Linus Torvalds declares Linux 6.8 is probably back on track for a regular release cycle

Previously pondered the need for an extra release candidate

Linus Torvalds has decided Linux 6.8 will in all likelihood debut next week.

Last Sunday, Torvalds suggested the new cut of the kernel might need an extra week of work.

"So this may end up being one of those releases that get an rc8," he suggested on February 25, adding "We'll see. The fact that we have a bit more commits than I would really wish for might not be a huge issue when a noticeable portion of said commits end up being about self-tests etc."

He declared himself "on the fence" about whether an eighth release candidate would be needed and pledged to make the call a week later. Torvalds prefers seven release candidates for each new kernel release, but is not averse to extra candidates if needed – even though he sometimes grumbles about developers' decisions that extend the development process.

On March 3 he got off the fence and all-but decided the world can do without an eighth release candidate, because he mostly likes what he sees in the seventh.

"So we finally have a week where things have calmed down, and in fact 6.8-rc7 is smaller than usual at this point in time. So if that keeps up (but that's a fairly notable 'if') I won't feel like I need to do an rc8 this release after all," he wrote.

"So no guarantees, but assuming no bad surprises, we'll have the final 6.8 next weekend," he added.

Whenever it debuts, Linux 6.8 will be notable – Ubuntu plans to use it as the basis for its next long-term releases.

Also notable is the inclusion of driver support for Intel's In-Memory Analytics Accelerator, which offloads compression and decompression workloads to dedicated in-silicon features in recent Xeons. Support for some Google Tensor silicon is another addition, along with further work to enable the CXL pooled memory standard.

Outstanding issues noted by Torvalds include tweaks to the PowerPC and RISC-C architectures (which is most likely be a typo of RISC-V), plus "some filesystem fixes, some core networking and mm fixes, and some more networking selftest updates."

"It really is all pretty small. Let's hope it stays that way," Torvalds signed off – for once without his usual exhortation to test the new release candidate. ®

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