Ubuntu Now Drafting Plans For Possible 12.04.5 LTS
Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS was released this week and while the "Precise Pangolin" Long-Term Support release will still be maintained through 2017 with package updates, this was the last planned point release / ISO with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS just being a few months away. However, now it looks like an Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS will happen to port some of the hardware enablement changes.
Leann Ogasawara of Canonical expressed the idea this morning of doing an Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS release. Leann explained, "12.04.4 shipped with a Saucy enablement stack by default. This Saucy enablement stack in Precise will eventually EOL in favor of the Trusty enablement stack. Once that happens, our final point release for Precise will be delivering an EOL'd enablement stack. This seems unfortunate and inappropriate. I would like to propose having a 5th point release for Precise which would deliver the Trusty enablement stack for Precise."
Since Ubuntu 13.10 is not an LTS-release and its Linux kernel / X.Org / Mesa components are shipped in Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS, Ogasawara is suggesting that an additional point release come a few months down the road that would upgrade these key Ubuntu 12.04 components to being what's found in Ubuntu 14.04. The Ubuntu 14.04 kernel, Mesa, X.Org stack, etc, will be maintained through the 12.04 lifespan given it's a long-term support release and thus doesn't add to Canonical's maintenance burden while making the experience better for end-users.
There will be additional effort in spinning the Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS images and carrying out extra tests, etc, but so far Ubuntu Linux developers seem in favor of this move for doing Ubuntu 12.04.5 to bring the Ubuntu 14.04 enablement packages to this LTS release from 2012. This would mean the Linux 3.13~3.14 kernel, Mesa 10.1, and other packages will end up in Ubuntu 12.04 for those interested in not jumping to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
The matter of the fifth point release is still up in the air but so far there appears to be interest per this mailing list thread.
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