The described approach (backported patches) can also create some problems in understanding the compatibility of new packages that people want to install.
For example: also Suse always backport the kernel fixes to the kernel release that was originally shipped with that specific distribution.
Now, this makes more difficult for me to install programs that require specific kernel releases (i.e the one related to wlan, PCMCIA, USB, etc): how do I know if current latest kernel release (k_smp4G-2.4.21-192) is compatible with 2.4.21, 2.4.22, 2.4.23.. even 2.6.x?
The alternative is to use always latest std kernel releases... but then you always need to check if that std kernel release doesn't break some of the installed packages (and their dependencies).
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