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Linux kernel 6.3 on track for debut next week after ‘nice uneventful release cycle’

Which is just how Linus Torvalds wants it and who can argue after what he recommended you eat for Easter

Version 6.3 of the Linux kernel is on track to debut next week after what emperor penguin Linus Torvalds has described a “nice uneventful release cycle’”.

Torvalds used the epithet quoted above in his announcement that release candidate seven for version 6.3 of the kernel is now available for testing. The Finnish FOSS boss’s preference is for seven release candidates, followed by a full release. But versions 6.2 and 6.1 both needed an eighth release test edition.

Ahead of work commencing on version 6.3 Torvalds urged developers to start lodging their desired additions, and later thanked them for doing so as his queue of pull requests considerations was pleasingly busy once work on the new kernel cut commenced.

By the time release candidate one rolled debuted, Torvalds was effusive in his praise for kernel contributors’ efforts.

“So after several releases where the merge windows had something odd going on, we finally had just a regular ‘two weeks of just merge window’,” he wrote when announcing the first cut of version 6.3.

“In fact, it was quite nice in a couple of ways,” he added: “Not only didn't I have a hugely compressed merge window where I felt I had to cram as much as possible into the first few days, but the fact that we _have_ had a couple of merge windows where I really asked for people to have everything ready when the merge window opened seems to have set a pattern: the bulk of everything really did come in early.”

Work on version 6.3 continued to be smooth. Torvalds rated release candidate two “fairly normal” and release candidate three “fairly standard”.

Release candidate four was described as “pretty normal for this time of the release process.”

By the time release candidate five rolled around Torvalds declared it as “very normal and boring, which is just how I like it. The commit count says that we've started calming down right on schedule, and the diffstat looks normal too.”

“Of course, there may be something nasty still hiding,” he hedged, but it didn’t appear a week later when he described release candidate six as “pretty regular”.

The announcement of r6 also included an insight into Torvalds’ diet, as he mentioned “mämmi”, a traditional Finish Easter treat that Wikipedia describes as combining water, rye flour, powdered malted rye, seasoned salt and dried, powdered Seville orange zest into a wet mess that is left to sweeten before being baked and served with molasses. Mämmi emerges from that process as a dark lump that The Register understands is sweet and a little gritty.

The combination of mämmi and Easter did not derail kernel development, as Sunday’s rc7 announcement mentioned the addition of “a late cgroup cpuset fix that is a bit more involved than maybe I'd have liked at this point.”

But not so involved that Torvalds felt the need to warn of delays to the release of a full cut of version 6.3 next week.

When it arrives, Penguinistas will be able to play with features including an ethernet driver for Nvidia’s BlueField 3 DPU, more refined handling for AMD and Intel GPUs, improved Thunderbolt support, and the usual oddities such as improved support for analog TVs. ®

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