Friday, June 13, 2008

Why your ubuntu box is stuck with blender version 2.42

I have kubuntu installed on one box. I became concerned that the adept package manager was holding out on me. I noticed that the version available for blender was stuck at 2.42, whereas the had available 2.45, and some other distros as live CD even came with it. For a while, until I did some more research, I was tempted to believe that ubuntu "didn't care" about us having the latest software upgrades. Then I realized the down-level-ness of the software at the ubuntu repositories may have been due to a very good reason.

Quoting at length from the UbuntuBackports page,
"Ubuntu releases a new version of its OS every 6 months. After a release, the version of all packages stays constant for the entire 6 months. For example, if Ubuntu ships with 2.0.x, it will remain at 2.0.x for the entire 6-month release cycle, even if a later version gets released during this time. The Ubuntu team may apply important security fixes to 2.0.x, but any new features or non-security bugfixes will not be made available.

This is where Ubuntu Backports comes in. The Backports team believes that the best update policy is a mix of Ubuntu's security-only policy AND providing new versions of some programs. Candidates for version updates are primarily desktop applications, such as your web browser, word processor, IRC client, or IM client. These programs can be updated without replacing a large part of the operating system that would affect stability of the whole system."
This makes a lot of sense.

Looking at the ubuntu repository package page for blender, one can see that feisty is "stuck at" 2.43, but feisty backports allows one to get blender 2.45. Instructions that ubuntu provides for adding backports are shown here.

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