Ubuntu VSTS

I've used Ubuntu from 2008 to 2012 on actual hardware. I stopped using it mainly because it degraded from a usable Linux distribution to a bugriddled bundle of outdated packages that evolved in the wrong direction. Still, I kept a minimal LTS server as virtual machine which I believed to be potentially helpful to diagnose issues we might have with our Ubuntu server installation at work.

LTS? Stands for "long term support", is released every two years, and is advertised as being supported for five years.

I have known this promise to be false since 2010, and this knowledge has accelerated my departure from Ubuntu. The German computer magazine Hail Ubuntu c't has recently published an online article on Canonical's deception, but they otherwise consequently ignore other Linux distributions and treat Ubuntu as being the most (only?) suitable distribution for newbies. As if newbies wouldn't need security support.

To check the support status of the current version, I've upgraded my existing 14.04 installation to 16.04, which was released just two weeks ago. Canonical does not encourage this update, but recommends to wait until the first point release (16.04.1). To still be able to upgrade, the 'do-release-upgrade' tool needs the command line parameter 'd', directing it to also consider development versions. That's very interesting: the 16.04 LTS release, which is by viewed by many as the prototype of stability and reliability, is officially considered to be a development release.

And to give credit where credit is due: Canonical is right. While the upgrade itself was fast (10 min) and free of errors, and 16.04 boots up to the login prompt faster than ever, the X server exits with a segmentation fault. Just like the old times, and so Ubuntuish!

Fortunately, I do not need an X server to run 'ubuntu-support-status':

Percentage      Time
4.3             3y
2.9             9m
6.4             unsupported

Almost 14% of all packages are not covered by the 5y support (and almost half of those are unsupported at the day of installation). Note that I'm talking about a server installation with a total size of 2 GB and not a single package from multiverse. I don't even want to imagine the situation with a full-blown desktop installation.