Why Ubuntu 18.04 cannot get updates from next released tested versions

We are in Oct/2019 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is still using old Mate 1.20 and old packages, while the version 18.10, 19.04 have been tested and verified but still no intention to merge those new features into LTS version ? can't Ubuntu Mate follows what Microsoft is doing by integrating all new features into the main version each 6 months ? because no one (only a child would do it) is using those 9 months supported version, and everyone is still using 18.04 which is supported for 10 years, there is really some big gap between the developpers and users, and nothing forbids them to push those changes to LTS version because they are well tested and verified !

Ubuntu does that, versions are released every 6 months with the latest stable packages.

LTS releases are supported for 5 years on Ubuntu, and 3 years on the Ubuntu flavours (e.g. Ubuntu MATE). Next LTS release is in April 2020, so in about 6 months you will have an LTS with the latest and greatest MATE.

Just to note, that LTS releases are considered "enterprise grade" (Canonical's words, not mine), and so changing the entire desktop version to a new one every 6 months is not quite what "enterprise" might expect. This is the point of LTS releases: it's not broken, so don't fix it.

Bug fixes are backported, but not new features.

tl;dr - If you want latest features, use interim releases. If you want stable desktop with latest bug fixes, use LTS.

More info:


Sticking with an old/stable version is useful only for server versions, but for desktop users I think this releasing model is really bad in current time, because every OS is trying to appeal and to give the best experience for users, so the old model is outdated and is difficult for new generations of users to accept. See what is happening with Windows, Android and iOS all of them are releasing single up-to-date version and updating their functions many times during a year, while Ubuntu try to force us to reinstall the whole OS to get new small functions or waiting for many years to get it, really stupid and old way of thinking.

I think you misunderstand the Ubuntu release cycle.

Most users use LTS precisely because they don't want things to change
when they already work. This is what "enterprise grade" means. When your
Ubuntu LTS installation is used to drive the backbone of your business,
you really don't care about the latest shiny icons, do you? You care
that the thing is rock solid and requires no re-configuration. Bug fixes
are still included in LTS and updated regularly.

To cater to those who want the latest and greatest desktop experience,
Ubuntu also does the 6-month interim release. This means that every
6 months you will get the latest stable release of whatever packages you
use, including the desktop environment. This has two purposes: to
provide users with newer software, and to provide a basis for testing
the next LTS. Bug fixes and feature updates are included and updated

In my experience, I have not had to do a fresh install of the OS for
several years. I use the interim releases. I still get bug fixes and
random updates about once or twice a week. Every 6 months, my desktop is
fully bumped and refreshed. No reinstall necessary.

There are also other Linux distributions that do "rolling releases", in
which as soon as a package is updated upstream, it's sent down to the
users of that distro. This is a different release model, and not one
that Ubuntu currently uses.

In your case, if you want rolling releases, you might want to try
a distro specifically designed for that. Ubuntu provides a 6-month
release cadence, along with the 2-year LTS release cadence, which has
proven to be a massively successful approach. If this is not your cup of
tea, that's still perfectly fine, and the Linux world has your back:
there are plenty of other options around :slight_smile:


So those interim releases can do upgrade from version to another without reformating my machine ? Can it pass from interim to new LTS and from LTS to new interim ?, I thought once they expire you need to reformat to get the new version, that's why I stick with 18.04, I will try the use the interim and see if it's solid and updated to latest. Thanks really for your help :slight_smile:

Of course! Think of the LTS as another 6-month release, it just happens
to be supported for longer if you wish to park there for a while.

As soon as a new interim is released, you will be able to just upgrade
in place with the usual update tools. If you like the latest versions of
the desktop, you should definitely try the interim releases. 19.10 is
about to be released and so far is really solid and smooth! (I'm
currently running the Beta for it).


I do recommend making a backup before doing your upgrade no matter if it is an LTS or interim release.

There is no need to "nuke and pave" to upgrade to a newer release. Downgrading is not recommended at all.


Thanks for your advice :wink:

LTS releases are supported for 5 years on Ubuntu, and 3 years on the Ubuntu flavours (e.g. Ubuntu MATE).

Is the "3 years" part new, or do you mean "for MATE components specifically"? Because MATE 16.04, for example, is still supported wrt things like kernel updates, "standard" apps, and so on.

It's not new, in fact it dates to many years ago, when Ubuntu (Desktop)
was supported for 3 years while Ubuntu (Server) was supported for 5.

They've changed that and Ubuntu is supported for 5 years, while flavors
(MATE, Kubuntu, etc.) are supported for 3 years. However, since all
Ubuntu flavors use the same Ubuntu base, anything that's not
flavor-specific (kernel, core apps, security updates) is all supported
for 5 years.

So, yes, Ubuntu MATE components, specifically, are supported for
3 years. Everything else in the underlying operating system is supported
for 5 years.

Does that make sense?

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jep, thanks. :slight_smile:

The idea behind the LTS is sound. We want the stability and reliability. We want the acceleration of workflows that depends on the platform standing still like a rock. I am not interested in updates unless there is a compelling reason.

The idea is sound but it isn't working very well---not for me, anyway. The testing is probably not long enough or deep enough (number of users) to deliver "enterprise grade." We would pay for something of enterprise grade, if it came with support.

It's a patchwork quilt model of development. There are limits. There are pros and cons.

Have you heard of Redhat or IBM, They support open source on enterprise level. Linux is Linux and it's up to you to learn it and make it do what you need it to do. If you want simple, then there is those other OS's you can use.

@Isaiah_Sellassie - I agree with @yawanathanisrael here. If you're looking for enterprise grade with paid support, maybe Ubuntu MATE is not what you're looking for. I'm sure Canonical provides paid support for their LTS release (I'm honestly not familiar with their Desktop business model). And as mentioned, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is literally that: stable Linux with full enterprise support agreement. As an individual developer you can download it for free, of course (disclaimer: I work for Red Hat, although not on the desktop team). You can also look at SUSE for yet another alternative of enterprise Linux. These are all fully supported Linux distributions used by enterprise.

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That's a pretty awesome and affordable support plan for desktops! My mind is blown! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

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Thanks for that. I haven't tried those in a while. I'm pretty resigned now to run Windows 7 into the ground.

Thanks for that. The $25 plan does not include support. Big leap to $3000 after that.