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I'm running an arch linux server and recently switched to an lts kernel from the repositories.

Since I'm not rebooting the server very often, I want a stable kernel that is supported for a very long time. However, I noticed this specific arch linux lts kernel keeps getting updates. Some weeks ago I had installed the kernel 4.4.11 and now already a 4.4.12 update comes in.

Being surprised about the 'high' update rate on the lts kernel track, I checked kernel.org and it states the latest longterm kernel is already 4.4.13, so I guess I have to update soon again on my server.

The linux.com blog states, that the 4.4 kernel will be maintained for at least 2 years. But since there are already 13 updates (as in 4.4.13) in the last 5 months I don't really see the benefit of the long term support kernel.

With such a high update frequency I could also run my server on the latest stable kernel and I would be not much more busy with updates than on the lts track.

So, please explain me, what is the LTS kernel exactly designed for?

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LTS does not mean that there will be no upgrades coming. LTS means that the packages will get minor upgrades to fix bugs and security problems when the 'standard' support for the version has stopped. It gives you the option/possibility to use your server in a safe way without you going to the next version that they support. The next version most often requires a complete installation.

If you do not want to have these kind of upgrades then you should not do (automatic) upgrades. You can then decide yourself which upgrades that you do manually. I would not consider this good practice since this weakens your server.

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"The next version most often requires a complete installation." Well that's a complete nonsense. This is NOT a Windows. You can update anything at any time without re-installation and most of the time without even reboot. Obviously you need to reboot to update your kernel, but that's one of the very few occasions you'll need it.

LTS kernels are generally more stable due to the fact, that generally there are no new features introduced, but rather bug fixes and security patches. While new release will always brings new features and thus potentially new bugs and issues. Unless you are running a super important server and rock solid stability is your primary concern, there is no real point of staying on a long term release.

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