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The Long Term Support Initiative tries to provide a kernel which is then supported for 2-3 years, which is the typical lifetime of a consumer device. By providing the long term kernel the LTSI expects to remove the fragmentation of the different Linux versions used by the Device Vendors and Distributions and thus also expects it to be easier for the device engineers to upstream their improvements more easily.

The LTSI acts as a agent between the mainline kernel and the device engineers and takes care of backporting features from the mainline as well as foward porting the improvements made to the LTS kernel.