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Ubuntu To Turn Into A Rolling-Release Distribution?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Silverthorn View Post
    It would be great if they made rolling optional. For some applications it should be default while others could be non rolling. For instance if you wanted the latest stable kernel you would just need to start synaptic and select rolling for the kernel.
    This is what Gentoo and source-based do.

    Imagine Glibc is upgraded and you have 1000 packages currently installed in your system. A lot of packages from the tree must be rebuilt or will break with segfaults! In case of Gentoo the system will do this automatically. In case of Ubuntu(and binary based), in order for your wish to happen, there should be 2x1000 amount of packages - the same versions compiled with glibc_old and same versions compiled with glibc_new. The tree will expand greatly. Then, some packages change requirements and bindings upon upgrade. They change configuration files upon upgrade(grub0.98->grub1.98 for example).

    The more changeable you want your system to be, the more times complex tasks package manager, maintainers and testers will have to do and the more packages will have to be merged into the system.

    For this case, distros either:
    - minimize the end target variation spread (either release type or rolling release with strictly defined packages), or
    - provide a flexible build system, which is capable to build any version to any version(provided they are not outdated, maintainable and allow this combo). This is something source-based and Gentoo does.
    - provide prebuild system with own settings and possibility to upgrade in binary way and possibility to get off the mainline and start doing it your way. Calculate Linux.
    - provide a hybrid with standard, base system provided as binary and strict; and other part able to build from source - Archlinux, Slackware to some extent.
    - or well, no package manager, your build and manage everything yourself by reading manual pages. Slackware.

    Thing is, if you want every possible option, every possible option should be precalculated, pretested, prebuilt and checked for compatibility against every new package entering the repo. Great amount human/hours.


    • #17
      Originally posted by [Knuckles] View Post
      This is a great idea! The system core might be kept in a locked version, but for most user-visible apps there's no problem in having the latest version also available.

      Why should I wait months to get a new version of my IM client, or my music player?

      You can already kind-of get this with the openSUSE build service, but that's pretty unsupported and you have to tread carefully. (I run various openSUSE versions, but all have latest KDE and Firefox, for example.)
      You all know I have to chime in on this with my usual, so..

      None of this would be a problem if Linux had proper universal package management, something no distro company is interested in pushing for because they each want app development for themselves only, and want users suckling off their own app store tits.

      Sure, moving to a system where you get basic app updates sooner would help alleviate this need some, but users would still be stuck in that walled garden for the most part.


      • #18
        This is going to be like riding Fedora Rawhide perpetually.


        • #19
          i also see this better for canonical's own commercial/tech support and mass amount updates and security fixes across releases.

          Right now they are supporting a bunch of different releases.

          6.06s, 8.04lts, 9.10, 10.04lts, 10.10 and working rapidly on 11.04 (plus all other remixes, spins, etc like different kubuntu versions)

          maybe with this they'll be able to cut down the support of the number of future releases in half

          More people to focus on one main version.

          bugs that were fixed in an older release, not suddenly reappearing.

          a lot can improve if done right.


          • #20
            Version freeze + security/bug fixes is good for server OS, nothing else. Gentoo and Arch proved that rolling can be stable too for end users. Ubuntu would probably freeze kernel gcc and glibc, but all other packages could be in rolling mode without too many drawback if packages are tested before going in the main loop.


            • #21
              Binary distros with rolling releases

              There are atleast two well known and regarded binary distributions with rolling releases: Arch and Slackware.


              • #22
                Yey, this is what I always wanted! Won't need 20 ppa's anymore. :-)

                Still this should be combined with some kind of LTS platform every now and then.


                • #23
                  mixed feeling about rolling edition

                  you want wayland.. without automated help, its impossible to make it work good

                  maybe rolling edition fork? or set in update center? not forcing to use one of this two


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                    Imagine Glibc is upgraded and you have 1000 packages currently installed in your system. A lot of packages from the tree must be rebuilt or will break with segfaults!
                    So how come I don't have to re-download those 1000 packages whenever there's a bugfix release to Glibc?


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by JeanPaul145 View Post
                      And yes I'm aware that strictly speaking, there is support for a nice ol' sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude full-upgrade but I've seen it go wrong too many times on Kubuntu to trust that process for updating to a new Kubuntu release.
                      Works here (not even from the command line, but from the upgrade GUI) most of the time. This is in 2 netbooks, a desktop and a laptop, all at home. I only had issues ocassionally, once with the ATI binary drivers not working after the upgrade, and recently with a grub bug whereas it wrote to the wrong partition. In both cases I fixed it, but a newbie would have been stuck. So, the success rate has been really high

                      It would still be great to have a way to only keep apps up to date, assuming your kernel/graphics stack all do what you need.


                      • #26
                        This would be really great.
                        Anyone who has used Arch linux without the Test repo knows that it easily as stable as Ubuntu.


                        • #27
                          I think there are some plans already to offer updated versions of important desktop applications (say, Firefox or OpenOffice) mid-release. This is a very useful decis, but only if the basis of the distribution is left unchanged as much as possible. IMO a full, system-wide rolling release is in general a bad idea.


                          • #28
                            Heh, Canonical|Mark is playing Microsoft

                            They will win some more marketshare with this. This is the sole reason Microsoft ever came to dominance, but I doubt it will work for Ubuntu...


                            • #29
                              This is a very useful decis
                              Decision. Screw that one minute limit.


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by chaos386 View Post
                                So how come I don't have to re-download those 1000 packages whenever there's a bugfix release to Glibc?
                                It depends on case. Sometimes its just changes to the code, sometimes changes to compile or link logic. Most of the time its not required, yet most of the time minor versions are not kept in gentoo as well.