Linux Kernel 6.6 has officially been announced as this year’s Long-Term Support (LTS) kernel. As anticipated, this release comes with a promise of stability and extended support for the next three years.
For those who closely follow the Linux kernel’s annual LTS tradition, the 6.6 version, which made its debut at the end of October, is set to be the final stable kernel of the calendar year. The upcoming Linux 6.7 is expected to stabilize either in the closing days of 2023 or the early days of 2024. However, considering the substantial size of this release and the customary slowdown in testing and bug fixing during the year-end holidays, Linux Torvalds’ lieutenant, Greg Kroah-Hartman, has made the call to designate Linux 6.6 as the latest LTS kernel.
Office website kernel.org has already been updated to reflect Linux 6.6 LTS, and the plan is to maintain this version until it reaches end-of-life in December 2026 – a three-year support cycle. It’s worth noting that discussions are underway about potentially shortening the LTS period to two years in the future, but for now, Linux 6.6 LTS marks a departure from the lengthier support timelines of previous LTS kernels, which often enjoyed 5 to 6 years of point releases.
This shift in LTS strategy is particularly important for enterprise distributions, as they may align their support cycles with Linux 6.6’s three-year lifespan. Furthermore, you can look forward to this LTS kernel being featured in the upcoming Ubuntu 24.04 LTS release, adding an extra layer of reliability to the next iteration of the popular Ubuntu distribution.