Ubuntu will begin updating daily, report says

Increased frequency could help the Linux distribution stay on top of software complexity, Ubuntu's founder reportedly said

Ubuntu may shift from updating every six months to updating every day, according to a report Tuesday in The Register.

Users familiar with the wildly popular Linux distribution have long been accustomed to its twice-a-year updates, marked with names starting with successive letters of the alphabet. Version 10.10 released last month, for example, is "Maverick Meerkat," while version 11.04--due in April--will be dubbed "Natty Narwhal."

Soon, however, such updates may become a ongoing phenomenon.

'In the Next Five Years'

Ubuntu founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth reportedly said during a conference call last month that a move to daily updates would help the Linux distribution "keep pace with an increasingly complex software and platform ecosystem as Ubuntu goes on more devices and syncs up Android and iPhones," the Register wrote.

"Today we have a six-month release cycle," Shuttleworth reportedly said. "In an Internet-oriented world, we need to be able to release something every day. That's an area we will put a lot of work into in the next five years."

And such capabilities will likely be implemented via Ubuntu's Software Center.

An Embedded Advantage

While undoubtedly more work for developers, a daily update cycle would be a boon for Ubuntu users and partners.

Most notably, manufacturers of devices featuring Ubuntu embedded would be able to keep their systems better updated, matching more closely or even surpassing the update cycles seen on competing platforms.

Users, meanwhile, won't need to wait for changes to be included in their operating system, helping them stay up to date and secure.

An Exciting Future

A separate story on NetworkWorld asserts Wednesday that Canonical has since said it won't be making any such switch. Which turns out to be true remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, between Unity, Wayland, a bunch of new business tools and the potential for a more frequent release cycle, the future Ubuntu is looking pretty exciting.

Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk.

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Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)
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