Canonical Promotes Ubuntu's Real-Time "RT" Kernel To General Availability

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 14 February 2023 at 08:00 AM EST. 42 Comments
Nearly one year ago with the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS premiere came a beta real-time kernel offered by Ubuntu maker Canonical and intended to help with Ubuntu Linux deployments in industrial environments, automotive, and other sectors with real-time computing needs. This Valentine's Day the Ubuntu real-time kernel has been promoted to general availability (GA) status.

The embargo has just expired with Canonical announcing today that "real-time Ubuntu is now generally available." In the advanced press release provided, Mark Shuttleworth goes as far as saying, "Ubuntu is now the world's best silicon-optimised AIOT platform on NVIDIA, Intel, MediaTek, and AMD-Xilinx silicon."

Ubuntu's real-time kernel is based on Linux 5.15 LTS like the Ubuntu 22.04(.1) LTS kernel but with carrying the out-of-tree PREEMPT_RT patches. Upstream kernel developers at Intel/Linutronix in particular continue working to get the real-time patches all upstreamed and they are nearly over the finish line. This year we'll see the real-time kernel patches all upstreamed in full, but for now there is the out-of-tree patches especially if planning to stick to the LTS kernel series.

Ubuntu's real-time kernel build has these patches on Linux 5.15 and built for x86_64 and ARM64. The real-time kernel is available both for Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS and Ubuntu Core 22.

Ubuntu's real-time kernel though is gated to Canonical's enterprise customers. The RT kernel on Ubuntu Core 22 is for enterprise customers with IoT App Store access/support and on ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS is available via the Ubuntu Pro subscription service. Ubuntu Pro is free for personal use on up to 5 machines.
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