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Ubuntu GNOME LTS: Not Signed, Sealed or Delivered

Ubuntu GNOME is seeking approval to become an official ‘Long Term Support’ release with its upcoming version.

Developers behind the flavour have submitted a request to the Ubuntu Technical Board asking to be granted official LTS status.

If approved, Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 would commit to providing its users with an extended period of package updates, critical fixes and security updates until the time of the next LTS release, Ubuntu 16.04, in 2016.

‘Committing to an LTS release is not something flavours take on lightly’

At two years and three months the LTS window would be half that of ‘regular’ Ubuntu, which is backed by Canonical for five years on the desktop. By comparison, its current stable release, version 13.10, is supported for just nine months. For a project with limited manpower a LTS-to-LTS bridge seems like an ideal compromise.

This extended support period makes LTS releases the preferred option for many users and businesses.

Among the packages the team are aiming to take on support for are GNOME Shell and its core dependencies, including Mutter and the GNOME Display Manager login-screen, and the newly independent GNOME Control Centre application.


With smaller pools of contributors, committing to an LTS release is not something Ubuntu’s flavours look to take on without due consideration and evaluation of whether they have the ‘manpower’ to maintain support.

Other family members have also confirmed their plans for the cycle. Xubuntu and Kubuntu 14.04 are both planning to provide three years (regular Ubuntu is supported for five) of LTS maintenance.

Lightweight LXDE-based spin Lubuntu is also hoping to jump aboard — but with it planning to switch to the Qt-based desktop in the near future it’s not yet clear what sort of commitment, if any, will ultimately be offered.

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