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23 April 2012, 17:10

Long-term maintenance for Linux 3.2

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Penguin logo Ben Hutchings has confirmed that he will maintain Linux kernel version 3.2 as a long-term kernel at for an indefinite amount of time. While this was announced by the developer last weekend, it has now also been mentioned by the primary stable and long-term kernel maintainer, Greg Kroah-Hartman, in the release email for Linux 3.2.16; with the release of this version on Monday morning, Kroah-Hartman has discontinued the maintenance of Linux 3.2 and handed it over to Hutchings.

Hutchings has long contributed to the Linux kernel and is one of the Debian kernel maintainers; a few weeks ago, he announced that Debian 7.0 (Wheezy), which is still in development, will use Linux 3.2. The developers also plan to base Debian's scheduled real-time kernel on Linux 3.2. Real-time kernel hacker Steven Rostedt has maintained a Linux 3.2-based RT kernel for two weeks; he also issues the RT patches for the Linux 3.0 long-term kernel.

Neither Hutchings nor Rostedt mention in their emails how long they plan to maintain these Linux 3.2-based kernels. Kroah-Hartman typically maintains his long-term kernels for between two and three years. There are various indicators that Hutchings will maintain the kernel until the End-of-Life of Debian 7, because the same maintenance will be required for this version's kernel. Ubuntu version 12.04 LTS, which is due to be released on Thursday and will be maintained for five years, also uses a Linux 3.2-based kernel.

Kroah-Hartman has also released the Linux 3.0.29 long-term kernel and the Linux 3.3.3 stable kernel. As usual, these versions offer minor improvements and bug fixes that may address potential security issues; the release email for these kernel versions therefore includes the familiar emphatic recommendation that those who use self-compiled kernels install the update.


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