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Questions about the Ubuntu Development version

Background

AskUbuntu is dedicated to helping users with the current released versions of standard Ubuntu and Ubuntu community flavours (Kubuntu, Lubuntu ... Xubuntu).

Still, we may want to try the next Ubuntu version live and/or install it, and we may need to interact with other people about it.

Questions

  • How can I participate or get help with the Ubuntu Development Version?

    In April 2018 'Bionic' was released as 18.04 LTS and in July 2018 the first point release as 18.04.1 LTS, and we look forward to the next version. In October 2018 'Cosmic' was released as 18.10. In April 2019 'Disco' will be released as 19.04.

  • When should I upgrade if I want a smooth ride (and get help here at AskUbuntu)?

  • Sorry for unorthodox communication but I wonder if you might have an answer or comment to this: askubuntu.com/questions/1058318/… (BTW +2 was already given to this Q&A so no new points :( :)) – WinEunuuchs2Unix Jul 22 '18 at 21:45
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix, I am not sure. There is evidence that the memory cells of pendrives and memory cards have a much shorter expected life (number of write cycles to failure) than HDDs and SSDs. There is also evidence, that pendrives and memory cards last much longer than most people think. I am still recommending methods to decrease wear in systems booted and run from such drives, but I am considering a change (for example in favour of journaling). – sudodus Jul 23 '18 at 5:10
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If you want to help develop and debug the latest and greatest Ubuntu

  • I suggest that you keep the testing separate from your production system, your main operating system.

    Other people are actually using the developing release as their production system, which is good for testing, but it can be a bumpy ride. Some new program versions may not cooperate well with some other program, so that some things stop working (usually for a short time). Anyway, you should expect some 'hiccups' in the developing version.

  • If your computer is powerful enough, you can install VirtualBox and run the developing release in a virtual machine. The virtual machine can boot directly from an iso file in the host machine, so you need no USB/DVD drive.

    • This method is safe, the testing will not affect the host operating system.
  • Otherwise you can install the developing release alongside your production system, 'dual boot or multi boot'.

    • This is more risky, and it will be 'even more important' to backup your production system frequently.
    • This is also a more valuable test (compared to running in VirtualBox), because it is testing Ubuntu with the actual hardware in your computer.
  • You find the daily iso files via the ISO testing tracker. The zsync method can be recommended. It downloads only the differences compared to your previous version of the daily iso file, and there is a built-in checksum test.

    You can use a line in a shellscript for each iso file that you are testing, for example

    zsync http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/bionic-desktop-amd64.iso.zsync
    
  • Please help by reporting bugs at Launchpad and the ISO testing tracker

  • You can also discuss the developing version at this Ubuntu Forum

  • There are 5 point releases of the LTS versions. The 1st point release has the same kernel as the original version. The 2nd - 5th point releases have updated hardware enablement stacks and kernels corresponding to the regular releases and finally xx.04.5 corresponding to the next LTS release. See this link,

    http://www.ubuntu.com/info/release-end-of-life

    Until the 5th point release is official, there are daily iso files to be tested for the LTS versions.

  • Alongside testing the iso files: Running live and installing, it is also valuable to test

    • running and keeping the installed system up to date
    • release-upgrading from the previous version and previous LTS version.
  • Alongside testing standard Ubuntu, Ubuntu Server and the Ubuntu mini.iso (alias Netboot), it is important to test the Ubuntu family flavours. The community teams are often small, and a new active tester can make a big difference for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, Xubuntu.

  • So please select what you find interesting and important. Your help will be appreciated :-)

If you want a smooth ride

  • Wait until the next version is released. Two new versions are released every year, in April, xx.04, and October, xx.10. Versions released in April during even years have long time support, LTS, and are recommended, unless you have new hardware, and need the newest hardware drivers.

  • As a matter of fact, if you want a really smooth ride, you should stay with versions with long time support, LTS, and wait until July or August, when the first point release is available (2018: Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS).

    My experience from previous versions with long time support, LTS, is that the first point release is debugged and polished.

    I think 18.04 LTS is a good release, but bugs will be found, when it is used by many more people, not only the testers, and in many more computers with various hardware components. There will be time to squash these bugs until the first point release.

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