Thoughts on Fedora Server lifecycle

Stephen Gallagher sgallagh at
Fri Nov 1 18:30:38 UTC 2013

Hash: SHA1

Related to my earlier mail "Server Admins: Why not Fedora?", I wanted
to specifically discuss some lifecycle ideas. Every few months, people
start shouting again for a "Fedora LTS" and people generally respond
with "we couldn't support that with volunteers" or "go use

Suppose for a moment that we did things a little differently in the
Fedora Server. We don't want to get out of sync with the release cycle
set by the Base Design WG, certainly. But at the same time, I think we
can come up with a fairly simple way to maintain the Fedora Server for
a longer time period.

I'm going to propose a lifecycle of eighteen months (with slight
extensions for slippage) as follows.

Let's start talking about Fedora Server 1.0 (rather than Fedora Server

In my view of the world, we would build the Base Design as Fedora 21,
Fedora 22 and Fedora 23 following mechanisms not terribly dissimilar
to the present-day model. We would then create the Fedora Server atop
this, delayed by a small amount < 1 month).

We would use the latest Fedora Base bits as the platform and sync our
pieces atop it at regular intervals, aiming for a finalized release
every eighteen months.

I spent the last hour trying to draw up a decent timeline graphic, but
I am terrible at this and so I will instead attempt to explain it in
text. Please bear with me.

Let's start the discussion from Fedora 21. We would follow the Fedora
21 process closely until the base design is declared final (much as
current Fedora is now). Ideally at the same time (but possibly delayed
by up to a month), we would release "Fedora Server 1.0 Preview 1".
This would be a complete, installable server operating system, but
make it clear that it's a preview release that may not represent the
final product.

At Fedora 22, we release "Fedora Server 1.0 Preview 2", with the same
caveats. However, at Fedora 23, we release "Fedora Server 1.0". At
this time, we agree to freeze the interfaces and make clear demands on
backwards-compatibility. For the remaining life of Fedora Server 1.x,
it will be a stable platform (and understood to be extremely
conservative with its updates).

At Fedora 24, we now release two things: "Fedora Server 1.1", which
will just be an updated installer with the latest versions of any
package updates that have occurred in the standard install since
Fedora Server 1.0". We will also release "Fedora Server 2.0 Preview
1", following the same guidelines as above.

Fedora 25 would offer the "Fedora Server 1.2" updates roll-up and
"Fedora Server 2.0 Preview 2", and finally Fedora 26 would offer only
"Fedora Server 2.0" as install media. At this time, Fedora Server 1.0
would become "security-fixes only" for the six months until Fedora
Server 2.1 (to allow overlap to upgrade). As of Fedora Server N.1 of
any release, the N-1 series is abandoned.

So yes, that sounds ambitious, but what do you think of the idea?

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