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Ubuntu may become a rolling release distribution, but keeping LTS (Long Term Release) releases every two years.

Leann Ogasawara, Canonical Kernel Team Manager has said in a recent Google+ hangout that it has been discussed to use a rolling release model between LTS releases. This is just a discussion for now, but it could become a reality starting with Ubuntu 14.04:

The plan was by 14.04 to target what we're calling a rolling release and go from a LTS to LTS only model and eliminate these intermediate releases. That was being discussed earlier, we didn't set anything in stone but that's still in the cards as a possibility of happening when we hit the next 14.04 release so it could go from 14.04 to 16.04 and everything in between is what they consider a rolling release [...], following the latest package releases, not only for the Kernel but for the entire distribution [...].

- Leann Ogasawara (approximate quote from the video)

If this becomes reality, I'm sure a lot of users will be very happy because they'd get the latest updates for all packages (and new packages would be available a lot quicker) without having to upgrade to a newer Ubuntu release. This might have an impact on stability, but some users already consider non-LTS releases to be "glorified betas" so at least this way Ubuntu users would get the latest updates in exchange for the stability offered by a LTS.

Besides possible stability, there's another downside which Canonical takes into consideration: a lot of hype is generated and many users get excited for each Ubuntu release, but using a rolling release model between LTS releases would mean there would be 3 less Ubuntu releases for every 2 years and thus, Ubuntu users would be less enthusiastic.

These and probably many other factors count towards taking a decision, but the most important one should be: "will this make Ubuntu users happy?". So, what do you think, would you like Ubuntu to use a rolling release model between LTS releases?

Below you can watch the full Google+ hangout video with Leann Ogasawara (video embedded from the minute where Leann begins to talk about the rolling release model):


(direct video link)

seen on ArsTechnica
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