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Linus Says Pre-2.6 is Coming 304

gomoX writes "As seen on C|Net , Linus has announced that the pre-2.6 series will be starting in early July. Despite not having been able to meet the release goal for 2.6 in June 2003, the next stable version is not as far away as you may think. You can take your guess based on the fact there was a 9 month period between first test version of 2.4 and the official release of 2.4.0 on January 2001."
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Linus Says Pre-2.6 is Coming

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  • Oh really? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Dead_Smiley ( 49033 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:11PM (#6368570) Journal
    "You can take your guess based on the fact there was a 9 month period between first test version of 2.4 and the official release of 2.4.0 on January 2001."

    No you can't. Linus has always maintained that a kernel will be released "when it's done". Why would he change now?

  • Distro Upgrade? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Irie Brother ( 64777 ) <slashdot@iriebrot[ ]org ['ha.' in gap]> on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:21PM (#6368622) Homepage
    Will this be simply a kernel upgrade and I'm running 2.6? Or... will I have to wait for a distro to release their 2.6 version?
  • Re:Oh really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blixel ( 158224 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:40PM (#6368725)
    "You can take your guess based on ....

    No you can't. Linus has always maintained that a kernel will be released "when it's done". Why would he change now?

    Dude - do you what the word guess means?

    guess - a. To predict (a result or an event) without sufficient information. b. To assume, presume, or assert (a fact) without sufficient information.

    I also agree - NOT insightful.
  • by ceswiedler ( 165311 ) * <> on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:51PM (#6368762)
    There's a lot of complaining about code-freezes for the kernel not being code-freezes. People gripe about major changes being introduced in the last days of the development version.

    I think the problem is the standard explanation of 'even kernels are production, odd kernels are development.' Whether he says so or not, it's clear that branching to an even version does not mean that it's a production kernel...branching to an even version begins the code freeze. Up until they call it 2.6, there's going to be large changes to the codebase. Once Linus calls it 2.6, everyone knows they can't put in major changes, but basic bug-fixes only. Therefore, it's never until a few months (or a year) after the even series starts that it's really a production kernel.

    Software development managers would hate this...lots of kernel developers hate this...but love him or leave him, that's how Linus works.
  • by gTsiros ( 205624 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:01PM (#6368803)
    What about that? Will we be finaly able to switch kernels without a reboot?

    I could google for it, but hearing peoples' comments about these things is much more interesting... :D
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @05:05PM (#6369089)
    Linus has made it clear time and time again that most people simply will not use development kernels, and he releases versions to get people to use them and test them accordingly. Linus lives in what we will call "reality", while everyone else lives in some nice little far away place where the towels are oh so fluffy and the air smells like warm rootbeer.

    That's what I like about Linus. He cuts through the BS and actually does things based on reality, not on some twisted view of how things should be.
  • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @08:01PM (#6369909) Homepage Journal
    That's why there's going to be a substantial 2.6-pre series, and why Andrew Morton is going to be the one to release 2.6.0. The goal is for 2.6.0 to be a production release, which means that 2.6.0 can't be the first 2.6 kernel. Fortunately, kernel versioning supports the creation of 2.6 kernels which are before 2.6.0, and Linus understands that his skills are not in release management.

    The real step needed for stability is testing by a wide variety of people. This should actually be easier to get than in the past, since a much larger portion of the front-line testing these days is done by the various distributions, who are not getting into the "enterprise software" business, where they have to do substantial research on whether the software works on different systems before releasing it. And distributions are generally a lot closer to the development process than random individual users are, so they can be more easily convinced to start testing a stable series in advance of the .0 release. Furthermore, there's a lot more testing and verification infrastructure these days than in the past, from the Stanford checker (which catches a lot of unsafe usages in obscure drivers without having the hardware necessary to actually run them) to various test labs.

    There's actually quite a bit more effort put into making sure that end users get a stable kernel these days than in the past, as more business software companies promote Linux more heavily. IBM will make sure that they know at all times the status of 2.6 kernels with respect to any bugs that can be triggered on any of the hardware IBM ships, and they'll make sure that Linus and Andrew know whether a kernel is suitable for 2.6.0, at least from IBM's perspective.

    The real question is whether Linus will manage to hold off starting the 2.7 series until 2.6.0 is released. (Personally, I doubt it; I bet Linus will want to release 2.6.0 before Andrew is willing to, and I bet Linus will decide that the current version may not be good enough for production, but it is good enough to start further development, and Andrew will agree that people who want to work on 2.7 aren't going to do anything more useful for the remaining 2.6 problems at that point)

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