Linux Kernel 5.16 Reaches End of Life, Users Urged to Upgrade to Linux Kernel 5.17

The time has come to say goodbye to the Linux 5.16 kernel series, which is now marked as end-of-life (EOL) on the kernel.org website, which means that it won’t receive further updates.

Released a little over three months ago, Linux kernel 5.16 brought features like Collabora’s futex_waitv() kernel system call that boosts your gaming experience when playing both native Linux games and Windows games via Wine, updated Zstd (Zstandard) compression, a new fanotify event type for file system health reporting, as well as Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4) support.

As of today, April 13th, 2022, Linux kernel 5.16 is marked as EOL (end-of-life) and it will no longer receive security updates as announced earlier by renowned kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, who also released the last maintenance update in the series, Linux 5.16.20.

“Note, this is the LAST 5.16.y kernel release. It is now end-of-life. Please move to the 5.17.y branch at this point in time,” said Greg Kroah-Hartman in a mailing list announcement.

As such, if you’re using a GNU/Linux distribution powered by the Linux 5.16 kernel series and you plan on using it for the foreseeable future, you should either update to today’s Linux 5.16.20 maintenance update or consider upgrading to Linux kernel 5.17 as soon as possible.

While it introduces many new features and improvements, unfortunately, Linux kernel 5.17 is also not an LTS (Long-Term Support) series, which means that it will probably reach its end of life in the coming months, around the end of June 2022.

But, by then, Linux kernel 5.18 will be out with even more new features and enhancements. The final Linux 5.18 release is expected at the end of May 2022, which means that it will start hitting the stable software repositories of some of the most popular rolling-release distributions in early June 2022.

If upgrading kernels every three months is not your cup of tea, you should stick to one of the many long-term supported kernels. I highly recommend the Linux 5.15 LTS series as introduces a new NTFS file system implementation that lets you read and write data out-of-the-box, without having to rely on third-party drivers.

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