Ubuntu Still Working On Stripping Python 2
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 23 November 2013 at 08:30 PM EST. 16 Comments
Ubuntu developers are still working to remove Python 2 packages from the installation media on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

With Python 3 being a huge release and backwards incompatible with Python 2, five years after Python 3.0 was unveiled Ubuntu (and many other Linux distributions) are carrying Python 2 as well on their install media. There's still large amounts of open-source software to be ported from Python 2 to Python 3.

Ubuntu is still trying to do away with Python 2 being installed by default on desktop and server (and Ubuntu Touch) images. The Python 3 transition was discussed this past week at the virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit.

For dropping Python 2 from Ubuntu Server, vim, byobu, landscape-client, and OpenStack clients still need to be ported to Python 3. Ubuntu Touch still depends upon the Python 2 Autopilot. For Python 2 on the Ubuntu desktop, there's still many packages to be ported to Python 3 like Hplip, Totem, system-config-printer, Gconf2, etc.

The main packages to be ported to Python 3 for the Ubuntu desktop are found via this Google spreadsheet. For some of the to-be-ported packages there's states along the lines of "probably hopeless" and there's also Canonical-developed software still bound to Python 2 but Ubuntu developers don't feel motivated to port it to Python 3 as items like the Software Center and the Ubuntu Single Sign-On client are expected to be replaced in their entirety soon.

With Canonical likely not being interested in porting many of the upstream software packages to Python 3 and there being a lot of work involved for some of the packages, it's probably unlikely that the Ubuntu desktop in 14.04 LTS will do away with Python 2 but we'll see how it goes for Ubuntu Server or Ubuntu Touch. This initiative is just about removing Python 2 from the install media but would continue to be maintained within the Ubuntu package archive.

More details on the Python 3 transition for Ubuntu Linux can be found via the vUDS session notes and the session video that's embedded below.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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