July 15, 2024


Technological development

Linus Torvalds reveals Linux kernel 6.1 • The Register

Linus Torvalds reveals Linux kernel 6.1 • The Register

Linux kernel overseer Linus Torvalds has released version 6.1 of the project, and warned that “the merge window from Hell” has now opened.

Each release of the Linux kernel is followed by two weeks in which contributors submit code they’d like to see in the next version. The release of Linux 6.1 today means that window closes on December 26 – the day after a certain popular holiday.

Torvalds today revealed that he’s travelling ahead of that holiday, so has even less time than usual to tee up the next cut of the kernel.

He’s therefore laid down the law to would-be contributors.

“I want to re-iterate that I’m going to be pretty strict about the merge window rules,” he wrote. “The rules are that the pull requests sent to me during the merge window should have been ready _before_ the merge window, and have seen some time in Linux-next. No last-minute batch of experimental new development that hasn’t been seen by our test automation.”

Linux-next is the staging area the kernel dev team uses to queue up code that has been flagged as destined for the next kernel release, and therefore gets some attention before the merge window commences.

“So if you already realize that work hasn’t been in Linux-next, let’s just all agree to not even send me the pull request at all, and we’ll all be happy with the calm end-of-the-year season. Ok?” Torvalds wrote.

The good news is that kernel developers appear to have noticed, and heeded Torvalds’s previous warnings about the pre-Christmas merge window

“I’m happy to report that … I already have two dozen pull requests pending for tomorrow in my inbox. And hopefully I’ll get another batch overnight, so that I can try to really get as much of the merge window done with early,” he wrote. “We all want to have a calm holiday season.”

And perhaps a holiday season in which to assess version 6.1 of the kernel, which boasts support for the Rust programming language as its arguably most significant feature.

Other interesting additions include more support for the made-in-China LoongArch CPU architecture, introductory work to support Wi-Fi 7 and security fixes for some flaky Wi-Fi routines in previous versions of the kernel.

There’s also plenty of effort to improve the performance of Linux on laptops, and enhanced power efficiency for AMD’s PC-centric RYZEN silicon.

Could those additions make 2023 the year of Linux on the desktop? Now that would be something worth celebrating. ®