The current support timeframe code is too limited for a LTS. For that we need to get a definitve list (or mechanism) of what is supported for how long (what is server (5y), what is desktop supported (3y), what is regular main (18m)). This support must be added to software-center, synaptic and a textmode tool for the server.

Release Note

To make it easier for our users to see what support timeframe individual packages have in the LTS release of Ubuntu 10.04 we add this information into the Packages file directly.


Having the information about the support timeframe directly embedded into the Packages file is the right place.

User stories

Hardy is a sysadmin and wants to know what support timeframe aide has. He run apt-cache show aide and is happy to see it as part of the package record.


We put the support information directly into the package record of the Packages file. The tag is "Supported: $time" with time as "5y","3y","18m". The output will look like this:

$ apt-cache show aide
apt-cache show aide
Package: aide
Priority: optional
Section: admin
Supported: 5y

The support time-frame for the packages is derived from the seed information. The details are described in For a LTS its:

Union of server-ship and supported-server has 5 years of support. Union of ship and supported-desktop has 3 years of support. The rest of main (supported seed) has 18 month.

The information is extracted when cron.germinate runs and added to the extra-extra-overrides file. Software-center and synaptic need to be adjusted to read the new tags and provide a human readable version of that. The ubuntu-maintenance-check script by Nick Barcet will be used as a basis for this code and ported to python (the benefit of python is having native sets).

We also provide a text mode tool that can show what software is no longer supported and basic statistics about the support of the installed packages (e.g. 90% supported for 5 years, 9% supported for 3 years, 1% community supported).


See work items in the spec section.

Test/Demo Plan



FoundationsTeam/Specs/LucidSupportTimeframeInformation (last edited 2009-11-26 16:12:37 by mvo)