Last month saw the release of the Linux 6.6 kernel, a big update jam-packed with new features, hardware support, security enhancements, and performance improvements.

Today, that kernel version was officially designated a long-term support (LTS) release.

Not that anyone is surprised.

Traditionally, the last stable Linux kernel release of the year is made an LTS.

There was a glimmer of hope that Linux 6.7 might make it out before the New Years clocks strikes midnight next month. Sadly, though not that sadly since it’s for a good reason, the upcoming kernel is shaping up to be a biggun’, and will mostly likely land in early January 2024.

So, Greg Kroah-Hartman has rubber stamped Linux 6.6 as the latest LTS kernel (I like to think there’s an actual rubber stamp involved in these decisions, or at least Linus pulling a party popper, but probably not).

Ubuntu users (that’s us 👋) will be interested in this news as the next Ubuntu release is also an LTS. It’s usually the case that an LTS Linux kernel is used in Ubuntu LTS releases, so it’s a looking a near-certainty that Ubuntu 24.04 will use Linux 6.6.

Linux 6.6 LTS is supported until December 2026, which is 3 years.

There’s been talk of kernel devs shortening the LTS support period to 2 years, prompting Canonical to commit to supporting Ubuntu LTS kernels for 5 years and 10 with ESM.

But the Linux kernel website lists December 2026 as the end-of-life (EOL) date for this kernel (same date as EOL for 5.10, 5.15, and 6.1, showing how short it’s already become). So that decision, if it’s happening, isn’t happening just yet.

linux kernel