The Haus

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Mandrake Releases to Have One Year Lives

I received an email from MandrakeSoft indicating that they are following Red Hat's lead and giving releases a 12-month lifecycle. After a year has past, Mandrake will no longer release official bug and security fixes. So basically, you either upgrade your OS or patch it yourself.

I can see why Red Hat and especially Mandrake have started to do this. In a company with limited cash flow, supporting old releases takes up a lot of valuable resources. However, it might not always be practical to upgrade the whole OS once a year. Having said that, I usually upgrade frequently just to get the "latest and greatest." After all, it only costs a couple of CD-Rs. I wonder what the rest of The Haus staff thinks? Hmm . . .

J.t.Qbe comments: I'm surprised that this hasn't been the policy already. Now that I think about it, though, this might hurt Mandrake's chances in IT departments. My boss just settled on Red Hat 7 as our standard; he doesn't want bleeding edge releases because we have to be confident that the platform is stable and reliable. Mandrake's always been more of a bleeding edge distribution than Red Hat (and I have a Mandrake 9 machine myself), but expecting an upgrade every year wouldn't fly at my company.

Personally, I do grab most new releases of Slackware, Mandrake and FreeBSD, even if I don't use them before the next rev. CDRs are cheap; the time it takes to find an older version of a distribution is much less cheap. That said, I haven't fired up Linux since I got the new version of VMS for my VAX. . .

News for 02/04/2003

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