Linux 2.4 Kernel May Finally Go End-Of-Life
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 9 September 2010 at 03:44 PM EDT. 13 Comments
While we are always getting excited for the next Linux 2.6 kernel release (heck, we are barely halfway through the Linux 2.6.36 kernel development and we are already getting excited for Linux 2.6.37 with its driver improvements), but sometimes it can be easy to forget that there is still a maintained Linux 2.4 kernel. The Linux 2.6 kernel has been around for nearly seven years and is used by all new Linux distribution updates, but there's lots of enterprise and embedded devices running off this old kernel. The Linux 2.4 kernel though may have just reached an end-of-life state with the just-released Linux kernel.

Willy Tarreau has been the Linux 2.4 kernel maintainer for these infrequent 2.4 kernel updates that largely incorporate bug-fixes and few back-ports, but even he is switching over more of his Linux 2.4 installations to using a long-term-supported Linux 2.6 kernel to the point that he has few 2.4 systems left. As part of his Linux announcement, he has proposed his 2.4 end-of-life plans.

If no critical issues are discovered in the Linux kernel within one year (until September 2011), there will not be a kernel release or any future 2.4 revision. Willy is still accepting 2.4 patches, but unless some critical issue is discovered or other change that would warrant a new kernel update, there is just a year left to switch over to the Linux 2.6 kernel before the 2.4 support goes away for good.

The Linux 2.4 EOL plans are shared in this kernel mailing list message.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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