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Upcoming Linux 5.10 release will love you longterm, pushing support out to 2026

PSA: Maintaining the open-source OS can turn your beard grey

Open Source Summit Europe It's official. The upcoming Linux 5.10 kernel is destined to become the next "longterm maintenance" release for the open-source operating system.

The news was dropped by longtime maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman during an "Ask the Experts" session at the Open Source Summit Europe.

The first release candidate of 5.10 popped up a few days earlier, with the removal of an elderly addressing tool and tweaks aplenty (including kicking the Y2K38 problem down the road by a few centuries).


Linux kernel's Kroah-Hartman: We're not struggling to get new coders, it's code review that's the bottleneck


As such, making 5.10 (rather than 5.9) the longterm edition will be welcomed by users of the operating system. The previous longterm maintenance version was 5.4, which is expected to receive support until the end of 2025. Even 2016's version 4.4 remains in support, with a projected end of life in 2022.

As such, 5.10, which is expected to debut during December, could well endure until 2026.

Linux being Linux, several distributions have their own longterm maintenance editions. Canonical's Ubuntu, for example, publishes a "Long Term Support" (LTS) edition once every two years. 2018's 18.04 will endure until 2028 (with Extended Security Maintenance).

Selected versions of Microsoft's Windows also receive 10 years or so of support, with the latest addition to the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) being Windows 10 1809. The end of extended support for the LTSC edition of that OS is expected in 2029.

The current servicing timelines for Microsoft's finest otherwise see Windows 10 releases in the first half of the year receiving 18 months of support, and those in the latter half enduring for 30 months.

For Linux, version 5.10 continues the pattern established over recent years of a kernel released in the closing months gaining the longterm moniker, making planning a simpler exercise for distribution maintainers.

Kroah-Hartman also answered a burning question from the audience: "Which kernel feature turned my beard that grey?"

"All of them." ®

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