Linus Torvalds postpones Linux 6.8 merge window after being taken offline by storms

Roads are icy and drivers are dangerous. There will be no Starbucks run.

Linus Torvalds has indefinitely postponed the merge window for version 6.8 of the Linux kernel after a winter storm knocked out power and internet near his work-from-home location in Oregon.

On Saturday Torvalds shared news that temperatures in his area near Portland fell to 14°F (-10°C) and that the power outage was widespread.

“There's apparently about 100k people without power, and I doubt our neighborhood is the priority, so I expect to be without power for some time still,” explained the software developer.

“I hope I'm wrong, but a few years ago it took more than a week to restore power due to all the downed trees. It's hopefully nowhere near that,” he added.

The United States National Weather Service warned on Saturday that a winter storm had brought precipitation, strong wind and very cold temperatures.

The org advised that in some areas peak wind gusts had hit over 83 miles per hour (133 km/h).

Local media reported four to five inches of snow (10-13 cm), blocked roads, over 150,000 people left without power, disrupted public transportation, and several cold weather-related deaths.

It’s a scenario that would make one reconsider ever leaving the house, assuming adequate warmth inside the home. For those without, winter shelters and beds were arranged.

Torvalds decided kernel development was not so important that it warranted a search for warmth and Wi-Fi.

“And before anybody says ‘just go to a Starbucks and work from there’, the scariest thing out there - apart from possibly downed trees and power lines - is other drivers. I'll stay put,” he commented.

The Linux boss already delayed version 6.8 as the process of finishing off Linux 6.7 landed in the middle of the holiday season, meaning developers were away or distracted.

Linux-watchers may recall that January would often see Torvalds head down under to attend antipodean FOSS-fest, then sneak in a little diving in local waters. He won’t do that this year, or possibly ever again, as the event has been re-invented under the name “Everything Open” and moved to March in 2023 and April 2024. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like