The first thing we should know is that, when we talk about Linux, we must differentiate between two concepts. The first one is the Kernel, and the second one is the distributions. And the development of each of these concepts is totally independent of the other.
The Linux Kernel is the core of the operating system, although by itself it is not very useful. Within it are protocols, drivers, memory managers and other elements, but it cannot function on its own as an operating system as such. That is why, in order for it to be of any use, it is necessary to provide it with a shell, compilers, libraries, a desktop, etc. And this is what they do distributions.
latest version of linux
Although the first version of Linux (0.x) saw the light of day in 1991, and has received billions of changes and improvements in its 21 years of life, only 5 version changes have been published. Therefore, the latest version available is 5.x (released in 2019). And, specifically, as of August 2022, the latest available subversion of this kernel is Linux 5.19.
It is rumored that with the release of the next version of Linux, 5.20, Linus Torvalds could bring to life a new version of his kernel, 6.0. This rumor makes sense considering that it is similar to the one he already made with version 4x, where the last one was 4.20 and, instead of giving life to 4.21, the current Linux 5.x arrived.
Latest versions of the main distributions
When we want to install Linux, what we are looking for is to install a distribution. As we have already explained, these are designed from the Kernel and, on it, a series of components are configured to be able to shape the operating system. Linux distro designers can choose between creating a distro as complete as possible, with packages and programs, to ease the learning curve, or creating a minimalist system that each user can customize.
Let’s see what are the latest versions of the 10 most popular distros as of August 2022.
- MXLinux. Based on Debian. The latest version is 21.1 released in April 2022 with Linux Kernel 5.10.
- EndeavourOS. Based on Arch. The latest version dates from June 2022, and comes with Linux Kernel 5.18. Being a Rolling Release, it updates the kernel automatically.
- Linux Mint. Based on Ubuntu. The latest version is 21, released in July 2022. It comes with the 5.15 kernel.
- ManjaroLinux. Based on Arch. The last stable version (it has continuous development) arrived in August 2022 with the 5.18 kernel.
- Pop!_OS. Based on Ubuntu. The latest version, 22.04, arrived in April 2022, with the Linux Kernel 5.16.
- Ubuntu. Based on Debian. The latest version, 22.04, arrived in April 2022 and has the Linux Kernel 5.15.
- Fedora. Independent distribution. The fixed branch is at version 36, released in May 2022 with kernel version 5.17, while the continuous development version is up to date as of August 2022 with kernel 5.19.
- Debian. Independent distribution. The latest stable version is 11, released in August 2021, which comes with the 5.10 kernel, while the rolling release version is updated as of August 2022, and mounts the Linux 5.18 kernel.
- GarudaLinux. Based on Arch. It has continuous development and the latest version dates from July 2022. It uses version 5.18 of the Kernel.
- openSUSE. Independent distribution. The latest stable version of this distro dates from June 2022, and mounts Linux Kernel 5.18. It has a continuous development rolling release version, updated as of August 2022, with Kernel 5.18.
Whatever distro we have, it will have a specific version of the Linux kernel inside it. And we can find out which version it is running on by opening a terminal and running the following command: