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(24 Nov 2019)
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4.19 (LTS) 3 years ago
(22 Oct 2018)
Ends in 3 years
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4.14 (LTS) 4 years ago
(12 Nov 2017)
Ends in 2 years
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4.9 (LTS) 4 years and 11 months ago
(11 Dec 2016)
Ends in 1 year
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4.4 (LTS) 5 years and 10 months ago
(10 Jan 2016)
Ends in 2 months and 6 days
(01 Feb 2022)

The Linux kernel is a free and open-source, monolithic, modular, multitasking, Unix-like operating system kernel. Linux is deployed on a wide variety of computing systems, such as embedded devices, mobile devices (including Android), personal computers, servers, mainframes, and supercomputers.

There are several main categories into which kernel releases may fall:

  • Prepatch or “RC” kernels are mainline kernel pre-releases that are mostly aimed at other kernel developers and Linux enthusiasts. They must be compiled from source and usually contain new features that must be tested before they can be put into a stable release.

  • Mainline tree It’s the tree where all new features are introduced and where all the exciting new development happens. New mainline kernels are released every 2-3 months.

  • Stable is labeled after each mainline kernel is released. Any bug fixes for a stable kernel are backported from the mainline tree. There are usually only a few bugfix kernel releases until next mainline kernel becomes available – unless it is designated a “longterm maintenance kernel”. Stable kernel updates are released on as-needed basis, usually once a week.

  • Longterm (LTS) are usually several longterm maintenance kernel releases provided for the purposes of backporting bugfixes for older kernel trees. By default these are only supported for two years (as opposed to the 4 months of a non-LTS release) but are usually extended depending on how long companies pledge to back it. Only important bugfixes are applied to such kernels and they don’t usually see very frequent releases, especially for older trees.

More information is available on the Linux Kernel website.

You should be running one of the supported release numbers listed above in the rightmost column.

You can check the version that you are currently using by running:
uname -r

You can submit an improvement to this page by visiting GitHub. You will need to fork the website and submit a Pull Request. A JSON version of this page is available at /api/linux.json. See the API Documentation for more.