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Branch of Kernel Linux Development

There are two current branches of kernel development, which are distinguished by the second number in the three-part version number. Those with even second numbers (like 2.4.17) are known as stable or release kernels. Kernels with odd second numbers (like 2.5.2) are development kernels. Stable kernels are best for production environments, because they are, as the name implies, quite reliable. Development kernels, on the other hand, are being actively tinkered with—the kernel developers use this line to add new drivers, change interfaces, and so on. Development kernels are therefore best avoided unless you want to contribute to kernel development or if you really require some new driver. (In the latter case, you can often find a back-port of the driver to an older stable kernel.)

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