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I read the Table of versions of List of Ubuntu releases. I found that the kernel version for each release is fixed. E.g. the kernel is 2.6.24 for Ubuntu 8.04, 2.6.32 for 10.04, 3.2+ for 12.04, and 3.13 for 14.04.

For each Linux distribution (not just Ubuntu), is the Linux kernel version fixed within the life of a release/version?

Is the Linux kernel version the defining factor of a release/version?

  • For Ubuntu, upstream kernel versions are fixed for non-LTS releases. LTS releases get new kernels as part of HWE updates. And also consider rolling-release distros like Arch. – muru Dec 22 '14 at 11:52
  • What do HWE and "rolling-release" mean? – Tim Dec 22 '14 at 11:52
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    Simply put, they don't have discrete release versions. There's a single release, and packages are upgraded as and when they can be upgraded. HWE is hardware enablement, see wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/LTSEnablementStack – muru Dec 22 '14 at 11:54
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    "Rolling-release" is a term to describe an alternative update model to the more standard discrete release model. In a rolling-release distribution, there is no major version, and you never need to reinstall (unless something has gone wrong). Instead, you commonly update the whole system using only the newest software available (with some small delay for testing). On Arch, for example, it is quite common to always be using the latest kernel version before most other distros ever get it. – HalosGhost Dec 22 '14 at 12:49
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The answer to your first question is no, and you can read proof for that from your own post: The kernel ...is ...for Ubuntu 3.2+ for 12.04. Mark the + after 3.2. On my server it is 3.11, not 3.2, so it is not fixed.

The version number of the Linux kernel is the defining factor for the kernel. A Linux distribution is defined by many more different things. For workstation/desktop oriented distros e.g. the version and type of the desktop software. Of course this completely depends on what you (or I) consider 'defining' and if others agree with your definition.

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