Breaking News: Linux LTS Kernel Support Reduced to 2 Years – The Inside Story

Open Source Summit Europe announces a significant shift, reducing LTS Linux kernel support from six to two years. This aims to combat maintainer burnout and adapt to changing user needs.

The Open Source Summit Europe has commenced, bringing with it intriguing developments in the realm of Linux and open-source software. One noteworthy revelation pertains to the alteration in the handling of Long-term Support (LTS) Linux kernel versions, which we'll delve into below.

Key Changes:

During the summit, Jonathan Corbett, a Linux developer and executive editor at LWN, unveiled a significant shift in the LTS lifecycle of the Linux kernel. The LTS period is now being reduced from six years to a mere two years. Presently, six LTS Linux Kernels exist: 4.14, 4.19, 5.4, 5.10, 5.15, and 6.1. However, moving forward, once 4.14 reaches the end of its LTS support, the subsequent two versions in line will not be succeeded by new kernel versions.

Why Now:

Jonathan Corbett cites several rationales behind this decision. First and foremost, the dwindling usage of older kernel versions renders extended maintenance less meaningful. While this change may not sit well with some, a more pressing issue compels this decision – the burnout of Linux code maintainers. Maintaining and enhancing the code for an LTS release is a colossal undertaking that demands substantial time and effort. Jonathan identifies two major hurdles that maintainers confront. Firstly, many maintainers undertake this crucial role without compensation. Secondly, the utilization of the 'Fuzzing' technique to uncover bugs, while valuable, occasionally uncovers numerous minor issues necessitating the maintainers' attention. This constant pressure can readily lead to maintainer burnout.

When queried about solutions for alleviating this burden, Jonathan recommends maintainers engage with their employers to secure compensation for their Linux kernel maintenance endeavors. While this measure could lighten the maintainers' load, systems reliant on older Linux kernels may bear the brunt of missing essential patches. While the impact may vary across users, it could pose inconveniences for certain organizations.

In conclusion, the Linux community faces a pivotal change in the LTS support duration of the Linux kernel, driven by the need to address maintainer burnout and the diminishing relevance of older kernels. While this move aims to protect the well-being of contributors, it may necessitate adaptation for organizations reliant on older kernel versions. The evolution of the Linux ecosystem continues, with the hope that these changes ultimately benefit the broader open-source community. 💬 Share your insights and thoughts in the comments below.


There are 0 comments for this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.