Next LTS Ubuntu will be 10.04 – Regular Service Packs for 8.04

May 13, 2008

The current Ubuntu version is less than a month old, but Mark Shuttleworth has already published plans for the future version in his blog.

A date has already been fixed: the next LTS (Long Term Support ) Version will be released April 2010. Ubuntu Releases with Long Term Support are specifically targeted at enterprise use and receive longer support from the developer community.

Under a heading of "The Art of Release" Mark Shuttleworth has revealed the roadmap for future Ubuntu versions up to version 11.04. Shuttleworth emphasizes the fact that Ubuntu is the only enterprise Linux distribution to his knowledge that provides details of release dates for future versions and actually keeps to them.

Besides much praise for the Ubuntu developers and the community, and a short excursion into the world of release dates and Open Source software, Shuttleworth's blog touches on two new features of Ubuntu releases:

There will be regular intermediate releases for future LTS versions. Shuttleworth refers to them as Point Releases. 8.04.1 is planned for July, with 8.04.2 to follow six months later. Point Releases will add new hardware support and include all updates. On top of this, the Ubuntu boss would be prepared to modify the release plan if two of the three most widespread enterprise distributions (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Suse Linux Enterprise Server, Debian) were prepared to keep to a mutually coordinated roadmap for the kernel, Gcc, X.org, KDE/Gnome. Shuttleworth says that this would mean major benefits for corporate customers and distributors, and promises to enlarge on this later in his blog.

Not all Ubuntu users are happy with the distribution's fixed release schedule. One commentator suggested following the Debian approach: it's ready when it's ready. However, reliable planning is likely to be more important in an enterprise environment and this was exactly the reason for creating Ubuntu in the first place as a regular, stable, Debian-based distribution.

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