Linus Torvalds, the maintainer of the Linux (opens in new tab) kernel, has deferred the final release of kernel 5.12 by at least a week.
The delay isn’t totally unexpected (opens in new tab). Torvalds hinted that the 5.12 development cycle may require an extra week of testing owing to the large number of changes in the previous release candidate (RC).
“Ok, so it's been fairly calm this past week, but it hasn't been the kind of dead calm I would have taken to mean 'no rc8 necessary',” wrote Torvalds (opens in new tab) as he put out the latest RC for testing.
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Linux kernel RCs are pushed out every Sunday by Torvalds, typically seven times per release cycle. Often however, the development necessitates an extra week of testing, primarily due to the number of changes in the release cycle, as in this instance.
Linux 5.12 delay
As Torvalds noted in the announcement, the 5.x series of kernel releases has had four prior rc8s, although he doesn't want this to become the norm.
There was a high chance the 5.12 development cycle would be extended, right from the get-go. In fact, its start was threatened (opens in new tab) by icy storms that battered most of the United States and left Torvalds without electricity for almost a week.
Then there was the odd filesystem corruption issue (opens in new tab) that impacted several high profile users, including Intel, and required an emergency release to address the issue.
But while Torvalds has allowed an extra week of testing, he has made it clear he doesn’t want to further prolong the process.
“Because let's keep it to just one extra week, ok? We have occasionally done rc9's too, but I really don't expect that this time around,” Torvalds signed off.
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