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Linus Torvalds Considering End To Linux 2.6 Series 293

An anonymous reader writes "With the Linux 2.6 kernel set to begin its 40th development cycle and the Linux kernel nearing its 20th anniversary, Linus Torvalds has expressed interest today in moving away from the Linux 2.6.x kernel version. Instead he's looking to change things up by releasing the next kernel as Linux version 2.8 or 3.0."
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Linus Torvalds Considering End To Linux 2.6 Series

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  • Seriously -- Version numbering does mean something, and when someone says 2.8 or 3.0 to someone who knows the version numbering scheme it actually means something.

    As usual, FTWA: []

    Since 2004, after version 2.6.0 was released, the kernel developers held several discussions ... ultimately Linus Torvalds and others decided that a much shorter release cycle would be beneficial. Since then, the version has been composed of three or four numbers. The first two numbers became largely irrelevant, and the third number is the actual version of the kernel. The fourth number accounts for bug and security fixes (only) to the kernel version.

    The first use of the fourth number occurred when a grave error, which required immediate fixing, was encountered in 2.6.8's NFS code. However, there were not enough other changes to legitimize the release of a new minor revision (which would have been 2.6.9). So, was released, with the only change being the fix of that error. With 2.6.11, this was adopted as the new official versioning policy. Later it became customary to continuously back-port major bug-fixes and security patches to released kernels and indicate that by updating the fourth number.

    Additionally, When you change the first (major) version number it usually means a significant re-write. Whereas the second version number would mean still mostly the same code-base, but with major features added/removed/rewritten.

    Take from this what you will, but to say the version numbers are arbitrary is just plain ignorant.

  • by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Monday May 23, 2011 @06:38PM (#36222650) Homepage

    With both RHEL6 and Debian Squeeze on their own versions of 2.6.32, as well as the last Ubuntu LTS 10.04, that version will effectively be the end of the 2.6 line for many places if version numbers jump like this. The kernel versions actively targeted by the -stable team [] are the only ones some people (including me) are interested in, and this cluster of distributions on 2.6.32 is a good thing in my book. The main issues I'm seeing in newer kernels that I'm concerned about backports of are the continued fixes to weird ext4 bugs happening in newer kernels. Keep those coming, backport drivers for the most common hardware out there, and the rest of the kernel development can march along without me being so worried about it. (Context disclaimer: I worry about PostgreSQL database servers for a living, so my customers are more paranoid about stability than most)

    The eventual release of btrfs is one of the things I'd would be glad to see happen only in a kernel that's clearly labeled part of new, less stable development. New filesystems are one of the hardest things to get right, and there's no other class of bugs as likely to lead to major loss of data.

  • Re:3.0 ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <oarigogirdor>> on Monday May 23, 2011 @09:09PM (#36223896) Homepage

    Hal's problem was not sentience, but the fact that a paradox drove it insane. Hal was built to never distort or conceal information, yet was told to do precisely so.

    Just as well, Linux may go insane if it is commanded to contradict its core purpose, so... wait, did anyone add DRM to it yet?

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern