The Linux 4.20/5.0 Kernel Is The Biggest All Year With 354+ Thousand Lines Of New Code

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 4 November 2018 at 05:48 AM EST. 3 Comments
The Linux kernel will be ending 2018 on a high note with the current merge window for what will be called either Linux 4.20 or Linux 5.0 is the biggest kernel update by lines of code in more than one year.

The Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel merge window is expected to close later today when Linus Torvalds issues the first release candidate -- and also clarifies what this new kernel will in fact be called between the two version numbers. On a lines of code count, this kernel is easily the largest since the Linux 4.13 merge window that happened in September of 2017.

As of this morning, the current merge window has increased the kernel side by more than 354 thousand lines of code. In comparison, the 4.19 merge window increased the code-base by 300 thousand lines of the 4.18 cycle actually shrunk the kernel size by over one hundred thousand lines. Several of the recent kernel releases were smaller in size due to dropping old architectures, deprecated staging drivers, etc.

Here's a look at some L.O.C. count comparisons I spun up this morning between the recent kernel merge window periods.
$ git diff v4.19 master --shortstat
10705 files changed, 657824 insertions(+), 303453 deletions(-)
[ +354371 LOC ]

$ git diff v4.18 v4.19-rc1 --shortstat
10997 files changed, 534462 insertions(+), 233410 deletions(-)
[ +301052 LOC ]

$ git diff v4.17 v4.18-rc1 --shortstat
12479 files changed, 560339 insertions(+), 667549 deletions(-)
[ -107210 LOC ]

$ git diff v4.16 v4.17-rc1 --shortstat
13697 files changed, 733336 insertions(+), 924468 deletions(-)
[ -191132 LOC ]

$ git diff v4.15 v4.16-rc1 --shortstat
11444 files changed, 585037 insertions(+), 398827 deletions(-)
[ +186210 LOC ]

$ git diff v4.14 v4.15-rc1 --shortstat
11966 files changed, 610003 insertions(+), 301083 deletions(-)
[ +308920 LOC ]

$ git diff v4.13 v4.14-rc1 --shortstat
11530 files changed, 622087 insertions(+), 370876 deletions(-)
[ +251211 LOC ]

$ git diff v4.12 v4.13-rc1 --shortstat
10077 files changed, 828306 insertions(+), 236891 deletions(-)
[ +591415 LOC ]

It's not too surprising given all of the great changes coming and I'll be out with my usual feature overview soon and begin firing up benchmarks of this big kernel update.

This Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel is expected to be released as stable around the very end of December or early January.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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