Canonical To Drop Support For Ubuntu 9.10

With an announcement on the security mailing list, Canonical has confirmed that support for Ubuntu 9.10 will cease on April 29 2011. This came as no surprise as it adheres to the expected support cycle of a .10 Ubuntu release, and 9.10 is now 18 months old.

The recommended upgrade path from 9.10 is to Ubuntu 10.4. 10.04 is a long term support (LTS) release, and support will end on April 2013. Note that, according to official Ubuntu documentation, it's not possible to skip a release version when upgrading. So, it's not possible to go straight from 9.10 to 10.10. It is possible to upgrade from 9.10 to 10.04 and then to 10.10. That's quite a lot to go through, and personally, I'd be tempted to make a fresh install and migrate the user data.

The canonical policy of upgrades at dependable intervals is admirable, but its cyclic nature does present a problem because end of life periods coincide with new releases. At the moment, a person with a system that is on 9.10 might wonder if it is better to wait for the 11.x series to begin.

Take into account that a full system upgrade often cannot be carried out on a whim. Also bear in mind that most people wait for a new release to be confirmed as stable before taking the plunge. Presumably, the repositories themselves will become inaccessible, so this means that, for many users, there will be a gap when 9.10 is difficult to maintain and 11.4 isn't quite ready for installation.

Perhaps Canonical need to consider release and support cycles that include a period of overlap? Okay, okay, in all fairness, some might wave a finger and argue that this problem could be avoided by carrying out regular upgrades when they become available. However, at 18 months or less, the lifespan of 9.10, doesn't feel that long on a personal level.


UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.


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9.04 vs 9.10 and David Lane's comment

bobc52's picture

I fully agree with David Lane. Version 9.10 caused the forums lots of traffic about the various problems, and I too removed it and reinstalled 9.04. When 9.04 approached its end of life I switched to Mint 9.

For those fortunate to have an easy installation and for those wise enough to wait long enough for the bugs to be ironed out before trying it, 9.10 may have been an excellent release. For some of us it was more frustration than it was worth.

Agree with David Lane 9.04

Anonymous's picture

Agree with David Lane 9.04 was my last zero hassle Ubuntu install. Trying Xubuntu and it seems the least agravating Ubuntu at this time. I probably will stick with Slackware. Slackware has hassles but they are usually the same hassles every install, and once I get it working it STAYS working.

9.04 was great 9.10 was better 10.04 is excellent's picture

9.04 was great 9.10 was better 10.04 is excellent and 10.10 - well did not really update to 10.10 as 10.04 is so good.

I have cloned my 10.04 and then updated to 10.10 and played with that using Unit 2d for a while, now 11.04 Beta 1 is out I have done the Upgrade to 11.04.

I have to say it is very nice and well worth the time, was not too much of a hassle to go from 10.10 to 11.04, however the 10.04 to 10.10 was complex as I had a bunch of PPA's that where not supported under 10,10.

So I removed those and re-did the update few times and had to manually (via Synaptic) update some components. 11.04 update seems to handle that issue much better as it disabled a bunch of "non support" PPA's

Security is important and needs to be the key driver of change, Doing a clean installed for dual boot (if you have the HDisk space) is easy and a sensible approach that should be explored. That way you can apply any custom PPA's one at at time, try the system and then move any USER data.

There are alternatives to Ubuntu and the 6mth cycle comes up quickly, but hey - there are simple ways around this so you can test new versions. and dual booting is easy to do with Ubuntu.

There are no real 'free-lunches' with any OS, Windows XP and Vista clearly show that. Windows 7 is nice but it all costs $ so get all new software each time it is updated. So we have to accept a little bit more work to get a better overall result.

Still on 9.04

David Lane's picture

Well, I am still on 9.04 and see no real reason to upgrade (aside from the security issue - and that might drive me to 10). Based on what I have heard though, 10 is no great shakes. Certainly I was not impressed with 9.10 to the point that after I put it on my daughter's machine I took it back off and gave her 9.04.

Maybe I should just relent and move my Ubuntu installs to Fedora.

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

Why not try Opensuse if

mikesd's picture

Why not try Opensuse if you're going to go to a RPM based distro?

That which does not kill me only postpones the inevitable.

SuSE vs Red Hat

David Lane's picture

I probably would, if I were not so comfortable and familiar with Red Hat. For me, I know where all the trap doors are in Fedora/Red Hat (and that is my primary Linux platform and has been for most of the 15 years I have been using Linux).

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

still using 8.04

Podsgrove's picture

Like many others, it would appear, I will be sticking with my old installations rather than updating. Why both Gnome and Ubuntu have abandoned the clean simplicity of the old Gnome desktop is beyond me. Remember the engineer's mantra: if it works don't fix it.

if it works don't fix it. --I

acgmohu's picture

if it works don't fix it. --I Agree that. : )

And maybe…… Canonical 's goal is to surpass Microsoft……

I'm still using 8.04 and have

Steve Thompson's picture

I'm still using 8.04 and have no intention of upgrading, it does everything I want perfectly. Too much hassle for zero gain. I'm going to add the archive repos and carry on regardless. Not worried about security updates, I might if it was Windows. :-)

Not worrying about security

Anonymous's picture

Not worrying about security updates because you run a very old version of Linux is a little naive.

My teacher is still in use

acgmohu's picture

My teacher is still in use 8.04

"This came as no surprise as

Anonymous's picture

"This came as no surprise as it adheres to the expected support cycle of a .10 Ubuntu release"..... exactly, so how is this news?

It's not news. It's LJ

mikesd's picture

It's not news. It's LJ fulfilling their Ubuntu advertisement agreement.

That which does not kill me only postpones the inevitable.

fond memories

markh's picture

mmmmm.......I did some of my biggest growth in learning linux on ubuntu 9.04 but 9.1 brought a VERY exceptional desktop experience. gnome was simple, fullscreen flash finally worked well for me and alot of programs I liked became very mature during that time.

I actually booted an old box I had laying around the other day and it was 9.1....brought back some memories. I will miss ubuntu 9.1 :)


Michael Reed's picture

A couple of typos and a mix up about the next LTS corrected. Thanks guys.

UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.


Flopsy's picture

Ubuntu 12.04 will be the next LTS (Long Term Support) Not Ubuntu 11.04

11.04 LTS?

NOYB's picture

Ubuntu 11.04 is NOT an LTS release. LTS releases are put out every 2 years. The next LTS is 12.04.

I think you mean April 29,

Cory Wright's picture

I think you mean April 29, 2011 (not 2010)

Definition of LTS

JedSmith13's picture

There seems to be some confusion on the the release cycle of Ubuntu. LTS releases only come out every 2 years so the next LTS will not be until 12.4. So if you want something to be supported for longer then 18 months upgrade to 10.4 and then a year from now you can spend up to a year (for 3 year cycle to end) making sure you are ready to upgrade to 12.4.

Yes 18 months is not very long but with releases happening every 6 months things would really start piling up if it was any longer.

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