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Don't expect a new cut of Linux to ease your NYE hangovers

Penguinistas will get all the holiday fun of an extra release candidate instead

The Register can at last reveal the answer to the question on everyone's lips: who would win a hypothetical fight between Santa Claus and Linus Torvalds?

And the winner is … Santa! We have reached this decision based on Torvalds's regular state of the kernel post for this week, in which he rated the development process for version 5.16 of the Linux kernel as "fairly normal".

"This rc5 is perhaps a bit bigger than usual, but it's not like it's breaking any records," Torvalds wrote. "I blame people trying to get stuff done before the holidays, and/or just random timing effects."

Torvalds thinks the holidays will slow the release of this version of the kernel.

"With the holidays coming up, things are probably going to slow down both on the development and testing front, and as a result I expect that I will also extend the rc series by another week," he added.

That addition won't be because the extra rc is needed – although Torvalds left open the possibility of messes making it necessary – "but simply because nobody will want to open the next merge window immediately in the new year".

That's a nod to Torvalds's preferred release cycle of a two-week merge window followed by seven weekly release candidates. On that schedule, Linux 5.16 would debut on January 2, 2022 – a time of year at which many kernel contributors will have just spent a week away from their desks to celebrate the season.

New contributions to the kernel would presumably not be voluminous in such a week, hence the Emperor Penguin's plan for one more release.

But the plan is not set in stone.

"Anyway, that's the plan right now (based on previous years where we've done the same)," he wrote, adding "but let's see how this all goes." ®

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