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Linux 3.12 Kernel Released; Linux 4.0 Planning Talked Up

Linux Kernel

Published on 03 November 2013 07:42 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
23 Comments

As was anticipated, the Linux 3.12 kernel was released this afternoon. The Linux 3.12 kernel is a mighty big update but beyond announcing its debut, Linus Torvalds also made mention of a delay in the Linux 3.13 merge window and has begun expressing possible plans for a Linux 4.0 release in about one year's time.

For the Linux 3.12 kernel news, see the articles earlier today for a Linux 3.12 kernel feature overview and a rundown of the Linux 3.12 kernel benchmarks. Those two articles recap most of our 3.12 kernel coverage in recent weeks on Phoronix.

Now in terms of the merge window delay for 3.13... Linus Torvalds will be travelling for the next week and as a result he's delaying the opening of the merge window. Subsystem maintainers can still submit their 3.13 pull requests, but they won't be acted upon for the next week. After next week, the merge window will be open for two weeks.

Last but not least, Linus Torvalds is beginning to brew plans for Linux 4.0. Linux 4.0 isn't about some big change, but similar to going from Linux 2.6 to Linux 3.0, it's simply with the minor point release numbers rising quite high. Linus doesn't want to have a Linux 3.(some-large-number) so after Linux 3.19 he's tossing out the idea of moving to Linux 4.0.

Moving to Linux 4.0 after Linux 3.19 would put its release in about a year. As a twist, Linus is also considering an idea tossed out by Intel's Dirk Hondel of doing one kernel release where it's nothing but bug-fixes. The release wouldn't incorporate any new features, etc, but just be about maintenance and bug-fixing. Doing this though would require the cooperation of the broad Linux kernel development community as well as the coordination with various vendors that need to land new hardware enablement, etc.

Linus is expressing the possibility of having Linux 4.0 simply be a hardened Linux 3.19 kernel with additional fixes, but that's still an open matter and likely won't be decided for some time until there's sufficient feedback and understanding on the matter.

The Linux 3.12 kernel announcement with the Linux 4.0 / bug-fixing-release talk can be found on the Linux kernel mailing list.

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