EVE-OS and Linux kernel LTS policies

The Linux kernel is the core of EVE-OS, serving as a bridge between your edge computing hardware and your applications running on EVE. To keep your edge systems secure and operating well, EVE must be running a recent and stable version of the kernel. This document explains our policies for updating both EVE and the kernel version that EVE uses.

We don't automatically include new kernel versions in EVE because we want to balance new features and fixes with reliability. We do, however, update EVE's kernel version annually at a minimum. Additionally, significant security patches are always considered right away.

Some significant improvements that may come with a kernel update:

  • Security patches
  • New features and behavior
  • Driver updates
  • Better performance and stability

Long-Term Linux kernel releases

Linux kernel versions are picked for long-term support based on criteria including major new features, popular commercial distribution needs, device manufacturer demand, maintainer workload and availability, among others. New versions are released on a semi-regular cadence: between every 12 or 15 months.

Note that when vulnerabilities in the kernel are discovered, patches are often released almost immediately.

The following table shows LTS kernel versions (at the time of this writing) with their respective release and projected end-of-life (EOL) dates.

Version Maintainer Released Projected EOL
6.1 Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sasha Levin 12/11/2022 12/1/2026
5.15 Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sasha Levin 10/31/2021 10/1/2026
5.10 Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sasha Levin 12/13/2020 12/1/2026
5.40 Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sasha Levin 11/24/2019 12/1/2025
4.19 Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sasha Levin 10/22/2018 12/1/2024
4.14 Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sasha Levin 11/12/2017 1/1/2024

 

Long-Term EVE-OS releases

Long-Term support releases for EVE-OS may include new features or fixes or new Linux kernel versions. We continuosly monitor the Linux kernel, choosing to include new versions in EVE after they have been thoroughly tested and endorsed by the community. We also evaluate all security patches for criticality and include them in EVE when prudent.

EVE will, at a minimum, be updated in Q4 of every year and will include the LTS Linux kernel version that was released in the previous year.

EVE-OS releases follow a cycle of certified and long-term versions. We plan to release a new certified version every six months and a new LTS version every six months. Each type of release is described here.

EVE certified releases will meet the following criteria:

  • Include all features delivered since last EVE LTS release.
  • Include all urgent CVEs uncovered since the last EVE LTS release.
  • Pass extensive new feature and regression testing.
  • Accompanied by a complete SBoM.

EVE long-term releases will meet the following criteria:

  • Include all urgent CVEs published since last EVE LTS release.
  • Pass extensive new feature and regression testing. (The upgrade process from the current LTS version to the new LTS version is included in testing.)
  • Accompanied by a complete SBoM.
  • Include one year of support for major bug fixes and security patches. Support beyond one year may be available through individual commercial agreements.

The following table shows the current and projected LTS and certified release and end-of-life dates for EVE.

Release Current tag Availability End of LTS
LTS 9.4.5 8/7/23 8/31/24
LTS 10.4.4 9/30/23 9/30/24
LTS 11.0.2 11/30/23 11/30/24
Certified 11.8.1 2/28/24 3/1/25
LTS   5/31/24 5/31/24
Certified   8/31/24 N/A
LTS   11/30/24 11/30/25

 

EVE-OS versioning conventions

EVE-OS version notation uses the following convention: x.y.z, where "x" is the major version, "y" is the minor version, and "z" is the patch number. Major releases are stable, commercially supported significant updates to EVE. Minor releases are ongoing builds released every two weeks. Patches are as-needed fixes.

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