Ubuntu Linux Finally Goes Rolling Release With Rolling Rhino, Here’s How To Set It Up

rhino desktop
Canonical has been steadily working to not only make Linux more powerful and feature-rich, but to make the OS more approachable for the average user. Unfortunately, while great strides have been made in recent years, using Linux still isn't quite as straightforward as Windows or MacOS.

Ubuntu has been a favorite distro to introduce new users to Linux, due to its simple interface and relative ease of use versus other distros. According to some users though, the release cycle for Ubuntu is just too slow, which causes it to fall behind in terms of application updates and critical libraries. A newly-released version of Ubuntu, however, dubbed Rolling Rhino, aims to change this.
rhino installer
Screen capture of the Rolling Rhino Ubuntu Installer

Rolling Rhino is a sort of pseudo-bleeding-edge distribution of Ubuntu. The project relies on the development build distributions of Linux, so it still utilizes what are considered Ubuntu development packages. However, this distribution has its own update utility called rhino-update, which will bypass some of the default aptitude functionality to grab things like newer Linux kernels and software packages that might not be on the development branch just yet. The project has no affiliation with Canonical Ltd. or Ubuntu and is not considered supported by Ubuntu.

If you want to get a hold of Rolling Rhino there are two main ways to do so. One way is to grab a daily development build of your favorite flavor of Ubuntu, which must be on an actual Ubuntu branch, such as Xubuntu, Lubuntu. Then apply a rolling-rhino patch to the ISO, available here. We're slightly lazy, though, so we're going to take the easy way out.
known errors
Screenshot of rhino-update terminal, known errors are shown

The easiest way to get Rolling Rhino is downloading a pre-packaged ISO from the project's web page, then run the installer as though it were any other Ubuntu distribution. Pretty straightforward if you ask us. If you are already familiar with Ubuntu the experience, the install should be almost identical, but after the install and first launch the team says to open the terminal an run rhino-init, which will initialize the rolling-rhino software and replace aptitude sources, then reboot and run rhino-update which will grab those bleeding-edge packages. Do not utilize aptitude first, or else it might overwrite your capability of running rhino-init and rhino-update, we found this out the hard way.

The Rolling Rhino team recommends using only their rhino-update command line tools over the built-in software updater, or aptitude. In fact, the team warns that if you attempt to run aptitude or other software updaters after running rolling-rhino updates you will likely get errors. The documentation does, however, state that you should use aptitude or snapd, the software updater, to install applications, as Rolling Rhino seems to focus on the kernel and some development libraries, for now. This project is still in early phases, so there are plenty of bugs left to be ironed out. If you really want to run true-bleeding-edge Lunix though, for not only your kernel but your software too, we still recommend an Arch-Linux-based distribution. No matter what, bleeding-edge is not recommended for mission-critical usage due to the high likeliness of instability.