Ubuntu 12.04.1: LTS maintenance release

Ubuntu 12.04.1: LTS maintenance release

Summary: The current LTS release of the Ubuntu operating system will shortly get its first maintenance release — one of four due over its five-year support lifetime.


As most Ubuntu users will know, Ubuntu 12.04 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release. As an LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin), released on 26 April 2012, is scheduled to receive updates and support, for both the desktop and server versions, until October 2017. What many Ubuntu users may not know is that Ubuntu 12.04 will see maintenance releases over this period. The first of those, 12.04.1, is due on 16 August.

During its five years of life, Precise Pangolin is scheduled to receive three further maintenance releases: 12.04.2 on 7 February 2013, Ubuntu 12.04.3 in mid-2013 and Ubuntu 12.04.4 on 24 January 2014.

The official release map from the Ubuntu wiki site.

One of the most annoying aspects of installing modern software is the frequently drawn-out process of downloading and installing updates — updates that are replacing software elements installed earlier in the process, and therefore increasing the total install time. This is because a release install image freezes the software at a fixed point in time, after which the image rapidly becomes out-of-date. As a result, an install is often accompanied by a large number of updates, with the volume of updates getting larger as time passes.

With a long-lifetime LTS release, the update problem is exacerbated. A partial solution is to occasionally update the install image during the span of the product's lifetime. The Ubuntu maintenance releases are such updates, and new installations performed using a maintenance release get the benefit of fewer updates required as part of a fresh install. Users who installed early on in the life cycle, and regularly applied updates as they became available, don't need to worry about the maintenance releases because they already have the updates installed.

Since the majority of updates tend to appear during the early phase of a product's life cycle and the frequency of fresh installs falls, it makes sense to schedule maintenance releases to taper off towards end-of-life. With Ubuntu 12.04, all the planned maintenance releases are scheduled for the first two years of its five-year support lifetime.

If you're planning a fresh install of the current LTS version of Ubuntu you'll save on install time if you wait for the first maintenance release. If you're hungering for the next Ubuntu release, 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal), you don't have that long to wait — the first beta is due on 6 September and the final release on 18 October. I'll be reporting on 12.10 as its release draws nearer.

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Reviews

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  • Ubuntu 12.04.1: LTS maintenance release

    Kudos Ubuntu Team.
  • I like it

    As somebody else said, kudos to the Ubuntu team.

    Of course, I try to stick with the latest release period when I go with Ubuntu.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • Ubuntu 12.04.1: LTS maintenance release

    LOL linux is getting a service pack. This is hilarious considering all the nonsense we hear about about how its updated quickly. Its sad that after 4 months of release it requires a service pack not to mention a new version will be out 2 months from now. Thanks for highlighting one of the many problems with linux in that its always patch patch patch on a daily basis. With an OS like linux that requires so much maintenance any company who uses it must have a lot of downtime.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • @trollrock

      Can you read?
      >>If you're planning a fresh install of the current LTS version of Ubuntu you'll save on install time if you wait for the first maintenance release.
      As far as the downtime is concerned, once again, unlike the Microsoft piece of indivisible blob, any GNU/Linux is highly modular. Say, the system would very rarely require reboots, when the kernel needs replacing. But even in that case there is ksplice to eliminate such requirement entirely.
      And yes, it's better to have an important patch available for a vulnerability as soon as possible, rather than linger a month or two while it is actively exploited in the wild. And he latter is the Microsoft way.
      • Why respond to LD

        He's a troll.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • No he can't

        Don't feed Trolls
      • @eulampius

        No its not always better to have a patch available as soon as possible. Personally, I'd rather wait until any patch issued has been thoroughly tested. In any case, there's usually a work around that can be used until an official patch is available. "And the latter is the Microsoft way". Well yes they do thoroughly test their patches but in some rare cases they issue highly critical patches ahead of patch Tuesday, so they don't always take a month or two as you suggest. I think you're confusing Microsoft with Apple. And doing a bit of trolling yourself ;-)
        • @boycottFUD

          So they thoroughly test their code? OK, why are there so many remote vulnerabilities to patch all the time, every month? They take it long to test, perhaps also because, MS is known to break some of the updates. Don't they have enough money to hire more developers and testers? FOSS software seems to have an advantage here as well. Don't forget, that MS, although trying to be ubiquitous, maintains only a tiny part software people use on the daily basis. So, critical patches for 3d parties code might be a mess in terms of availability, such as pdf viewer/writer, flashplayer. An average Linus/BSD ditro would take care of every single app, all the code in its entirety.
    • Well

      I, oh wait, it's Patch Tuesday.

