Stable update procedures

James Westby jw+debian at
Thu Jan 29 15:50:08 PST 2009

Hi all,

I've just got round to reading this week's LWN and it has an interesting
article entitled "Fedora looks to prevent upgrade disasters"

It's subscriber-only for a week, if you can't see it then mail me
privately for a subscriber-link, or better yet subscribe to LWN, it's
worth it.

I was actually thinking of sending this mail the other day, but the
appearance of this article sealed it for me. I'm interested in the
procedures that other distributions have for making changes to
"stable" releases, whatever that means for you. I'm especially 
interested what parts you find work well, and what problems you

I'm not particularly interested in the procedure for security updates,
more for bug fixes/new versions, obviously except for the cases where
the procedures are the same.

What are the rules for what is allowed?
What is the process for doing it?
What QA is done on the updates?
How are regressions caught?
How are regressions handled?

I expect there will be a large variance here, but I hope it can be

I'll write a reply with the details for Ubuntu when I'm not supposed
to the packing to leave the country in a few hours, unless someone
else beats me to it.



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