In another unexpected turn of events, the latest Linux 6.6 kernel series has been officially marked as LTS (Long Term Support) on the kernel.org website with a predicted life expectancy of at least three years.
Linux kernel 6.6 was released at the end of October 2023 and it introduces new features like Intel Shadow Stack support, a new task scheduler called EEVDF, improved support for Lenovo IdeaPad, HP, and ASUS devices, USB MIDI 2 gadget support, as well as numerous new and updated drivers for better hardware support.
The Linux 6.6 kernel is making its way or already landed into the stable software repositories of various popular GNU/Linux distributions, including Arch Linux, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Fedora Linux, and others. Even Ubuntu users can now install it.
The great news is that the Linux kernel maintainers have decided to make Linux 6.6 an LTS branch supported until December 2026. This is very interesting because renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman always stated that the last kernel of the year will be LTS, and Linux kernel 6.7 was supposed to be it.
The reality is that we don’t know yet if Linux kernel 6.7 will hit the streets on December 31st (New Year’s Eve), which would have been a great New Year’s surprise for all Linux users, so maybe that’s why the kernel maintainers decided to go with Linux 6.6 instead for the next LTS branch.
On the other hand, there were some recent reports stating that there aren’t so many kernel maintainers out there willing to maintain LTS kernel branches for so many years and that long-term support for Linux kernel may be cut from six years to two years. The same reports also stated that Linux 4.14 won’t be replaced by a new LTS kernel when it reaches end of life in January 2024.
Well, it looks like something happened over there at the Linux kernel headquarters and now Linux 6.6 has been added to the existing Long-Term Support kernel branches, namely Linux 6.1, Linux 5.15, Linux 5.10, Linux 5.4, Linux 4.19, and Linux 4.14.
Personally, I’m not a fan of Linux LTS kernels as I live on the bleeding edge, but if you plan on making or using a distro with a long-term supported kernel for greater stability and reliability, keep in mind that Linux 6.6 is now the latest LTS kernel, supported for at least the next three years.
Last updated 2 weeks ago