Ubuntu Touch will have a change in its release model


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The project UBports announced a transition to a new release generation model, this advertisement is generated because is facing significant challenges which has led the project to rethink the launch approach.

And since the birth of the project, it has followed a semi-rolling release model, during all that time there was no problem with the way it worked, but it is mentioned that the problems began to continue when trying to migrate the base to Ubuntu 20.04.

We make this change to reduce friction in the development process. It will open up the opportunity to provide different long-term supported versions of Ubuntu Touch in the future and ensure that we can continue to provide a reliable and up-to-date mobile operating system for everyone.

current challenges

With the current model that UBports is working on, one of the biggest problems those you are dealing with It is the "code divergence" that was generated between Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 20.04, which complicated the integration and created confusion over which code base to use to implement changes.

In addition to this, UBports mentions that lack of individual packages made it difficult to release fixes of bugs and security updates in an agile manner, resulting in delays between resolving issues and deploying them to end users. While for him release of updates development had to be stopped to ensure stability, which limited the ability to introduce new features and improvements.

New release model

Instead of using the scheme of launches in the form of "OTA number branch_name", new versions Ubuntu Touch firmware They will be displayed following the “year.month.update” scheme. In this scheme, the year and month correspond to the time of a major release based on a new branch of Ubuntu.

The update number will represent a minor version which will include only minor fixes and improvements. Major releases are planned to occur once every six months, while intermediate or update releases will occur every two months.

It is mentioned that this new scheme will come into force after the project update to the base package Ubuntu 24.04. The first version of Ubuntu Touch based on Ubuntu 24.04 is expected to be released in June and will be assigned the number 24.6.0.

Additionally, when corrective updates are generated, they will be assigned the number 24.6.1, 24.6.2, and so on. In approximately six months after the release of "Ubuntu Touch 24.6", (around December 2024), Ubuntu Touch 24.12.0 will be released, offering new features and changes over Ubuntu 24.10. Each major release will be discontinued one month after the new major release is formed.

Since the transition from the current branch, based on Ubuntu 20.04, to the base Ubuntu 24.04 package requires a lot of work and additional stabilization, the Ubuntu Touch Focal branch is expected to be supported for some time in parallel with the new Ubuntu Touch 24.6 branch .

Specifically, it is planned to generate updates for Ubuntu Touch OTA-5 Focal, OTA-6 Focal, etc.., until the new branch is completely stabilized. At the same time, OTA updates for Ubuntu Touch Focal will only include bug and vulnerability fixes, while new features will be developed in the Ubuntu Touch 24.6 branch.

On the other hand, UBports mentions that to adapt to this new model, it has begun to work on some adjustments in the organization of branches of the Git repositories and the configuration of the CI:

  • The main branch will represent the development code for the next feature release, while the ubports/ branches They will contain code for feature releases and their minor updates.
  • We will remove branches that represent specific Ubuntu versions to avoid confusion and simplify the development process.
  • Changes and MRs should be pointed to the main branch for active development, and will be integrated into the appropriate release branches as necessary.

finally if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can check the details in the following link

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