Hello everyone, this is a thread to introduce both users and kernel developers to the concept of linux-stable as well as give developers some tips and a tree to either merge into their own, use as a base, or just as a reference. Feel free to ask questions and enjoy!
What is it?
linux-stable is, as the name implies, the stable branch of the Linux kernel, the base of Android. The phone could not run without the Linux kernel (at least not without reworking a lot of stuff). The Android kernels are based on the longterm stable trees:
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.
All Linux development happens on the master branch, which is governed by Linus Torvalds. When issues are discovered there, the fixes are applied then backported to these various stable trees for consumption. It is not uncommon for a fix to need to go back a few years.
If you are a developer, this means you should be merging these changes into your own tree. These are vetted, stable fixes to real world problems and they are being handed out for free. It does not take long to get up to date (as you can just merge this tree directly into your own or do it yourself using the tree as a reference) and once you are up to date, there is usually a release once every two weeks, give or take. I provide a rebuttal to a lot of various complaints here. If you still feel like there is a good reason not to do this, please let me know, I'll be happy to try and debate on it!
If you are a user, it means that you should be looking for and using kernels that have these fixes, as it shows the developers care for your security and stability. The current version for this device is 4.4.78 on OOS and 4.4.100 on Lineage while the current version upstream is 4.4.162 so all you need to do is go into Settings > About phone and look at the kernel version to know if you are up to date.
There are three branches, one for OxygenOS 8.0 stable, one for OyxgenOS 8.1 beta, and one for Lineage 15.1.
This can either be merged into your existing kernel tree if you have one or be used as a fresh base. You do not need my permission to use it nor do you need to give me credit (although it would be appreciated).
If you are a user, use a kernel that has the changes added in!
Getting notified about updates
There are a few ways to get notified of linux-stable updates: