So, the Ubuntu release candidate was released today. As a release manager, it’s a fascinating process. First the development where there is relativetly little central control: People work on their specs and my job as a relase manager is to roll new alpha/snapshot releases every couple of weeks. Those are lightly tested (does it boot and install on at least one machine?) and if a derivative or an architecture isn’t ready, well, then it isn’t ready.
Beta, the release candidate and the release are completely different beasts. We have test plans, people are assigned tests and so on. In addition, we have a freeze which in total lasts about a week for beta, two weeks for release. Every upload has to be hand-checked and approved. As the release grows nearer, the bugs have to be more severe in order for an upload to be approved and in the end it’s more or less a full commitment “we have this, we have tested this thoroughly and there is no way we can do a full test and still release on schedule”.
At some point, it gets scary. There is just one command left to run;
sync-mirrors. No arguments, just the command. I pushed the button,
and we are now live.