Canonical’s Matthias Klose informed the Ubuntu community in a mailing list announcement last week that getting the Python 2 interpreter demoted from Ubuntu has been an ongoing task for the last few releases, and that Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) is the first to ship with a Desktop ISO image that doesn’t contain Python2.
However, the next step for them is to prepare to move the Python 2 packages to the “universe” repository in the next few months before the release of the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system in April 2018. While Python 2 will be supported for only two more years, Ubuntu 18.04 is an LTS (Long Term Support) release supported for five years, until 2023.
Before demoting the Python 2 interpreter to the “universe” repositories, the Ubuntu developers need to fix about 35 issues, ensuring the OpenStack package builds against Python 3, as well as any other remaining packages that still rely on Python 2. Also, they need to remove or update any Python 2 package in the Ubuntu seeds.
Other than that, they also need to make sure no new Python 2 packages land in the main software repositories of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). Once Python 2 will be available in the “universe” repo, users will need to enable it if they want to install any software package dependent on the Python 2 interpreter.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht