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LTS, what is it and how it works

Published on  Feb 19th, 2024Updated:  Jul 20th, 2024
3 mins Read

LTS, short for Long Term Support, is widely used in software development and IT industries. In this post, I will explain LTS and how it functions. 

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Every software needs system support. Support varies from Software developments, bug fixes, security fixes, and sometimes call-center supports. We are humans and sometimes have nowhere to go while using the software. Support lifecycles may vary from time to time. Some have lifetime support, some have limited-year support, and some have subscription support. The importance is enormous because the whole organisation will stop working if there are some tiny bugs. For example, an ATM can issue the double amount if the ATM software has bugs. The best example is the Boeing 737 MAX, which cost multi-billion dollars to the company.  

What is the Software Support Lifecycle? 

Every software has a support Lifecycle. The Lifecycle varies from six months to several years. Most of them are annual. They create new versions after a specific Lifecycle and drop support for older versions, especially two or three versions before the current release.  

What is LTS? 

LTS is an abbreviation of Long-Term Support. Consumers cannot upgrade to the latest versions due to their convenience. That's why Internet Explorer was very hard to be deprecated. Windows XP had a lot of service packs, and then Windows 10. They need Long-Term Support. These organisations will face enormous problems if forced to upgrade to the latest version. This process will lead to the loss of consumers.  

How does LTS work? 

While ordinary releases are annual, LTS works for 2-3 years to a decade. The best example includes Laravel, which gives two years of support, and CentOS, which supports up to a decade.  

Types of LTS 

LTS has two types: Bug fixes and security fixes. The bug fixes already stated earlier, but the security fixes are also important. Every system has security vulnerabilities that need fixes. LTS comes on demand in these ways.  

Beyond LTS 

If you do not upgrade before the LTS ends, you will face a big problem. The system will not get any upgrades, and no applications will get upgrades after LTS. LTS also buy some time for upgrades, so your system will not go down. So, don't stay on LTS for long.  

LTS side effects

 LTS has many benefits, but they also have side effects. Many LTS products primarily concentrate on stability, so they don't have feature upgrades. For example, CentOS LTS have PHP 8.1, and Laravel 11 requires PHP 8.2. If you only use the LTS but not the new version, you cannot use the latest Laravel Version without additional tweaks or compiling from the source. Then Laravel is also affected by your OS, and your web app will face another problem, which leads to tech debts.  


LTS is a good way of choice for stability but proceed with care. You cannot forget a thing. Software development is a business that needs proper and frequent maintenance to be fully functional. 

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