Will snappy break everything?
Canonicals Pat McGowan recently wrote on the mailing list, that there won't be any Updates other than security updates for Ubuntu Touch until a snap-based image is ready. On the one hand, this is kind of sad, because we won't see any significant bugfixes or nifty new features any time soon. On the other hand, this is also good news, because it shows that canonical is actually still working on the project. Ubuntu Touch is not dead, Ubuntu Touch is just sleeping.
But what does the move to snaps mean for UBports? How much work will have to be repeated? What devices will be able to run the snap-based Image? I don't remember where, but i read that a certain version of the kernel is required for snaps to work...
Yeah I was on the #ubuntu-touch chat channel yesterday. Users are working on it - we just need better tutorials.ubuntu.com to get ppl involved.
Some time has passed and a lot has happened in the meantime. Since we're taking over Ubuntu Touch, it's up to us to decide when the move to snaps will take place. This question also came up in the recent Community Q&A:
We plan to support existing devices, but they’ll be in “legacy mode” due to hardware limitations. They’ll get small updates and bugfixes on the current 15.04 base, but will probably not make the jump to 16.04. UBports will also not provide Android base updates, though we haven’t planned these for our current stable devices either.
It's not certain which devices will be capable to run snaps. We will find out...
Personal opinion: You could backport any new function to any old kernel, its just a matter of effort. Apparmor3 had also to be backported to Kernel 3.1 e.g. (and works somehow, or no I am not sure with my phone hehe) - question is the effort.
So snapd and it´s kernel requirements (why are there kernel requirements anyway, somebody has to tell me) could theoretically be backported & maintained, but I am not sure we will have the capacity for that.
So legacy devices could stay on click, but then of course it is likely they also never will get 16.04. Hmm sad story, all of mine are in this class...
Yes, it is sad, but we can't maintain devices with too old kernels forever anyways. That would be a major security threat! We don't have to talk about confinement and permissions when the kernel is basically an open book...
Keep using your devices for now, everybody. We'll get there, when we get there.