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Linus Torvalds announces stable release of Linux kernel 3.0

Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux kernel 3.0 on his Google+ profile after a short delay earlier this week.

So what’s new? Well, not a lot really. The new release sees a few new patches as well as a bit of old cruft removed, but as Linus explains in his announcement to the Linux kernel mailing list in May, 3.0 won’t feature a bunch of new stuff.

So what are the big changes?

NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we have the usual two thirds driverchanges, and a lot of random fixes, but the point is that 3.0 is*just* about renumbering, we are very much *not* doing a KDE-4 or aGnome-3 here.

No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing atall like that. We’ve been doing time-based releases for many yearsnow, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for therenumbering, you really should look at the time-based one (“20 years”)instead.

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There are however a few interesting new tidbits such as a Microsoft Kinectdriver,Cleancache support, open source graphics driver improvements including initial support for Intel’s Ivy Bridge, and a lot of changes for the open source Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau drivers.

The new kernel pulls support for a few older, rarely used features such as the Reiser4 file system, and according to Michael Larabel over at Phoronix, unfortunately doesn’t fix the power regressions that were found in Ubuntu 11.04.

Of course Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot will indeed ship with kernel 3.0 stable, but Ubuntu’s Desktop Manager Jason Warner couldn’t say when:

“I don’t know exactly when 3.0 final will get into Oneiric, but it will.”

Why the jump to 3.0, then?

Linus explains:

I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0. It will get released close enough to the 20-year mark, which is excuse enough for me, although honestly, the real reason is just that I can no longer comfortably count as high as 40.

The whole renumbering was discussed at last years Kernel Summit, and there was a plan to take it up this year too. But let’s face it – what’s the point of being in charge if you can’t pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I’m just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You’ll like it.

As usual, Linus provides some rather funny commentary in his emails to the mailing list so be sure to check out the full email from him. And why you’re at it, get your full Friday Linus Torvalds fix and check out our exclusive interview with him earlier this year where we ask him what he thinks about Ubuntu.

via Linus Torvalds on Google+