BalenaOS with Linux Kernel v6 on RPi4

I have a custom RPi CM4 product and I’ve been using the IOboard device type. It seems that it’s been stuck at BalenaOS version 4.0.16 for the longest time. I don’t really have any issues with it, but I would like to get on a later version of the Linux kernel. I tried to add a new device to my fleet of the standard RPi4 device-type and it works fine on my CM4 (I just have a custom overlay which I added). And now I can install BalenaOS 5.2.8. But I was surprised to see that it also contains Linux kernel 5.15.92, which is the same as in 4.0.16. Is there a newer version of BalenaOS that uses the v6 kernel of Linux? Also is there an official list of the release versions/notes and which Linux kernel they’re using? I found an outdated Github repo that hasn’t been updated for 3 years, that’s obviously not it.

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Hello @HakanL thanks for your questions. I asked internally to the OS team to help here.

In the meantime, is it possible to understand what features from the v6 kernel of Linux do you need on your project?

I had some display hardware issues that I brought up to the RPi Linux developers and they told me there has been a lot of changes in the 6.x kernel to address these (for example, unreliable output from DSI0 on RPi CM4).
I ended up re-designing my hardware to use DSI1 instead, to workaround the issue, so it’s not an urgent need for me, but more that fixes like that aren’t back-ported to v5, so having access to a v6 kernel would allow for more options on the hardware side.


As you probably know, the v5.15 kernel is a long term release that will not become EOL until the end of 2026. The meta-raspberrypi layer only updated to v6.1 on mickledore, which was not a Yocto LTS release, but is likely they will use v6.6 on Scarthgap, which we are currently working on supporting.

So I would expect an update to the v6.6 longterm kernel with the Yocto Scarthgap LTS release.


Thanks, that’s helpful. Will there be a way to select the 6.6 vs 5.15 track when selecting OS in Balena, or will it just be a new release like today?

Hi, we do not have release tracks available, so once the kernel update happens there will be a new release that supports the new kernel.