Some people had thought the next release might be the not-yet-released Linux 6.7 kernel. After all, the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch, Greg Kroah-Hartman, had said that the year's last kernel will be the LTS version. However, the massive 6.7 update isn't now expected to see the light of day until some time early next year.
Linux 6.7 will also include numerous new features, such as the bcachefs file system, which is a new robust copy-on-write (COW) file system that boasts fresh attributes while maintaining high performance. Linux 6.7 will also include support for Nvidia's GPU System Processor (GSP) firmware in the Nouveau open-source graphics drive and lots of networking updates. It's a big release in every sense of the word.
Currently, there are six LTS Linux kernels -- 6.1, 5.15, 5.10, 5.4, 4.19, and 4.14. Under the process to date, 4.14 would roll off in January 2024, and another kernel would be added. Going forward, though, they won't be replaced when the 4.14 kernel and the next two drop off.
The explanation for this shift is based on two major factors. First, people aren't using the older LTS versions. Why spend money and time on projects when they're sitting idle? The other major reason is that Linux code maintainers are burning out. There's too much work and not enough hands to handle the load.
However, if you really want a kernel that you can count on for a decade, Canonical recently reaffirmed its support for the Linux kernels it uses in its LTS Ubuntu releases for 10 years. As Canonical explained: "The Canonical maintenance and support efforts are wholly independent of the upstream LTS and will continue as before. Despite changes in upstream LTS support, Canonical remains committed to providing dependable support for the Ubuntu kernel, ensuring that the Linux community and businesses can continue to rely on stable and secure software."