Ubuntu May Become Rolling Release With 14.04


Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

Watchers of Ubuntu On Air, Ubuntu’s series of public Google Hangouts that detail some of the behind the scenes happenings, were greeted with some extremely interesting information.  This information could potentialyl lead to the biggest (only) departure in the Ubuntu release model ever, and align it with Linux die-hard favorites such as Arch.

Canonical Kernel Team Manager Leann Ogasawara had this to say during the Hangout:

We were talking about this idea of a rolling release, and by 14.04 to talk about going from LTS to LTS, getting rid of these interim releases.

The benefits and drawbacks of a rolling release is something that is perpetually argued within the community, but this is the first time that a community leader and Canonical team member has ever put anything into the concrete mixer.  Serious talks about putting a new distribution model in place as soon as 14.04 is serious and might be an idea that we should start getting used to now rather than later.

If anything, I’ll be excited because it will be that less often that I need to backup my home directory and move it to a new installation.

What do you guys think?  Is a rolling Ubuntu a bad idea, or is it long overdue?

Source | Youtube

About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.
  • tracyanne

    quote:: If anything, I’ll be excited because it will be that less often that I
    need to backup my home directory and move it to a new installation.

    Why do you have to do that?

    I have never had to do that except when replacing the hard drive for a bigger one or when transferring my home directory to a new computer.

    Why don’t you simply create a separate home partition instead of doing the default Ubuntu install that has everything on root (/). My machines have always had 3 partitons root (/), home (/home) and swap, right from the first time I started using Linux based Operating Systems, it’s easy enough to do, and even the Ubuntu installer gives you the option to create additional partitions, over and above the default 2 (root and swap) the Ubuntu installer creates.

    Currently I’m using Linux Mint 13 (based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which does require a full install to upgrade to a new version) on my main machine, and Ubuntu Studio on my netbook, while my partner uses xubuntu, all three machines have 3 partitions, as described above. The beauty of doing that is that if an upgrade to a new release of Ubuntu borks the system, as happened to a friend of mine, it’s a simple matter to reinstall the system files into the root (/) partition, without having to worry about whether the home (/home) partition is backed up properly. Or if one wants to use a different Linux based operating system, there is no need to back up the home directory, you simply install the new system, and start using it.

    • http://profiles.google.com/deanhowell2 Dean Howell

      I do incrementals on my home directory. I like the idea of being able to roll back. On my laptop, I do the standard partitioning scheme. On my desktop, I have a small SSD, and my standard hard drive is just one big home directory, so there I’m doing basically what you are. Even still, I do incrementals on that drive.

      • tracyanne

        So in other words you don’t actually need to back up your home directory, when you upgrade. So what is it you are excited about, if Ubuntu becomes a rolling release?

        • George k. stewart

          Your mom.

          • tracyanne

            ::Smirk:: She always wanted a toy boy.

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  • Aaron Honeycutt

    Its just that would be a lot of work as well, I just wish Ubuntu would stop with the new features and just get it all working, that and move to the Qt toolkit, drop the window manager they are using and use something like openbox.

    • http://profiles.google.com/deanhowell2 Dean Howell

      Aaron Honeycutt, all I head was I don’t want any innovation and I want them to alienate most of their userbase.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wolftune Aaron Wolf

    As a general user, I can speak about my own feelings: I like having a stable LTS system and I also like getting the very latest stable updates and bug fixes for most software. I am running the 12.04(.1) LTS release still. I do think that the confusion between all the different versions is a bit weird from a newbie perspective trying to understand how it works. But I like the idea of sign-post moments.

    If done right, rolling release sounds fine to me, as long as it is easy to roll-back as may be desired in certain situations either for the whole system or for certain packages.

  • Cabal

    Isn’t Ubuntu already a rolling release? I know your answer will be “no,” but what’s the definition?

    Daily updates (which frequently break things). New package versions with new features, not just security fixes or bug fixes.

    I’m fairly certain we’re already there.

  • Samuel Marinov

    Rolling release is definitely better. The latest stable versions of packages are usually the most bug-free and therefore would reduce crashes and instabilities. With a fixed schedule, you have to wait six months to get the latest stable versions from the repos.