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With regard to kernels and backports, I noted a backported kernel available to 10.04 LTS builds, slightly older than the cutting-edge kernels in 10.10. Any reason for a lack of backports for them? (although the currently backported kernel for lucid is 2.6.35, >= 2.6.36 is newer and seems to be in the 10.10 and later repositories)

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Speaking for the Ubuntu Kernel Team, The plan is to provide backport kernels in lockstep with Stable release updates. The Maverick kernels are unavailable currently due to a toolchain change that is precluding them from building. Once that has been fixed, there will be additional kernels available to LTS from Maverick. Once Natty is officially released there will be a backport kernel available for it as well. That is the plan going forward as it has been explained to me. Once a version is released, a new kernel will be available in backports soon after.

As we discussed offline, these kernels are built expressly for the -server release and are not supported on the desktop even if they work. I'd also like to point out that the reason we provide these kernels (for those reading who want to understand why they would care about backported kernels) is to provide -server users with the most current updates for new supported hardware.

I hope that helps. :-)

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I should also mention that this was not a 'time' issue as mentioned in previous answers. The team uses an automated system to build these kernels regularly, so there is no or negligible time impact. – Jeremy Foshee Mar 14 '11 at 15:53
Is there any documentation or thoughts on the discussion regarding backporting kernels only for -server releases? I'm proposing to move our visual effects animation company from Fedora to Ubuntu 12.04 and having newer kernels is definitely a selling point since LTS promises 5 year support. As we buy very recent hardware regularly to render on and after several years, we may need newer kernels to use the hardware. So if newer kernels are not going to be backported to LTS releases for desktops, 12.04 is not as attractive. – Blair Zajac Nov 23 '11 at 1:42
Is 11.10's kernel going to be backported to 10.04? – Blair Zajac Nov 23 '11 at 1:48

as psusi says Time, I would also like to add that more people in Ubuntu world use the latest release. Some might be still using LTS or ever older, release but I have seen that most people use latest or previous release at max(lesser people than latest)

Most of the focus is on managing kernels in the development release. Once a release is out, providing backports is not a major incentive. It needs commitment and who knows it might break the system too. When working on latest release they have a huge number of people testing it out via Alpha releases, that huge number would not be available for testing backports.

This is probably one more reason why Ubuntu backports project is not very active. The people working on it cite time-constraint and no-real-incentive to do it.

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The Ubuntu backports project was for application software and has nothing to do with the kernel backports mentioned here. – Jeremy Foshee Mar 14 '11 at 15:56
@Jeremy: I never said it was for Kernel. Just giving an example of how time-constraint affects an initiative. – Manish Sinha Mar 14 '11 at 16:39

Time. Someone has to take the time to backport, and it just isn't a very high priority.

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Having said that, is there any possible potential for a Natty backport to be made anytime in the future? – Thomas Ward Mar 12 '11 at 3:55

IMHO the most of the people that are not comfortable with 11.04 and will not with 11.10 are returning to 10.10 and 10.04 LTS, so getting backports of kernels in this versions are quite reasonable, in fact 10.04 LTS have this backports, but Maverick, it looks like not. My request is to work it out and publish newer kernels backported to Maverick.

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