4, and a host of other things into Gutsy simply because they aren't "stable", even though they may well be out before Gutsy is out.

Also by having Gutsy as a new system, we see far too many inconsitencies between Feisty and Gutsy, for instance - what packes are / aren't in the official repos, how they are divided - etc, just try to update from Feisty to Gutsy while wanting to keep all your Compiz stuff as it is - wont work very well.

Dark Star
August 20th, 2007, 12:40 PM
I am too happy with the release cycle of Ubuntu new updated OS @ 6months :D That's more than enuf ;)

LanDan
August 20th, 2007, 02:41 PM
think the current release cycle is fine at the moment,

especially cause Ubuntu is a moving target and keeping a production machine current all the time is not the way to go considering the architectural changes introduced for every release.

for FreeBSD yes, i always have loved the constant update, but then again BSD has been well...BSD since 30 years,

but even then, there still remains the fact that new versions can have new .config files do they remain the same as the old version or do you overwrite peoples handwritten config files?????????

i would suggest you would try to stay current Ubuntu and see what breakage will occur..

interesting point tough, where are the Dapper backports????????? even debian is more updated at this point, i think if the backports for the LTS release got more attention this would certainly be a good thing

phrostbyte
August 20th, 2007, 03:16 PM
Backports should always have the newest version of applications. The only time where it should not include a new version of an application is when that application requires fundamental back end changes to the system. And of course, the backports should be disabled by default.

We really need a better emphasis on backporting in Ubuntu, especially with the LTS releases. Linux/OSS development progresses at a ridiculous place, Ubuntu needs to take that into account. Nobody is going to use them if they become woefully ancient in a year.

Alex Fernandez
August 20th, 2007, 04:12 PM
Backports should always have the newest version of applications. The only time where it should not include a new version of an application is when that application requires fundamental back end changes to the system. And of course, the backports should be disabled by default.

We really need a better emphasis on backporting in Ubuntu, especially with the LTS releases. Linux/OSS development progresses at a ridiculous place, Ubuntu needs to take that into account. Nobody is going to use them if they become woefully ancient in a year.

Thats exactly my gripe, in the 6th months of Feisty (since it had a feature freeze) plenty of projects have released significant updates.

g2g591
August 20th, 2007, 05:14 PM
I agree that rolling releases aren't feasible to work with support, and that a bit more back porting should be done to keep the lts releases a bit more current.

zachtib
August 20th, 2007, 05:30 PM
I'd love to see a rolling release version of Ubuntu available, but they should continue to offer the current stable releases as well.

I think they should finally release "Grumpy Groundhog" and have something similar to Debian Testing.

Frak
August 20th, 2007, 10:30 PM
I'd love to see a rolling release version of Ubuntu available, but they should continue to offer the current stable releases as well.

I think they should finally release "Grumpy Groundhog" and have something similar to Debian Testing.
Gutsy Gibbon?

sylvaticus
July 3rd, 2008, 02:19 PM
I LOVE rolling releases.. especially when they are divided in several branches you can choose (stable/testing...)
I think Ubuntu could keep both release strategies, like debian..

Think for one second: you could set the PC of a user with the stable branch of a ubuntu rolling release, cron the apt-get update and then say him/her bye-bye!

:popcorn:

K.Mandla
July 3rd, 2008, 02:38 PM
In the business, we call that "necromancy."

Thread closed.