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26 October 2011, 09:04

LinuxCon Europe: Linux Foundation announce Long Term Support Initiative

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Linux Foundation logo The Linux Foundation has announced the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI), a new kernel tree for consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers. The LTSI has been created and supported by Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba to address a need for regular, annually released Linux kernels, each of which would be updated and maintained for two years. Two years is said to be enough to cover the typical lifetime of a consumer device, estimated at two to three years.

This annual release with two years of updates would, it is believed, be more suitable for consumer electronics companies who currently maintain their own private Linux trees for their own products. The new tree will be hosted by the Linux Foundation, which hopes that sharing the effort on a common CE tree will lead to reduced duplication of work between CE device vendors. Currently, each CE vendor is backporting, testing and developing drivers for their own private trees.

The hope is that the LTSI Linux tree will provide a usable base for most embedded systems and for companies that create the hardware and software components that make up those systems. Features from newer kernels that CE vendors would want will be backported into the LTSI releases, while CE vendors' code added to the LTSI tree would be able to continue upstream to the mainstream Linux kernel. "I am very happy to be working with the LTSI group to help them get their device-specific code into the mainline tree through this initiative" said Greg Kroah-Hartman, currently Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch of Linux.

No details have been given about how the LTSI would be governed, but a meeting was held in Prague to share the status of the project and, according to the documentation, NEC's Tsugikazu Shibata and Renesas's Hisao Munakata are currently acting as leaders of the LTSI project.


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