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Linus Torvalds worried Linux kernel might get messy around Christmas

LTS release 5.10 is currently unruly and looks like colliding with the holiday season

Linus Torvalds has expressed some worries about progress of version 5.10 of the Linux kernel.

"Hmm. The 5.10 release candidates stubbornly keeps staying fairly big, even though by rc5 we really should be seeing things starting to calm down and shrink," he said in his weekly state of the kernel post.

While Torvalds went on to write: "There's nothing in here that makes me particularly nervous," adding: "I'm still hopeful for things to calm down. Otherwise we get into uncomfortable territory for the next release with the holiday season coming up too."

Torvalds prefers releases to have eight release candidates. If he can stick to that plan, a full 5.10 release will emerge in the week before Christmas. His practice is then to open a two-week merge window that would occupy the less-than-busy times between Christmas and New Year. As a resident of the USA, Torvalds may also have this week's Thanksgiving holiday on his mind as that's another time in which productivity is not at its peak. Developers could therefore move slower than usual and see 5.10 remain a little unruly.

If that comes to pass and 5.10 development extends an extra week or two into a ninth or tenth release candidate, it'll run smack-bang into the Christmas slowdown.

Which isn't usually terrifying as not many users demand a new version of the kernel on the day of its release. But version 5.10 is a long-term-support cut of the kernel so attracts more attention.

Linux 5.10 will offer the usual grab-bag of goodies. On the serious side, support for Amazon Web Services' Nitro Enclaves isolation technology is on track for inclusion, as is code that will mean forthcoming Intel CPUs work well with Linux. On the sillier side, the kernel will become compatible with the controller of Nintendo's Switch gaming console. ®

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