If you have come to rely on not being forced to upgrade too quickly when using non-LTS versions of Ubuntu, then your luck has finally run out. Starting with the 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ release the 18 month support period for non-LTS releases will be cut in half to 9 months.
The move to a shorter support period was chosen over the option of a ‘rolling release model’ that many in the Ubuntu community were in favor of. Details are still somewhat sketchy at the moment and more details about the latest decision will be available soon.
From the blog post: The developers want to make it easier for users of the distribution to get up-to-date packages on a regular basis without the need to perform explicit upgrades of the whole distribution.
The reduction in support for non-LTS releases from 18 to nine months should give the developers more time to concentrate on testing the packages to which users will be able to upgrade between major releases. No decisions have been taken, apparently, on how the up-to-date packages will be delivered to users; the Technical Board only decided to “enable users to continuously track the development focus of Ubuntu without having to explicitly upgrade”. The implementation details are expected to be worked out in the next few weeks.
You can learn more about the meeting by visiting the blog post and chat log session links below.
Ubuntu to halve support length for non-LTS releases [The H Security Blog]