'Weird numerological coincidence' found during work on Linux kernel 6.5

It might be the only non-boring thing about the release, which has Linus Torvalds celebrating

Linus Torvalds has noticed a "weird numerological coincidence" during work on version 6.5 of the Linux kernel.

News of the mathematical anomaly emerged in Torvalds's weekly state of the kernel post, which this week saw the penguin emperor give the world a fourth release candidate for the next cut of the kernel.

"So here we are, and the 6.5 release cycle continues to look entirely normal," Torvalds opened.

"In fact, it's *so* normal that we have hit on a very particular (and peculiar) pattern with the rc4 releases: we have had *exactly* 328 non-merge commits in rc4 in 6.2, 6.3 and now 6.5. Weird coincidence."

The Register's numerological analysis bureau is not convinced because 32/8=4 – which surely explains why this keeps happening for release candidate four!

We've also learned that 328 is regarded as an "angel number" that shows your guardian angels are steering you towards a path that leads to happiness.

And what is a new release of the Linux kernel but a path to happiness?

Torvalds rated the weird numerological coincidence "just about the most interesting thing here. Because rc5 looks like the usual thing: driver updates … arch updates, and random fixes elsewhere (filesystems, rtmutex, kvm selftests, documentation etc)."

He's not fussed by that somewhat dull collection of code.

"Boring release candidates is exactly what I want," he wrote, before exhorting developers to "Keep the testing and the boring pulls coming."

Linux 6.5 does not, however, appear notably boring, as among the things it brings to the kernel are:

  • Support for Alibaba's home-brew Alibaba T-Head TH1520 RISC-V SoCs;
  • Plenty of work to enable CXL pooled memory tech;
  • Lots of Wi-Fi 7 enhancements;
  • Work to allow updates to more recent editions of the Rust toolchain;
  • Several improvements that will speed kernel and system booting;
  • More support for the rumble feature on Xbox controllers, because the kernel caters to diverse tastes.

The smooth development process on version 6.5 of the kernel suggests it is on track for release after Torvalds's preferred seven release candidates, meaning a debut late-ish in August.

Assuming no further numerological coincidences derail matters. ®

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