If you follow Linux closely, you won’t be surprised by this news Linux Plumber Conference In Richmond, Virginia — an invitation-only meeting for Linux kernel developers — the recently released Linux 6.6 The next long-term support version (LTS) of Linux.
Some people thought that the next release might be the yet to be released Linux 6.7 kernel. After all, the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch, Greg Kroh-Hartman, said that the last kernel of the year would be the LTS version. However, the massive 6.7 update is now not expected to see the light of day until sometime early next year.
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It should be noted that The first release candidate for 6.7 only came out on November 12th. And as Linus Torvalds wrote, “This is our largest merge window ever, with 15.4k non-merge commits.”
Linux 6.7 will also include many new features, viz bcachefs file system, which is a new robust copy-on-write (COW) file system that boasts new features while maintaining high performance. Linux 6.7 will include support for Nvidia’s GPU system processor (GSP) firmware Nouveau Open Source Graphics Drive And lots of networking updates. This is a great release in every sense of the word.
Meanwhile, Linux 6.6 offers many good features. This includes KSMBD is the in-kernel SMB3 serverThe Early Eligible Virtual Deadline First (EEVDF) Schedule, and support for Intel’s Shadow Stack. You can already find cutting-edge distros powering Linux 6.6, e.g ArcLinux, openSUSE TumbleweedAnd Fedora Linux. By next year, it will be the engine with mainstream distribution CanonicalIts next LTS version, Ubuntu 24.04.
As an LTS version, the Linux 6.6 kernel will be supported until December 2026. In the future, there will be fewer LTS Linux kernels. Jonathan Corbett, Linux kernel developer and executive editor Linux Weekly NewsThis is explained Open Source Summit EuropeGoing forward, the Linux kernel LTS is being shortened from six to two years.
Currently, there are six LTS Linux kernels — 6.1, 5.15, 5.10, 5.4, 4.19 and 4.14. Under process to date, 4.14 will be launched in January 2024 and another kernel will be added. Going forward, though, they won’t be replaced once the 4.14 kernel and the next two drop off.
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The explanation for this change is based on two main factors. First, people are not using old LTS versions. Why spend money and time on projects when they sit idle? The other main reason is that Linux code maintainers are out. There is too much work and not enough hands to handle the load.
Now, if you really want to keep a particular Linux kernel running for a long, long time, you have options. A is used The Linux Foundationof Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) Super-Long-Term Stable (SLTS) kernel. These kernels power the run-time environment for use on industrial hardware CIP reference hardware And Debian 11 — and they are not for general use.
However, if you really want a kernel you can count on for a decade, Canonical recently reaffirmed its support for it. Linux kernels use it for 10 years in its LTS Ubuntu releases. As Canonical explains: “Canonical’s maintenance and support efforts are completely independent of upstream LTS and will continue as before. Despite changes in upstream LTS support, Canonical remains committed to providing Reliable support for the Ubuntu kernelEnsures that the Linux community and businesses can rely on stable and secure software.”
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So, if you want to commit to using Ubuntu 20.04 for your computer by the early 2030s, Canonical will enable you to do so. The company is putting ‘long’ into long-term support.
Considering the rapid pace of computing change, though, the two-year LTS window of support for the mainline Linux kernel may be what most of you will need and use.