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Linus Torvalds went six days without electricity, swears smaller 5.12 kernel is co-incidental

Devs told if they really, really, need more time for merges they can have it

Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has revealed that inclement weather in the USA meant he recently endured six electricity-free days in his Portland, Oregon, home during which he was unable to tend to the kernel. As a result he therefore pondered adding an extra week to the merge window for version 5.12 of the Linux kernel.

“As you can tell, I didn't do that,” he said in his State of The Kernel update that announced release candidate one of the new kernel cut. “To a large part because people were actually very good about sending in their pull requests, so by the time I finally got power back, everything was nicely lined up and I got things merged up ok.”

It wasn’t just penguinistas behaving well that helped. Torvalds said this version of the kernel has received around 10,000 commits. That’s rather fewer than the 12,000 or 13,000 he usually sees.

In case anyone was inconvenienced by blackout-induced inability to merge, Torvalds said he’s open to help any kernel devs for whom his unavailability caused problems but is not open to all late pulls.

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Torvalds rated the new release as offering “a fair amount of historical cleanup” on account of “removing the legacy OPROFILE support (the user tools have been using the "perf" interface for years), and removing several legacy SoC platforms and various drivers that no longer make any sense.”

Among the big inclusions in 5.12 are Clang Link-Time Optimizations, which make for better compiler performance, and support for Intel’s eASIC NX5 silicon that aims to offer an alternative to FPGAs in edge and cloud applications. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 5G SoC also gains support.

And who could forget changes that allow Linux as root partition under Hyper-V?

Support for PlayStation 5 controllers and the Nintendo 64 are among the usual array of slightly bewildering inclusions. ®

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