[ros-users] Upcoming suspention of debian packaging for EOL Ubuntu distros

Tully Foote tfoote at osrfoundation.org
Thu Feb 4 04:22:25 UTC 2016

Hi Geoff,

You're right that there's a bit of a gap. This gap was discussed during the
decision to slow down our release cycle. Unfortunately, that's basically an
artifact of Ubuntu dropping their regular release support periods to only 9
months and our yearly release cycle. This leaves us with a gap since there
is no Ubuntu release except the LTS which spans the full year between our

There's been a few questions in the past about the effort to add a new
target platform. And the general answer is that it's approximately the same
effort as spinning up a new distro. All the maintainers must go through
their packages in dependency order and rerelease them after verifying them
against their updated dependencies. With the strong feedback from the
community to slow down the release process there's basically no way to
cover the gap.

And when you look at doing that we are about to spin up that process for
Kinetic Kame, which will support Wily and Xenial. Thus we would be asking
all the maintainers to do twice as much work. In the not too distant future
we do expect to have early test releases of Kinetic available for Wily. I
would rather ask people to put their effort into Kinetic and make our next
LTS even more solid. We've seen a lot of people sticking to Trusty-Indigo
and expect them to be jumping directly to Xenial-Kinetic.

Expect to hear more about Kinetic soon. We've been preparing for it in the
background [1] but will be kicking off officially shortly.


[1] https://github.com/ros-infrastructure/rep/pull/106

On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 6:48 PM, BiggsGeoffrey <geoffrey.biggs at aist.go.jp>

> Hi Tully,
> Can we get some clarification on what will happen to support for Ubuntu
> distributions more recent than Trusty (14.04, LTS)?
> According to REP3, and subtracting end-of-life'd distributions, as of Feb
> 3 Indigo is supported on Trusty while Jade is supported on Trusty and
> Vivid. Nothing is supported on Wily.
> As of Feb 4, this will change to both Indigo and Jade only being supported
> on Trusty. There will be no version of ROS that is supported on a version
> of Ubuntu released more recently than two years ago.
> Kinetic is due for release in May of this year, so it is reasonable to
> assume that it will support Xenial (which will also be an LTS release).
> This leaves quite a gap between now and the release of a ROS distro
> supporting a recent Ubuntu version; that gap will grow if Kinetic is
> delayed.
> I can't see anything in REP3 that addresses this situation. Is there a
> policy to deal with it? There was a gap in Ubuntu support between Hydro and
> Indigo as well, but it was not anywhere near as long.
> What sort of work is required to get Jade supported on Wily? Is it worth
> the effort or, given that it's only updates that we will be lacking,
> should resources instead be put into making sure Kinetic is released on
> time (or earlier)?
> Geoff
> ------------------------------
> *From:* ros-users <ros-users-bounces at lists.ros.org> on behalf of Tully
> Foote via ros-users <ros-users at lists.ros.org>
> *Sent:* Thursday, 4 February 2016 6:59 a.m.
> *To:* User discussions
> *Subject:* [ros-users] Upcoming suspention of debian packaging for EOL
> Ubuntu distros
> Hi Everyone,
> As some of you may have been aware we have always planned to drop support
> for EOL'd Ubuntu distros, however we have not done so due to our build farm
> not being able to disable the builds without breaking users operating from
> source.
> As announced last week we have rolled out our new build farm. One of the
> new features of the new build farm is that we can now disable specific
> target platforms for building new packages without removing all references
> to the target platform. This allows users to keep using the older distros
> if they want to continue building from source. And as always we will
> continue to keep the existing debian packages available. The only
> difference is that we no longer will be releasing updates.
> For Indigo and Jade the Ubuntu distributions Saucy and Utopic have already
> reached their end of life. And Vivid's EOL is tomorrow. (See
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases for EOL dates.)  And as such we plan to
> stop building for those platforms by the end of this month.
> For maintainers we are staging a sync at the moment. We expect one final
> sync in the middle of February to be the final one before we turn off the
> builds for Saucy,  Utopic, and Vivid. Please keep that in mind as you plan
> your upcoming releases.
> In the future when other Ubuntu versions reach EOL we expect to stop
> building for them promptly after the EOL date since at that time Ubuntu
> will also no longer be providing updates as well.
> Tully
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