Linux Kernel 4.9 Reaches End of Life After 6 Years of Support

Users are urged to upgrade to Linux kernel 4.14 LTS, but the latest Linux kernel 6.1 is a better option.
Linux Kernel 4.9

After being supported for a little more than six years, the Linux 4.9 kernel series has finally reached end of life with the 4.9.337 update released earlier this morning. The kernel is now marked appropriately as EOL on the website, which means that it will no longer receive maintenance and security updates.

Linux kernel 4.9 was released on December 11th, 2016, and it brought support for shared extents and copy-on-write support on the XFS file system, a hardware latency tracer to detect firmware-induced latencies, support for the Greybus bus from Project Ara, a more efficient BPF profiler, a new optional BBR TCP congestion control algorithm, virtually mapped kernel stacks, and more.

Due to its long-term support (LTS) status, Linux kernel 4.9 was most probably used on mass-production devices by big companies that produce hardware powered by a Linux-based operating system. But, the time has come to move on to newer kernels that include all the features of Linux kernel 4.9 and more.

Renowned kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced earlier today that Linux kernel 4.9 will no longer be supported from here on, urging users to upgrade to a newer LTS (Long Term Support) series, such as Linux kernel 4.14, which will be supported for another year until January 2024, or the latest and greatest Linux kernel 6.1, which should receive support for at least a couple of years.

“Note, this is the LAST 4.9.y kernel to be released. This kernel is now END-OF-LIFE and you should move to 4.14.y at the least, 6.1.y is the better option,” said Greg Kroah-Hartman in a mailing list announcement. “As I stated in the -rc announcement, if this is a problem for anyone, please let me know. I am already working with a few groups to move them off of this now-expired kernel tree, feel free to reach out if you need help as well.”

I doubt that there’s anyone reading this still running a desktop system powered by Linux 4.9 as most GNU/Linux distributions, even those that are on extended life support, are using a newer version. However, if you still have a device or a server that runs Linux 4.9, make sure that you upgrade to a newer supported kernel.

Last updated 1 year ago

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