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Test this new Linux kernel – but don’t forget Christmas or that you have a family, says Linus Torvalds

Confirms version 5.16 will receive an eighth release candidate

Linus Torvalds has confirmed that version 5.16 of the Linux kernel will take a little longer to develop than usual, thanks to Christmas.

“Things are calming down, and rc6 is fairly small,” he wrote in his weekly State of the Kernel post. “That's normal for this time in the release schedule, but it's also normal for this time of year.”

The emperor penguin opined that “the next two weeks will be very quiet, and smaller still.”

So he’s confirmed the thought bubble he floated last week about allowing version 5.16 of the kernel to reach an eighth release candidate.

The reason for the extra release is “not because this release looks particularly problematic, but simply due to the seasonal holidays.”

“There's no point in releasing a final 5.16 and opening the merge window when people are still on holiday or just coming back. So we'll have at least one extra week of rc this release, even if no nasty issues appear.”

Torvalds rated the chances of further releases as slim, based on his assessment of work on the current cut of the kernel.

The maintainer-in-chief’s mpst signed off with his customary suggestion that penguinistas take this week’s release for a spin.

“I know most of us are preparing for Christmas, but give it a whirl, ok? How important are those presents (and that family) anyway?”

If you follow Torvalds’ advice, you’ll find lots of drivers to ponder, mainly pertaining to networking, USB, and GPUs. Torvalds also rated bpf seltest as quite prominent.

The decision to issue an eighth release candidate means Linux 5.16 should emerge on January 9th. The first significant date of the Linux year is, which kicks off on January 14th, 2022. Developers may therefore find the first few days of the merge window are busy, before tuning in to the FOSS action down under. ®

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