The LTSI project is an ecosystem-wide collaborative project to create and maintain a common Linux base for the use in a variety of products, to be hosted by the Linux Foundation. The project creates and maintains the long-term support industry tree, the LTSI tree, which is expected to be stable in quality for the typical life-time of a product, i.e., 2-3 years. The LTSI tree is created based on the community’s long-term-stable tree, incorporates some valuable features from ecosystem partners, and is maintained by back-porting bug fixes and some valuable features from the latest upstream kernel version. The use of the LTSI tree significantly reduces the burdens on industry engineers who need to enable utilize versions of Linux in a variety of products, and maintain those individually.
The LTSI project also has a mechanism to accelerate contributions from industry engineers in two different ways. The first path is to help industry engineers to send patches upstream by preparing the industry staging tree where innovative but possibly incomplete features can be posted. Then, the LTSI team and other industry engineers can discuss these improvements. Upstream maintainers will be involved appropriately. The second path is to accept fixes and features into the LTSI tree for further brush-up towards upstream by the LTSI team. This allows industry engineers to easily send fixes and features, since they should be using the same version of Linux as the LTSI tree. And, as the same rules described in the community’s Documentation/SubmittingPatches are applied for sending patches to the LTSI tree, industry engineers will become knowledgeable in the community process which should eventually lead them to contribute directly to upstream. In parallel, the LTSI team works with upstream engineers to upstream those patches.
The LTSI project can not be done by the industry alone. It requires a tight linkage with the community’s long-term-stable tree maintainer to select a base version of Linux for wider use in the industry, and close communications with upstream maintainers to incorporate fixes and innovations from industry engineers. The Linux Foundation is the only organization which can bridge the industry and the community for the evolution of Linux and the use of Linux in the business, and believes the LTSI project contributes to both.
For more detail, please refer to the LTSI Overview document or visit the LTSI web site at http://ltsi.linuxfoundation.org