Open-source software provider Red Hat has said it will support its current generation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 for 10 years, adding three years to the platform's lifecycle.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 will also now have a 10-year lifecycle, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday.
The company said the decision to extend the lifecycles for its current and past generation of RHEL came in response to demand from enterprise customers.
"For some IT environments, upgrading to a new version of an operating system requires detailed advance planning. Red Hat extended the Red Hat Enterprise Linux lifecycle so customers can remain on their current version longer," Red Hat said.
"Enterprise customers now have additional deployment alternatives for their RHEL operating system implementations as they plan the future of their strategic IT deployments," it added.
Following the change, RHEL 5 and 6 will have a 10-year production process. Builds of the platform go through three production phases — primarily used for resolving bugs and defects still present in the platform — and can offer an optional 'extended life phase' of three years.
As a result of the longer lifecycles, the first production phase will now run for around five-and-a-half years, rather than the previous four years. Similarly, production phase three will last approximately three-and-a-half years instead of two.
RHEL 5 will be fully supported until March 2017, and RHEL 6 until November 2020.
RHEL 3, which is out of its production phases, and version 4 will remain on seven-year lifecycles. RHEL 4 is due to end its final production phase on 29 February. Each of these can provide a further three years of support if customers add the extended life phase support option.