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February 13, 2024

Transition to Fixed-Release Model for Ubuntu Touch OTA Updates by UBports

The UBports Foundation announced a planned change to adopt a fixed-release model for future OTA (Over-the-Air) updates of their Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system.

Approximately a year prior, UBports Foundation issued the first Ubuntu Touch OTA update built on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, following prolonged efforts to transition away from the Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) series base.

Whilst this change offered multiple advantages for Ubuntu Touch users, it also brought along a number of issues. For instance, the inability to deliver individual solutions for bugs or security matters without releasing all the modifications that had been applied to their code base. Furthermore, having to halt development with the rollout of a new OTA proved problematic.

To counteract these issues, which were a result of the shift from Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu 20.04, upon which the current Ubuntu Touch builds are based, the UBports Foundation formulated a strategy to adopt a fixed-release model. This would be implemented when they rebase Ubuntu Touch to the upcoming Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) release.

“With the upcoming Ubuntu 24.04 base OS upgrade, we take this opportunity to make a change in our release model: We plan to switch to the fixed-release model,” said UBports Foundation.

This change won’t affect Ubuntu Touch users in any way. In fact, switching to a fixed-release model will let UBports Foundation deliver bug and security fixes faster than before for a more stable and reliable Ubuntu Touch experience.

The new Ubuntu Touch release model will use the <year>.<month>.<minor> format, where the <year> and <month> version strings will be numbered as the expected year and month of the respective release, and the <minor> version string will start from 0 (e.g. 24.6.0) with minor releases incrementing it by 1.

The UBports Foundation also said that they plan to release a major feature update of Ubuntu Touch every six months and minor releases every two months. They also said that each major feature update will be supported for about a month after the next major feature update is released.

Image credits: UBports Foundation (edited by Marius Nestor)

Last updated 6 hours ago

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