LTS, point releases and the lack of hype

One of the most amazing things about Ubuntu is the commitment to release free security updates for the next 18 months after a release. This commitment grows up to three years for the desktop and five years for the server when it comes to LTS releases. Mark gives a wonderful overview about Ubuntu release process in his post “The Art of Release”.

For LTS releases, on top of the updates, every six months, a new point release gets out, until the next LTS is released. This week Ubuntu 8.04.4 is going to be released. This is going to be Hardy’s last point release, as Lucid, arriving on April, is an LTS release as well.

This is wonderful and very helpful for people willing to run very stable releases in their production machines. But, to make this happen, things need to be tested. SRUs need to be verified, the security team need to keep up with the vulnerabilities database, ISOs needs to be tested for point releases as well, etc.

The problem about these tasks is that they lack of hype. It is always more entertaining to test the latest feature, this new cool theme or install the next release Beta ISO and see how good it is going to look.

But Ubuntu is built to last. We need these people to keep this commitment every release. This post is a big thank you for all those people who work (frequently behind the curtains) to keep Ubuntu releases in shape during their life-cycles.

Thank you guys, you rock. LTS releases rock.
LTS releases are the new hype.


  1. I think the lack of hype is because its like a service pack. New releases have new cool stuff to test so everyone is excited and updates and tests. SRUs are a little bit less exciting.

  2. So… is there any move underway to open up the 5 person Canonical employed Ubuntu security team to community membership? Same question for the SRU Verification team.

  3. Having run servers on Fedora and Debian for years… we’ve been hacked several times on systems that can no longer get updates. LTS for servers is seriously important because dist upgrades are not easy nor quick in production environments.