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I'm running Ubuntu 10.04. A search for "linux-headers" in Synaptic Package Manager, and selecting the package "linux-headers-2.6.32-26-generic" displays the following notes for this package: "Canonical provides critical updates for linux-headers-2.6.32-26-generic until October 2011."

Now, selecting "linux-headers-2.6.32-21-generic" displays the following notes: "Canonical provides critical updates for linux-headers-2.6.32-21-generic until April 2015."

Note that the earlier version (linux-headers-2.6.32-21-generic) is supported till 2015, while the later version (linux-headers-2.6.32-26-generic) is only supported till 2011. Why is this the case? Shouldn't a later version be supported till a later time?

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2 Answers

To address your main question directly, yes, a later version in that release should remain supported. Now, for a bit of background, support for displaying the information to which you refer was added in:

synaptic (0.63ubuntu3) lucid; urgency=low
[..]
  * debian/patches/10_ubuntu_maintenance_gui.dpatch:
    - updated to support LTS and new "Supported" flags 

 -- Michael Vogt <michael.vogt@ubuntu.com>  Mon, 25 Jan 2010 09:58:35 +0100

This seems to be a server override issue instead of a Synaptic issue.

Let's look at the override information for linux-headers-2.6.32-21-generic and linux-headers-2.6.32-24-generic at http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/indices/override.lucid-proposed.extra.main.

The former is:

linux-headers-2.6.32-21-generic/amd64   Supported   5y

and the latter is:

linux-headers-2.6.32-24-generic/amd64   Supported   18m

For what it's worth, this inconsistency is resolved for subsequent Ubuntu releases.

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Canonical's support is based on the Ubuntu release date and does not change across package package versions, LTS releases provides two levels of support, desktop packages have 3 years of support, while server packages have 5 years. Per your report linux-headers-2.6.32-21-generic is being identified as a server package, while linux-headers-2.6.32-26-generic as a desktop package.
This is clearly a bug, you should file report for Synaptic.

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