Ubuntu LTS kernels will get one decade of fixes … still

Trending 1 month ago

Canonical has addressed customer concerns complete nan simplification successful agelong word support (LTS) of its codification – but location is nary existent alteration here, and you'll still request Ubuntu Pro to support nan remainder of nan OS patched.

An October 24 post penned by 3 Canonical staffers reiterates that, contempt nan Linux kernel squad reducing nan magnitude of its agelong word support options, nan Ubuntu vendor will proceed to supply information updates for its LTS kernels for a decade aft their release.

The station is simply a consequence to nan furore caused by caller cuts successful nan number and life of LTS kernels from nan Linux kernel developers, arsenic described by Linux Weekly News leader Jonathan Corbet astatine past month's Open Source Summit – and analyzed successful The Register.

The Canonical station notes that a caller Ubuntu LTS kernel is released each 2 years. That's true, but it could beryllium seen arsenic somewhat disingenuous: there's a caller Ubuntu LTS kernel because there's a caller LTS merchandise of nan full Ubuntu distribution each 2 years.

Each LTS kernel, for illustration nan full distro, gets 5 years of support and updates. To get nan 10 years nan authors describe, customers must subscribe to Canonical's Expanded Security Maintenance offering, which is portion of its Ubuntu Pro coverage. As we described astatine nan time, a twelvemonth agone this became free of complaint for up to 5 machines.

In immoderate arena Canonical, for illustration different endeavor Linux vendors specified arsenic SUSE and Red Hat, doesn't mostly usage nan upstream agelong word support kernels from nan kernel improvement team.

Ubuntu version Launched EOL date Extended EOL Original kernel Current kernel
14.04 2014 (EOL) 2024 3.13 4.4
16.04 2016 (EOL) 2026 4.4 4.15
18.04 2018 (EOL) 2028 4.15 5.3
20.04 2020 Apr 2025 2030 5.4 5.15 LTS
22.04 2022 Jun 2027 2032 5.15 LTS 6.2

To beryllium fair, this is thing unusual. Ubuntu's upstream distribution is Debian, but it comes from nan rolling Debian "unstable" branch – codenamed Sid – which intends that there's nary one-to-one correspondence betwixt them. Any fixed type of Ubuntu isn't based connected a peculiar merchandise of Debian.

Debian's current LTS release is type 10, which has kernel 4.19, which happens to beryllium an LTS kernel. Debian 12 has kernel 6.1, besides an LTS kernel, but don't jump to conclusions: Debian 11 had 5.1, which is not. Like Debian, endeavor distros specified arsenic SUSE and RHEL instrumentality to nan aforesaid kernel type passim a merchandise version's lifetime, backporting fixes and caller functionality.

Ubuntu LTS releases, though, are a small different: they do person updated kernels. The kernel coming successful an LTS type depends connected which constituent merchandise nan users primitively installed, and what updates they choose.

  • Ubuntu unleashes Mantic Minotaur pinch 23.10 build
  • Incus 0.1 is Canonical's LXD 'containervisor' pinch Ubuntu integration stripped out
  • Ubuntu and Fedora conflict successful beta race, but who wears GNOME better?
  • OpenZFS 2.2 is astir here, and ZFSBootMenu 2.2 already is

Users of nan original merchandise of each Ubuntu LTS who instal nan hardware enablement stack will get newer kernels, arsenic will caller installations of nan later constituent releases of each LTS. The upstream LTS kernels are versions 4.14, 4.19, 5.4, 5.10, 5.15 and 6.1. Of nan current releases of Ubuntu, only 22.04 shipped pinch an LTS kernel: type 5.15. New installations of 22.04.3 get kernel 6.2 from Ubuntu 23.04 "Lunar" – a short word kernel merchandise – and that successful move will beryllium replaced successful immoderate early update.

So, while this ten-year support lifecycle is simply a bully and reassuring thing, it's not a important alteration to nan existing policies. One of nan takeaways of Mr Corbet's connection was that it would beryllium a bully point if endeavor distro vendors stuck to utilizing upstream LTS kernels, alternatively than maintaining their ain forks and backporting changes. This vulture's humble sentiment is that that would beryllium a very bully thing.

Canonical's station intelligibly shows that it's proud of its kernel support efforts, which is wholly reasonable. We conscionable consciousness that it could beryllium prouder still if it coordinated its LTS kernel releases pinch Debian and nan upstream kernel team, and they each worked together to walk those updates backmost upstream for everyone to share. ®


Is Canonical really a "vendor" if it gives its distro distant for free? Does it matter?

Come to that, could this beryllium why Canonical is consenting to see ZFS, while SUSE, Red Hat and moreover Oracle itself won't – because Ubuntu is free? It is peculiarly noteworthy that Oracle adds Btrfs to its CentOS rebuild, but not ZFS, moreover though Oracle owns each of Sun's original Solaris codification – including ZFS. One would deliberation it could find immoderate measurement to assistance itself authorities to things it already owns.