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A while back, Leann Ogasawara, Canonical Kernel Team Manager, has said that it has been discussed internally to use a rolling release model for Ubuntu between LTS releases, but that it is just an idea for now. With the new Ubuntu Touch, which needs both "velocity and agility", the rolling release mode seems to be more than just an idea and Rick Spencer, Engineering Director at Canonical, has made a proposal about this on the Ubuntu Devel mailing list.

In the thread named "Let's Discuss Interim Releases (and a Rolling Release)", he states that "we should keep LTS releases, but starting now, stop doing interim releases and start a rolling release".

Basically, he wants to stop making interim releases which are the Ubuntu versions between LTS releases, and instead, users could choose between LTS releases, rolling release updated daily or rolling release updated monthly.

This would be beneficial for both users and developers:
  • users who prefer LTS releases would be unaffected by this change while those who prefer more up to date software would get the latest versions of their favourite applications without having to constantly upgrade to newer Ubuntu releases or use PPAs;
  • developers would benefit from not having support so many Ubuntu releases, there wouldn't be any pressure / deadlines (features would land when they are ready, developers wouldn't need to rush things to get their app included before an Ubuntu release), etc.

So Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail might become Rolling Release. But before continuing with this, Rick says this needs to be discussed in the Ubuntu community. So what do you think?

You can read the complete proposal HERE.

Rick Spencer will be discussing this on http://ubuntuonair.com/, Friday, March 1st at 6pm UTC / 10am Pacific / 1pm EST (the mailing list message says "Friday 27th Feb" but since the message was posted today, the date is clearly wrong).

Update: The UbuntuOnAir Hangout in which Ubuntu devs answer questions and discuss the Rolling Release proposal can be watched below:

(direct video link)