Ubuntu 10.04 May Backport Newer Kernels
The Ubuntu kernel team has written a message on the Ubuntu announcement mailing list in which they lay out the kernel summary for Ubuntu Lucid. In this message the kernel team confirms that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (the "Lucid Lynx") will indeed be shipping with the just-released Linux 2.6.32 kernel. By the time Ubuntu 10.04 rolls around in April, the Linux 2.6.33 kernel will have been released and the Linux 2.6.34 kernel will be in development, but the Ubuntu developers have decided to stick it out with the 2.6.32 kernel for a maximum stabilization period, especially since this is a Long-Term Support release.
However, an interesting piece of news did come out of this message and that is the Ubuntu kernel team may end up back-porting newer kernels into Ubuntu Lucid. They will experiment with bringing kernels from newer Ubuntu releases (i.e. Ubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 11.04) back to the Lucid package repository. This kernel back-porting will be supported by Canonical on certified platforms, but their official plans are still being decided.
While this does sound like promising news for those Ubuntu users who like to live on the bleeding edge of upstream Linux development while still maintain some level of package sanity, this will likely not be as promising as it sounds. While all the details have yet to emerge, with the kernel team back-porting the kernels from release cycles after Lucid, we may not even see a back-ported kernel until late in 2010 when Ubuntu 10.10 nears or has been released -- at which point, those that desire the latest and greatest Linux packages will have already made the switch to the newest Ubuntu release. In other words, building your own vanilla kernel or using the Ubuntu mainline kernel PPA would still be the only options. However, for LTS users that stick it out for multiple years with Ubuntu 10.04, this may end up being nice especially with new drivers and improvements to be found in the later kernels.
The kernel team did also confirm in this message that ATI Radeon kernel mode-setting will be enabled for Ubuntu 10.04 with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel and that they indeed are working on delivering Nouveau KMS for Ubuntu 10.04 that will support NVIDIA hardware, but that is more complicated as it involves pulling in the Nouveau DRM that is not currently in the mainline Linux kernel.
More details on the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" kernel plans can be found on the Ubuntu Wiki.
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