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  • Ubuntu To Turn Into A Rolling-Release Distribution?

    Phoronix: Ubuntu To Turn Into A Rolling-Release Distribution?

    There's been a lot of Ubuntu announcements coming down the pipe lately from ditching the GNOME Shell in favor of their own Canonical-developed Unity desktop to eventually shipping with the Wayland Display Server instead of X.Org. Here's another interesting one: Ubuntu may become a rolling-release distribution...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODgyMw

  • #2
    Originally posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: Ubuntu To Turn Into A Rolling-Release Distribution?

    There's been a lot of Ubuntu announcements coming down the pipe lately from ditching the GNOME Shell in favor of their own Canonical-developed Unity desktop to eventually shipping with the Wayland Display Server instead of X.Org. Here's another interesting one: Ubuntu may become a rolling-release distribution...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODgyMw
    "Coming down the pipe" -> Should be "Coming down the pike"

    For some users this would be great. I know myself, for my desktop computer, I would love this. Not so much for my server though, but I would assume Ubuntu will still have the regular LTS release every two years.

    Bring it on I say.

    Comment


    • #3
      Combined with a LTS release every other year... yes, I'd appreciate that.

      Comment


      • #4
        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.)

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        • #5
          If this were to really happen I'd pull a McDonald's: I'd be loving it.
          It annoys me to no end to have to reinstall every 6 months if I want to update. In fact, I've been thinking about moving away from Kubuntu (for a KDE4-based rolling distro) because of the reinstalling.
          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.

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          • #6
            This would be a good thing. If they did this and it proved to better meet the fine line between cutting-edge/stability, I would definitely consider switching back to Ubuntu on at least 1 or 2 of my machines.

            I wonder how this would affect Mint.

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            • #7
              There used to be the backports repository, and that worked well in the past. With newer releases, however, backported packages decreased a lot, only 3 now for 10.10:
              http://packages.ubuntu.com/maverick-...ts/allpackages

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              • #8
                Originally posted by [Knuckles] View Post
                Why should I wait months to get a new version of my IM client, or my music player?
                That depends. A new version of Amarok might require an updated KDE, which can cause tons of issues.

                I don't know if this is a good thing for Ubuntu, since if they're aiming to be easy to use then I think this is a step backwards. Users will have to deal with all kinds of issues, and not just bugs in newer packages. In Gentoo sometimes libraries just break, so your application won't run because it can't find the library and you have to run revdep-rebuild once in a while.

                I use Gentoo, so I love rolling release, but I don't think it's the right way to go for most people.

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                • #9
                  As someone who maintains PPA's, this is much appreciated and can't come soon enough. I don't think I'll stop using aptosid as my main distro, but I may start using Ubuntu for more than packaging purposes again.

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                  • #10
                    awesome
                    sounds like a march towards newer stuff and easier testing. however api breaks will have to be addressed carefully i guess. still grea news

                    hell must have frozen!

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                    • #11
                      I moved away from Ubuntu to go Arch because I was annoyed of the update scheme.... that would be a great reason to go back to Ubuntu if it was to be on a rolling release model.

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                      • #12
                        Not gonna happen, just marketing.

                        I think Shuttleworth is playing with words. As usual, sadly.

                        Not in so distant past, Linux Mint has announced that it will provide a version based on Debian Testing Rolling-release packages. They do so, by disabling signature verification and masking multitude of packages from possible upgrade(also disabling Synaptic and using own updater, that basically is instructed which package should be in, instead of autocalculation).

                        Rolling release may only happen if user is not changing the system. If system changes, upgrading configuration files, user software etc may pose great problem, unless user is knowledgable enough to real fine manual pages, something the majority of Ubuntu users ever does.

                        Imagine Wayland is pulled replacing Xorg. I dont think anyone will be able to upgrade flawlessly, breakage will happen. Especially considering the "always-beta-testing" condition of all current Ubuntu releases.

                        Another thing is because of binary nature, package breaking will happen with higher possiblity; and rolling release will only give less chances(to already lacking amount) to thorough testing.

                        In short, it is very very probably a no go and Shuttleworth marketing as usual.

                        The best thing that makes me dislove(well, almost hate) Ubuntu - is about features being announced before they are implemented, whilst the hacker spirit is to announce changes in (already finished) changelog and great amount of bugs with no solution, yet the owner is a multi-millionaire.

                        News like this make me feel Ubuntu being "some kind of dirty Windows variation from Africa" instead of "leading Linux distro from Africa".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            I think rolling release on a binary distribution is quite tricky. Of course advantages are great, but that will require a _lot_ more work.
                            Rob
                            email: dagger@gentoo.org

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                            • #15
                              Ubuntu needs a good snapshot / backup roll back system now.

                              It needs this ready before going rolling. The best scenario would be to have btrfs ready to substitute ext4 and also finish integrating the snapshot system with grub.

                              Finish what we've already seen in Fedora:
                              http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...13_btrfs&num=1

                              This should had been done already...

                              Another alternative if btrfs is not ready, is to make reverting changes easy with some kind of backup utility that makes auto-snapshots upon updating packages.

                              In this day of age where the minimum people carry around is 250GB, having 1 to 5% for snapshots, is not only intelligent but the best solution.

                              Your 300gb collection of mp3s is going to be no good when your system breaks, because you're a cheap-ass that cant even give your OS a few megabytes for making backups..

                              Old / unused snapshots would get deleted in the queue in favor of new ones, so you will always have 1, 2 or more to go back to depending on the space you assign.

                              Instead of this utility i would prefer the built in btrfs way, but lets see if its ready by then.

                              Also it would be great if in the software center you could choose versions. For example if a plugin for firefox only works on ff3 and not ff4, i should be able to choose and not be obligated to upgrade to ff4.

                              Other than that i think this is a great move that users and hardware vendors like Dell will appreciate. It was to expensive and inconvenient for them trying to keep up with the 6 months upgrade mill and always lagged several versions behind, which no one wanted anymore, making ubuntu computers unattractive.

                              and no need to wait for ATI or NVIDIA either! keep the drivers that work for you much longer.

                              This move could be far more important for the whole ecosystem and adoption of ubuntu, than unity or wayland!

                              Now that they switched those 2 big parts of the system, will ubuntu go ahead and also need to deploy a modified kernel fork to expand support to hardware ABIs and maintain things at their own pace and for longer time?

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