Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Will Likely Ship With Linux 4.15

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 24 October 2017 at 09:10 PM EDT. 28 Comments
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the recently named "Bionic Beaver", will most likely be shipping with a Linux 4.15-based kernel.

There previously was some speculation by others that the Ubuntu 18.04 Long Term Support release might ship with Linux 4.14, since this kernel itself is a Long-Term Support (LTS) release as well, but fortunately it looks like the kernel team is planning to release with 4.15.

Linux 4.14 will be out in two to three weeks as the next stable kernel release while Linux 4.15 will still be released in plenty of time for Ubuntu 18.04's April release. Additionally, with Ubuntu 18.04 point releases back-porting new kernel releases as part of their hardware enablement stack, Ubuntu LTS releases sticking to LTS kernel releases is less important.

From the hardware perspective, it only makes sense that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ships with Linux 4.15 (or newer). Linux 4.15 should be mainlining the AMDGPU DC display code as needed to finally provide out-of-the-box support for Radeon RX Vega graphics cards (and forthcoming Raven Ridge APUs), Intel Coffeelake graphics are prompted out of their "alpha" support mode, and there's a ton of other work building up... While many more Linux 4.15 features will be covered on Phoronix during the upcoming merge window.

It's likely that Linux 4.16 will even be out in time for April, but that would be rather cutting it close and unlikely for the Bionic Beaver given their more Ubuntu developers' more conservative behavior during LTS cycles.

It would be a shame if Ubuntu 18.04 LTS shipped with Linux 4.14. But fortunately during today's kernel team meeting, they are leaning for 4.15:
We look at the Ubuntu release schedule and how that will line up with the upstream kernel releases. We talk to hardware vendors about when they will be landing their changes upstream and what they would prefer as the Ubuntu kernel version. We talk to major cloud vendors and ask them what they would like. We speak to large consumers of Ubuntu to solicit their opinion. We look at what will be the next upstream stable kernel. We get input from members of the Canonical product strategy team. Taking all of that into account we are tentatively planning to converge on 4.15 for the
Bionic Beaver 18.04 LTS release.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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