Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution, like all Linux and open-source projects, has had its share of internal battles over the project’s directions over the years. Recently, though, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of both the operating system and its sponsoring company, Canonical, has taken the latest squabbles public in his blog.
It all began when Rick Spencer, Canonical’s Ubuntu engineering director, proposed on the Ubuntu developer mailing list that, since Canonical is porting Ubuntu to smartphones in the coming months, “Ubuntu should drop non-LTS [long-term support] releases and move to a rolling release plus LTS releases right now”.
In a rolling release, major changes and improvements are released to users as soon as possible. As Spencer proposed it, new releases would come out monthly. The advantage is that users get best-of-breed modifications very quickly. Spencer then proceeded to make the case for this change. This wasn’t the first time that rolling releases had been proposed for Ubuntu.