Linus Torvalds has announced the release of the Linux 6.6 kernel, stating that the week leading up to its launch had been calm, helping to deliver it on time.
Torvalds described a “random smattering” of smaller fixes across the board, with only one larger fix addressing the r8152 driver.
Linux 6.6 is expected to be the next Long-Term Support (LTS) kernel, and while work is already underway for version 6.7, that’s not expected to be available until early next year.
Linux 6.6 is here, and on time
Eight days before its launch, Torvalds said while announcing 6.6-rc7 that this was actually a particularly large rc7.
“It is certainly on the bigger side of our rc7 releases in the 6,.x series,” he said, adding that only 6.1 was larger in terms of the number of commits, and that ended up needing an rc8. Fortunately, 6.6 was ultimately released without that extra step.
Version 6.6, introduced late October 2023, adds the EEVDF scheduler, support for Intel Shadow Stack, and support for upcoming Intel and AMD platforms, including Intel’s Lunar Lake and Arrow Lake processors and AMD’s EPYC and Ryzen CPUs.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Linux would cut long-term support from six years to just two years, which sounds like a huge blow. In reality, though, it is thought that few people continue to use six-year-old kernels - maintaining support for a small handful was therefore deemed unsustainable.
“The merge window for 6.7 opens tomorrow,” said Torvalds, adding his appreciation for “how many early pull requests I have lined up, with 40+ ready to go.”
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