      Gotta go. Work to do before I can do the work I need to do.
      • @DannyO_0x98

        You can always delay the installation of patches if you have urgent work to do. You're not forced to install them straight away. If you're not sure how to achieve that, may I suggest you go on a 'Windows for Beginners' course. ;-)
        • how long you can delay?

          >>You can always delay the installation of patches
          And enjoy another ZeuS or conficker on your system. Or you're confusing it with a GNU/Linux distro, where you do your work, while patches are applied on the background? Say, if it's applied to an office app, say write, you're working with, when update is done, you can save your docs and issue "killall lowriter;lowriter&" At any rate, no reboot is needed.
    • Facts to fight the FUD

      LD shouldn't bother to read - apparently his eyes lose focus whenever presented with facts about Linux - but for any innocents who don't know he's just an example of species underbridgius trollianimus, some facts.

      The Service Pack is a rollup of updates that are provided over time. This includes all security patches, which are provided on a timely basis, so that they can be applied immediately, as well as all suggested updates. Unlike Windows, all of the 3rd party software that you install from the Ubuntu software repositories is updated ... your full system is up to date, not just some percentage of it.

      So if you've been keeping your system up to date via regular updates from the software repositories, the service pack will have only a modest amount of updates for you. Its key role is for image-builders - people who want an up-to-date image to use for setting up new PCs/servers, to minimize the amount of post-install updates that are necessary, and to minimize the window when any security patches issued since the original release will not be present.

      This is all very much like what MS does for Windows - only more complete (covering much more software than just the OS), and much less often requiring a reboot. And, based on our metrics, much less fragile of an update process - no registry or GPO breakages, like occur on a semi-regular basis on a subset of machines being updated with Windows patches or service packs. A problem with an update is a rare thing for our Ubuntu devices, and simply not a rare thing for our Windows devices.
      • Encouraging FUD

        It's funny, everyone on here always complains about Loverock, but then look at how may replies his comments always get.

        He will make some ridiculous assertion that EVERYONE already knows is false, and then 50 people will comment challenging it. Thereby cluttering up the comments on every linux story with a bunch of non-sense.

        You DO realize you are giving him exactly what he wants, don't you? So how about doing everyone a favor and "Flight the FUD" by ignoring him.
    • Get Informed

      LOverock Davidson, don't write about things where you do not have a first hand experience with. Updates in Ubuntu are non-obtrusive and working so smooth that it is a shame for Microsoft. Even big upgrades are working fantastic. I was yesterday upgrading from 10.04 to 12.04. I cleaned my PC for 10 minutes and started then in the background the upgrade procedure from 10.04 to 12.04. During the next 90 minutes I could do my usual work, interrupted by 5 simple questions. Then a reboot and I am now well set for some more years with of rock-solid, fast and cost-free operating system which is also looking great and has many innovations for efficient computing. I started to work with Windows version 2 and updates in all the years since then have never been so reliable, fast and easy like with Ubuntu. Since I made the switch from Windows to Ubuntu I can't imagine to go back. My work efficiency increased so dramatically with Ubuntu that I would even be willing to pay money for it. Windows 7 I wouldn't take longer even for free. I tested for some weeks Windows 8 and compared with Unity in Ubuntu 12.04 Windows 8 looks like a half-ready prototype. The switch from Gnome 2 to Unity is easy and most things makes sense and are easy to find/use and logical. The same I can't say for Windows 8 which will have a hard time to get the love of users. Now is the right time to switch to the superior operating system (Ubuntu 12.04) which has a bright future where Windows probably may go down the drain.
      Harald Engels
      • Stop feeding the troll..

        ..besides sometimes you need to use a Windows app to (gasp!) get work done! What a concept! So you are stuck with using Windows, no matter how good or solid you may think (insert version Linux here) is.
    • Possibly its' too complex for you.

      Generally to fully understand using Linux requires a little tech ability.
  • Ubuntu 12.04.1: LTS maintenance release

    Hats off to Canonical and Ubuntu Project.
  • ubuntu 10.04

    I thought version 10.04 LTS only had a 3 year life, but the first image suggests it's 5 years.
    The 24
    • my mistake

      damn sorry, i misread the colours of the bar
      The 24