Linux Creator Warns Next Kernel Could be Delayed

Mar 29, 2021

Linus Torvalds has issued concern about the size of kernel 5.12 and possible delays for its release.

Never one to mince words, Linus Torvalds has released the latest RC (Release Candidate) of the Linux kernel, while expressing a slight bit of concern the size might hinder a timely release. Torvalds went so far as to say, “I’m not overly worried yet, but let’s just say that the trend had better not continue, or I’ll start feeling like we will need to make this one of those releases that need an rc8.” Most Linux kernels go through 7 Release Candidates, which are made available every Sunday.

This is the same kernel that Torvalds warned users to avoid when the first release candidate was made available (which was delayed, due to an ice storm). To that, Torvalds said, “This merge window, we had a very innocuous code cleanup and simplification that raised no red flags at all, but had a subtle and very nasty bug in it: swap files stopped working right. And they stopped working in a particularly bad way: the offset of the start of the swap file was lost. Swapping still happened, but it happened to the wrong part of the filesystem, with the obvious catastrophic end results.”

With that issue resolved, the Release Candidates continued, unabated. But due to the ballooning size, Torvalds has grown concerned about getting the final release out on time. If nothing of note happens (and the size doesn’t grow out of hand), the 5.12 kernel should be released in late April or early May.

Read Torvald’s original statement about the 5.12 kernel size.


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