A Proposal To Update Ubuntu's Kernel/Mesa/GNOME Components On A Monthly Basis

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 28 December 2017 at 07:08 AM EST. 47 Comments
It's not quite the Ubuntu rolling-release process that some have proposed over the years, but a new proposal is being formulated for shipping updates to key Ubuntu system components on a monthly basis rather than having to wait six months for updates to the Linux kernel, Mesa, etc.

Longtime Ubuntu developer Bryan Quigley is currently working on an "Ubuntu Monthly" proposal by which key system components would see updates on a monthly cadence, when new releases are available and warranted, etc. The goals of this proposal would be to get "fresh software" to users faster, predictable that it's useful for more users, useful for business use-cases, trivial to triage problems with upgrading just one component at a time, and be easier for systems to be updated.

With the current proposal draft, only one major component would be updated per month -- e.g. the Linux kernel or Mesa, but not both unless the components are not connected with one another such as allowing a Linux kernel and GNOME upgrade to happen in a given month. The proposal also tries to make this monthly update delivery predictable by delivering any updates at the same time each month.

The Linux kernel, systemd, Mesa, and GNOME are among the major components mentioned as candidates for monthly upgrades.

The current draft of the proposal can be found here while feedback is being accepted via Git.

It will certainly be interesting to see what Canonical and other Ubuntu developers think of this proposal once formally submitted... Rolling-release and other release cadence change proposals in the past really have not made it. Personally I would love to see Ubuntu roll down kernel and Mesa updates in particular as stable release updates -- especially given the rate of progress over this year with the open-source Radeon/Intel drivers and they often being needed to play the latest Linux games, etc.
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