Canonical announced on Friday that it plans to release the promised respin ISO images of the Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system early next week on January 11.
The announcement comes minutes after Canonical announced the end of life of its Ubuntu 17.04 “Zesty Zapus” operating system on January 13, 2018, saying that it’s beneficial to have Ubuntu 17.10 images available in the face of the impending EOL for Ubuntu 17.04, as users will need to upgrade their installations.
Last month, several users reported broken BIOSes due to a bug in the Ubuntu 17.10 installation images. Laptops from Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba were affected by the issue, which locked users out of their BIOS settings. The bug could make user’s system unbootable even if the image was booted in live mode.
Canonical immediately took action and disabled downloads for the Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop images from the ubuntu.com website. Meanwhile, to fix the issue, they had to update the kernel packages in Ubuntu 17.10 to disable the intel-spi driver at boot time, and they’ve been working on rebuilding the ISOs since.
Early next week, around the date of January 11, Canonical will release the new ISO images for Ubuntu 17.10 and all official flavors, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Studio, and Ubuntu Budgie, and they’re announcing today a call for testing to make sure the respin images work correctly.
The Ubuntu 17.10 respins won’t include patches for Meltdown and Spectre bugs
While the company announced earlier this week that it is working on patches to mitigate recently disclosed Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities on the Ubuntu 17.10, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 ESM releases, the Ubuntu 17.10 respins won’t include these patches.
“As a rule, we do not re-release install media for security bugs, even those as severe as this; Ubuntu 17.10 install media without the Meltdown fix will be in the same category as Ubuntu 14.04.5 and Ubuntu 16.04.3 install media which also do not include the fix,” says Steve Langasek, Engineering Manager, Ubuntu Foundations, Canonical.
Canonical also said that it wouldn’t release patches for the Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) operating system before it’s end of life on January 13, 2018, as it is pointless. Users who are still using Ubuntu 17.04 are urged to upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10 before January 13, either by upgrading directly or reinstalling with the new ISO images.