Linux gets its latest LTS kernel

Linus Torvalds at the Open Source Summit, Lyon in 2019
(Image credit: Mayank Sharma)

Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of the mainline Linux (opens in new tab) branch, released version 5.15 of the open source (opens in new tab) kernel over the Halloween weekend, and it has just been tagged as the next Long Term Support (LTS) release.

The kernel designates one release every year as an LTS release, which the developers and the community commit to maintain for at least two years.  

By this logic, Linux 5.15 will not reach end-of-life before October 2023. However, of late, the kernel has adopted a policy of supporting LTS releases for as long as its commercial users are willing to put up the required resources to maintain it.

For instance, 2019's Linux 5.4 LTS will be maintained through the end of 2025, while 2020’s Linux 5.10 LTS release will be supported till the end of 2026, way beyond their original minimal support commitments. 

Calm and composed

Linux 5.15 has some noteworthy inclusions and changes, according to Phoronix (opens in new tab)

For starters, this release includes the new NTFS filesystem driver. There’s also Initial support for Intel (opens in new tab) Xe HPG and DG2/Alchemist graphics hardware, as well as the ability to monitor the temperature of the AMD (opens in new tab) Zen 3 APU, and the inclusion of the IOMMU driver for the Apple M1 (opens in new tab)-based hardware.

“This release may have started out with some -Werror pain, but it calmed down fairly quickly and on the whole 5.15 was fair[ly] small and calm,” noted Torvalds (opens in new tab).

The "-Werror pain” Torvalds refers to was the change he implemented to treat all warnings and errors while compiling the kernel. This change led to an overwhelming number of developers experiencing build errors, forcing Torvalds to revert the change.

Take the latest kernel for a spin on one of these best Linux laptops (opens in new tab) and subscribe to Linux Format magazine (opens in new tab) for more open source and Linux goodness

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.