GNOME Shell & Mutter Broke Their Good Faith With Ubuntu

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 23 May 2024 at 06:09 AM EDT. 81 Comments
GNOME Shell and Mutter had been covered by Ubuntu's GNOME MicroReleaseException "MRE" policy that allows for new point releases to ship rather easily as stable updates to existing Ubuntu Linux releases. But breaking the camel's back is GNOME 46.1 shipping explicit sync support. Due to landing a "significant new feature" into a point release, the GNOME Shell and Mutter are no longer covered by this exception.

The Ubuntu MicroReleaseException for Ubuntu allows for specific upstreams/packages to allow in new micro/point releases rather than backporting individual patches for sending down as stable release updates to users. But the intent is that the point releases are focused on just fixing bugs and not adding new features or other big changes.

Ubuntu 24.04 with GNOME

Longtime Ubuntu developer Christopher James Halse Rogers announced today that GNOME Shell and Mutter are no longer covered by this exception:
"It has been brought to the SRU team’s attention that mutter has landed a significant new feature in the 46.1 point release.

The GNOME MicroReleaseException policy historically exists on the basis that the GNOME release and testing process broadly matches SRU policy, so duplicating that process by performing a full SRU review on GNOME point releases would be unnecessary work. Since mutter no longer appears to have the same understanding of that process as we do, mutter SRUs will not be covered by the GNOME MRE going forward.

Mutter & GNOME Shell point releases may still be acceptable under the normal micro release process; this can be checked on a case-by-case basis."
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