Linux Kernel 5.17 Reaches End of Life, Users Urged to Upgrade to Linux 5.18

Linux Kernel 5.17 End

The time has come to say goodbye to the Linux 5.17 kernel series as it is now marked as EOL (End-of-Life) on the website, which means that it will no longer receive maintenance updates.

Linux kernel 5.17 was released on March 20th, 2022, and it appears to be the shortest-lived kernel series to date. After only fifteen maintenance releases, Linux kernel 5.17 has now reached its end of life, which means that no further security updates will be provided for this branch in the future.

Linux 5.17 introduced new features like a new “AMD P-State” subsystem for future AMD CPUs, a revamped fscache subsystem, a new “page-table check” feature to better protect your GNU/Linux system from certain threats, support for the BLAKE2 cryptographic hash function to the random-number generator for extra security, and much more.

While many GNU/Linux distributions are still running Linux kernel 5.17, many others never had the chance to upgrade to it. The last maintenance update in the Linux 5.17 series was published today as Linux kernel 5.17.15.

“This is the LAST 5.17.y kernel release. This kernel branch is now end-of-life,” said kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman. “Please move to 5.18.y at this point in time, no more new updates will happen on this kernel branch at all.”

Therefore, all GNU/Linux distribution maintainers and users who like to compile their own kernels or install the newest from third-party repositories are now urged to upgrade their systems to the latest and greatest Linux 5.18 kernel series, which was also updated today to version 5.18.4.

Linux kernel 5.18 introduces new features like support for “user events” in the tracing system, support for AMD’s “host system management port” function, support for 64-bit integrity checksums on NVMe devices, support for the Intel’s “hardware feedback interface” feature, indirect branch tracking support for the x86 architecture, or better process scheduling performance on AMD Zen CPUs.

Several popular rolling-release distributions are already running Linux kernel 5.18, including Arch Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed. On the other hand, Ubuntu users can easily install Linux kernel 5.18, while Fedora Linux users will have to wait a little bit longer for Linux 5.18 to land in their repositories.

If upgrading to the latest and greatest kernel is not your cup of tea, it is highly recommended that you stick to one of the many LTS (Long-term Support) kernels. I personally recommend the Linux 5.15 LTS series, which introduces a new NTFS file system implementation that lets you read and write data out-of-the-box, without having to rely on third-party drivers like NTFS-3G.

Last updated 2 years ago

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