Ubuntu sticking to six-month release schedule

Ubuntu CEO tells PC Pro that plans to move to rolling releases have been dropped

24 Apr 2013

Ubuntu has shelved the idea of moving to rolling releases, and will continue to release a new version every six months.

Earlier this year, Ubuntu developers discussed the idea of moving to rolling releases, with new features added to the OS as and when they were ready. The developers would have continued to release a long-term support version every two years.

However, Canonical CEO Jane Silber told PC Pro that the development group had taken a "cold, hard look at our long-standing practices" and decided to keep its current twice-yearly cadence.

It will, however, halve support for each release from 18 months to nine months - aside from the long-term-support edition.

Silber said the change made sense as Ubuntu users tend to either stick with the long-term support version or update every six months. "There seemed to be a lot of work supporting six-monthly releases for 18 months, but nobody was really using them," she said.

Canonical is also increasing the number of planning meetings it has, holding them monthly. "The planning cycle change is related, but was driven by a different rational," she said. "It's more a philosophy of agile development, which promotes the idea of doing short iterations."

"The idea of having shorter planning cycles is a common idea in software projects, but Ubuntu has been on six-monthly cadence for so long, it wasn't one that we'd really looked at for quite a while," she said. "It was a chance for us to re-look at our habits and see where we can learn from other projects."

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