Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS Reaches End of Life After Six Years of Support

Linux Kernel 4.4

Renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced today that the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series has finally reached end of life after six years of support.

Linux kernel 4.4 LTS saw the light of day on January 10th, 2016, and it was supported with a total of 302 maintenance updates for 2216 days, during which it received a total of 18,712 changes from 3532 developers and 503 companies.

Greg Kroah-Hartman remembers that this was one of the good kernel branches, which powered millions, maybe a few billion devices. But, as with all good things, Linux kernel 4.4 has now reached end of life with today’s release of the Linux 4.4.302 update.

This means that as of February 3rd, 2022, the Linux 4.4 kernel branch will no longer be supported with further maintenance updates that usually provide bug fixes and security patches. As such, the 4.4 kernel branch will soon become vulnerable to all sorts of threats.

“This kernel branch is now END-OF-LIFE. It will not be getting any more updates from the kernel stable team, and will most likely quickly become insecure and out-of-date. Do not use it anymore unless you really know what you are doing,” said Greg Kroah-Hartman. It was a good kernel branch. […] It has powered many millions, maybe a few billion, devices out in the world, but now it’s time to say good-bye.

If you’re still using the Linux 4.4 kernel on your system, it is highly recommended that you upgrade to one of the supported LTS (Long-term support) kernel branches as soon as possible after reading this article.

Supported Linux kernel branches that are maintained for a longer period of time include Linux 4.9 LTS until January 2023, Linux 4.14 LTS until January 2024, Linux 4.19 LTS until December 2024, Linux 5.4 LTS until December 2025, Linux 5.10 LTS until December 2026, as well as Linux 5.15 LTS until October 2023.

Considering the fact that Linux kernel 4.4 was supported for more than six years, you may want to upgrade to Linux kernel 5.10 LTS, which has the longest support window from all supported LTS kernel branches.

If you can’t upgrade to a newer Linux LTS series, Greg Kroah-Hartman suggests to contact the CIP project at https://www.cip-project.org/, who apparently are considering maintaining the Linux 4.4 branch going forward, but in a limited capability.

Last updated 10 months ago