Linux 5.16: comes to an end

Logo Kernel Linux, Tux

If you have the Linux kernel 5.16 installed on your distro, the time has come to say goodbye to it. Now it has reached its EOL (End of Life), so you should update by downloading a newer version from the official website kernel.org. Otherwise, you will have a kernel that will not receive any more updates, and this carries some risks.

Three months later (April 13, 2022) after its release, it is time to move to Linux 5.17, which will continue to receive updates for a while. Without updates will imply that the possible vulnerabilities or bugs that have this kernel version are not fixed.

*Note: it is only necessary to update if the kernel that your distro has has been downloaded, configured, compiled and installed yourself. If it is the one that has the distro as standard, then it will update only if you have automatic updates active.

With the arrival of the Linux 5.16 kernel came many fixes, improvements to drivers and FS, as well as a novel system call called futex_waitv() created by Collabora and whose purpose is to improve the experience of native video games for Linux and also native Windows video games when they are executed through Wine or Proton.

It also made improvements to the Zstd compression, a new fsnotify event type for file system system status reporting, as well as support for the Raspberry Pi 4 CM4 (Compute Module 4).

All those improvements, of course, are also in the new Linux 5.17 version, so you won't have to compromise on anything. Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman himself released the latest maintenance release (Linux 5.6.20) and assured in the LKML: “Note that this is the LATEST kernel version 5.16. and now is the end of life. Go to branch 5.17.y right now".

That's why you should consider upgrading or face the consequences. Also remember that Linux 5.17 is also not a LTS version (Linux 5.15 is), or with long-term support, which means that it will also come to an end in the coming months, around the end of June 2022. By which time the Linux kernel 5.18 will already be available, since it is expected to arrive around the end of May.


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