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Currently, the available option for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is php 5.3.2. I'm wondering how long it usually takes for their repos to update to either php 5.3.3, or even the latest php 5.3.4.

All though I'm interested in PHP more specifically at the moment, can anyone provide more details on Ubuntu's "release philosophy" if you will? I understand a "major" release every 6 months, and an LTS every ~2 years... but am not sure how Ubuntu manages packages.

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3 Answers 3

To the best of my understanding, Ubuntu usually updates the repos when there is a new ubuntu version and that the package has been tested with the release. If you would like to use more up to date packages then just get the source and compile them yourself, I would not do this on a production server though as there still may be bugs or other serious issues that should be fixed on the next update.

Hope that helps :) RayQuang

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Aaron, the model by which a distro's packages update isn't exactly compatible with the typical web shop's fast advance forward.

Because the distribution seeks to integrate things to a point of extreme stability, typically we won't actually update a stable release like 10.04 to the latest upstream, as this may cause incompatibility with the dependent software shipped with Ubuntu.

Instead generally we will cherrypick patches and fixes from the newer versions and push them into the stable releases as "StableReleaseUpdates". This reduces the chances for regression while still solving the issue of fixing bugs.

Here is a list of the fixes that have been released, or are accepted as needing to be fixed in the lucid php5 package:

http://bit.ly/e9VQUs

Also, there is a process by which we can backport newer upstream versions into the stable releases, but it is typically at a lower priority than bug fixes and work on the next development release. However, if users follow this process it shouldn't be too difficult. We'd really love to have more people requesting/working on backports!

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuBackports

(On a more specific note, PHP 5.3.3 is in 10.10, and 5.3.4 should be in natty (the future 11.04) unless it introduces any horrendous regressions).

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You will probably never see it in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Ubuntu aims to keep version numbers the same throughout the release, because libraries and language features change and break existing code. But looking at their package database website, you can see that php5 is 5.3.3 in 10.10. It's possible 11.04 will get 5.3.4, but not before it lands in Debian unstable.

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