Linux 5.10 LTS may only be supported until 2022

Linux announced in 2017 that it would extend the support time limit of the “Long Term Support (LTS)” version from 2 years to 6 years. This means that the Linux 5.4 LTS released later can be supported until the end of 2025, Linux 4.19 can be supported until the end of 2024, and Linux 4.14 can also be supported until the beginning of 2024. However, unexpectedly, the latest Linux 5.10 LTS currently seems to only be maintained until the end of 2022.

The main maintainer of the Linux kernel, Greg Kroah-Hartman, discussed how long Linux 5.10 LTS will be maintained on the Linux kernel mailing list. From the current point of view, it seems that Linux 5.10 LTS will only be maintained for two years to the end of 2022; however, it does not rule out the possibility of maintaining it for six years. But as far as the current situation is concerned, Greg believes that no company/organization has invested resources to make him feel that Linux 5.10 LTS can be maintained for six years.

Greg said in the email that he hopes to see some companies using Linux 5.10. The most important thing is to update their devices with Linux 5.10 so that they can understand whether this kernel version is worth keeping for more than 2 years. At the same time, I also hope to see how these companies can help test and maintain this kernel version to make 6 years of support possible.

“So, are you planning on using 5.10? Will you will be willing to help out in testing the -rc releases I make to let me know if there are any problems, and to help in pointing out and backporting any specific patches that your platforms need for that kernel release?”

Greg said that if he can get this kind of commitment and support from the company, he will be happy to increase the kernel support time from 2 years to 6 years, and publish it on the website. In general, he mainly hopes that there will be more organizations to help test the release candidate version and to invest some necessary resources so that he can continue to maintain the stable maintenance of LTS after two years.

Currently, the support time for Linux 5.10 LTS is still under discussion. Greg revealed that he is currently negotiating with some companies, but he is unwilling to make a public promise about Linux 5.10 support time.