Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 20.1 'Ulyssa' gets pushed to 2021 as many bugs still plague it

Let's speak openly and honestly here. The Linux Mint developers never promised that the next version of the operating system would be released in the year 2020. However, when the Linux Mint 20.1 "Ulyssa" BETA was released before Christmas, many people hoped a stable version would be released before 2021.

Well, folks, I am sorry to say that the terrible 2020 strikes again, as today is New Year's Eve, and the Mint developers still have no idea when 20.1 "Ulyssa" will be released. Since today is the last day of the year, all we know for sure is 2020 is absolutely out of the question. Sadly, the Linux distro is riddled with bugs at the moment, with a massive 34 outstanding issues.

Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint head developer, shares the sad news below.

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At the moment there are 34 issues open. Most of them aren’t release blockers but there still are bugs we want to fix prior to giving Linux Mint 20.1 a stable release.

I know it’s been asked a few times but I can’t give you an exact release date. It’s not that we don’t want to tell you, it’s simply that we don’t know exactly when the release will happen. Until it’s ready it won’t happen, and once it’s ready there’s no reason to wait for an announced date.

As a project, if we wanted to announce a release date and stick to it we would have to deliberately plan it further than anticipated, be ready to make people work late at night even where there are no real emergencies or worse, release the product with important bugs we could have fixed but didn’t have time to. I know some companies and some projects work like that and that’s OK. I know the visibility they give their user base is important and appreciated as well, but that’s not how we chose to operate. The release comes out when we’re happy with it. Looking at the list of bugs we have, there still are issues we want to fix. In 2 months time it won’t matter at all whether we released this a week earlier or a week later, but the bugs we let through, especially those which affect the live session, will mark the release forever and be on the forefront of the version people download for the next 6 months.

So we do not have set release dates. We do however have a 6 months release cycle which gives us rhythm and a sense of urgency and getting this release out right now is all we’re focused on.

Is it bad news that Linux Mint 20.1 won't be released in 2020? Yes and no. For those that were looking forward to installing it sooner rather than later, it certainly stings. However, with 34 known issues plaguing the operating system, it would be foolish to rush it out now. In this case, the Linux Mint developers deserve applause for not setting an artificial deadline; it will be ready when it is ready, and not a moment sooner. And that's the correct thing to do.

Photo credit: maimuShutterstock

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