Linux 5.12-rc2 Released Early - A Rare Friday Kernel Due To That Nasty Corruption Issue
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 6 March 2021 at 12:15 AM EST. 6 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
While Linus Torvalds long has released his new kernel releases -- both release candidates and the inaugural stable releases -- every Sunday, there are the occasional exceptions like this week with Linux 5.12-rc2 being issued on Friday night. The Linux 5.12-rc2 release has come early due to that nasty file-system corruption issue stemming from botched swapfile handling.

This is the data loss issue I was warning Phoronix readers about for more than one week (and even days prior to that on Twitter when beginning to see this recurring issue) that then was pushed into the spotlight this week. With Intel's graphics CI systems being hit by the file-system corruption too, developers quickly jumped in on the issue. The corruption was too much for even e2fck to handle correctly and at least in every system I tested led to all the data being lost.


It was then discovered the issue to be that the swapfile read/write offset was not being correctly handled and that is what was leading to the file-systems getting slaughtered. This also then became clear the issue impacted those relying on swap files with the bug affecting the underlying file-system / partition in use. A fix was merged to correctly handle swapfile read/write offsets.

When Linus Torvalds then became aware of the situation, he warned developers from using Linux 5.12-rc1 as a branch point for their future work and also talked of releasing Linux 5.12-rc2 early for getting the corrected release candidate out there.

Now tonight Linux 5.12-rc2 has been released with this fix in place.

Linus noted that also in Linux 5.12-rc2 is some reorganizing to the IO_uring thread handling code that fixes some fundamental issues while also making the code simpler and smaller as added benefits. The rest of this week's expedited -rc2 release is all quite normal at this point.

Glad that this issue is resolved now and back on to the more fun performance benchmarking as there are a few other Linux 5.12 changes I am currently evaluating. See the Linux 5.12 feature list for other reasons to get excited about this forthcoming kernel.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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