12. LTS aspects
Linux Mint 5 Elyssa is built on top of the Ubuntu Hardy Heron package base. Hardy is a Long Term Support (LTS) release, meaning that it will be supported and it will receive security and package updates for the next 3 years.
Starting with Elyssa, Linux Mint will consider two of its releases "current": The latest release, and the latest LTS release. Basically, this means that innovations put into Linux Mint 6, Linux Mint 7 and Linux Mint 8 will be backported into Linux Mint 5 until the next LTS release comes out. Users will have a choice to stay current over the next 2 years by keeping Linux Mint 5 Elyssa, or by following the latest releases every 6 months.
Although Linux Mint isn't a rolling distribution an LTS strategy will be put in place to ensure that Linux Mint 5 Elyssa will stay up to date over the next 2 years. Users will have the choice to enable the backport repository for Elyssa in which upgrades for important desktop applications (Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice..) will be made available.