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Next Ubuntu LTS in 2010, unless Linuxes synchronize

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Mark Shuttleworth, head of Canonical and founder of the Ubuntu project, has called on other Linux developers to synchronize releases of new versions of their distros.

He also pledged to deliver the next Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu, version 10.4, in April 2010 - unless, of course, Red Hat, Novell and Debian decide to co-operate on a synchronized release at a different time.

Previously, Shuttleworth had been aiming for 18 months to 36 months on Ubuntu LTS.

Shuttleworth in his blog said a common release schedule would bring benefits both to users and Linux distributors.

He pledged: "If two out or three of Red Hat (RHEL), Novell (SLES) and Debian are willing to agree in advance on a date to the nearest month, and thereby on a combination of kernel, compiler toolchain, GNOME/KDE, X and OpenOffice versions, and agree to a six-month and two-to-three year long term cycle, then I would happily realign Ubuntu's short and long-term cycles around that."

One early response from the Debian community favors the idea.

Shuttleworth touched on the idea of synchronized releases in an interview with El Reg last month.

He argues that open source developers are in a stronger position to commit to firm advanced delivery dates than proprietary software developers because they can "focus on the critical role of component selection, integration, testing, patch management and distribution".®

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