Based on https://www.kernel.org/ kernel 3.12 is released in 2014-04-23 and kernel 3.10 is released in 2014-04-27. Based on release date, 3.12 is older and based on version number 3.10 is older. Which one is newer? Which one has more features? Does 3.12 have 3.10 features?

1 Answer 1


You should familiarize yourself with the different branches:

  • Longterm There are usually several "longterm maintenance" kernel releases provided for the purposes of backporting bugfixes for older kernel trees. Only important bugfixes are applied to such kernels and they don't usually see very frequent releases, especially for older trees.

You're looking at two different longterm kernel versions. They provide you a 3.10 and a 3.12 kernel because the latest one is 3.14 but you might need something to work like it did in one of those earlier kernels. Having a long term feature freeze on a particular kernel version enables people to get bug fixes without changing anything that would be user- or admin-facing.

Does 3.12 have 3.10 features?

Yes and no. Features are added, remove, and changed all the time. The only way to know for sure is to check the release notes for each kernel version to see if the feature you're concerned about is in there somewhere.

All we can really say that the 3.12 represents a later stage of development than the 3.10 kernel. The dates beside them just reflect the last time someone updated that particular branch. If you want the latest and greatest you should look at 3.14

  • 1
    The LinuxChanges page at kernelnewbies.org tries to summarize the changes in each kernel version. You can compare the page revisions for 3.11, 3.12, 3.13 and 3.14. At the bottom of the pages you find other sources for change summaries, e.g. LWN.
    – Dubu
    May 2, 2014 at 21:05
  • I'd like to use a version which hash better performance. Latest longterm is the best, isn't it? May 3, 2014 at 5:02
  • Performance doesn't increase uniformly for all architectures. So it's possible 3.10 and 3.12 will have identical performance. It all depends on what exact changes were made, how the kernel got compiled, and what hardware it ended up running on. For example, a new version may only have performance improvements to SPARC processors but if you're running Intel then you'll see no advantage to upgrading the kernel.
    – Bratchley
    May 3, 2014 at 12:53
  • If you're really interested in getting the most out of the kernel, I wouldn't look at the longterm kernels at all. Those are just there for situations where, for example, you know that you need kernel "3.10" because "3.12" or "3.14" won't support some application you want to run because they removed a feature from the kernel that the application needs. If you're trying to get the most, I would just go with whatever kernel is the latest stable release (which for now is 3.14.2).
    – Bratchley
    May 3, 2014 at 12:55
  • Longstory short: longterm kernels aren't for everyone. Go with 3.14.2 if you're unsure.
    – Bratchley
    May 3, 2014 at 12:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .