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Linus Renames 2.6.40 Kernel To Linux 3.0, Announces Release Candidate 378

An anonymous reader writes "Linus just released the first -rc of the next kernel series, but rather than continuing development as the Linux 2.6.40 kernel, he has renamed it to be the Linux 3.0 kernel." And he's tacked on a second dot and another zero (3.0.0), at least for now, because many scripts expect and rely on a three-part kernel version.
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Linus Renames 2.6.40 Kernel To Linux 3.0, Announces Release Candidate

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  • I've always wondered what the heck with version numbers... Can someone please explain what is the difference between 3.0 and 2.6.40 ?
  • by isorox ( 205688 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @08:11AM (#36285596) Homepage Journal

    There's never been a large enough jump in features to justify a major release increment, yet 2.6.40 is more distinct from 2.6.0 than 2.6.0 was from 2.0.0

    • by Tar-Alcarin ( 1325441 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @08:35AM (#36285736)

      There's never been a large enough jump in features to justify a major release increment, yet 2.6.40 is more distinct from 2.6.0 than 2.6.0 was from 2.0.0

      I think that's part of the reasoning behind this; it's just time to reset the bar.
      If you have hardware or software that advertises itself as being "linux 2.6 compliant" today, it could still be up to 7 years old, and not give a damn about features added since then.

    • by Nimey ( 114278 )

      Well, there /has/, but not since the late '90s. 2.0 introduced the ELF executable format, which replaced the old a.out format that the 0.x and 1.x series used.

  • Duke Nukem Forever, Linux 3.0... what is this world coming to?
  • by MasterPatricko ( 1414887 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @08:14AM (#36285610) Homepage

    I like his 3.0 commit message []
    "Version numbers? We can increment them!"

    Thankfully, Linus hasn't rewritten the kernel in VB [].

    Also this version has codename "Sneaky Weasel"

    --- a/Makefile
    +++ b/Makefile
    @@ -1,8 +1,8 @@
    -VERSION = 2
    -SUBLEVEL = 39
    -NAME = Flesh-Eating Bats with Fangs
    +VERSION = 3
    +SUBLEVEL = 0
    +EXTRAVERSION = -rc1
    +NAME = Sneaky Weasel

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Linus is afraid that my prophecy [] from 2005 is coming true, so he's been trying to cheat destiny (as the 3.0 version codename clearly indicates), but it's too late, with this version number jump Linux has jumped the shark. The End is near, brace yourselves.

      Linux: the moribund wraith

      When Linux kernel hits version 2.8
      and you begin to cry,
      turn from Linux to BSD
      or along with Linux you, too, shall die.

      No amount of kernel hacking
      can save Linux from demise,
      your skills and knowledge are lacking,
      which, frankly, is no

  • Up to now, Linus had resisted this fad of jumping major version number to get everyone excited - you know, like these software that cycle normally through version 1.0, 1.1, 1.2... at the beginning of their life, then suddenly become v2.0, v3, v6 SE, 8 XL, 9 UltraTurbo when all they are is just minor releases, then eventually run out of credible major version number and just plain look stupid...

    Is there a real reason for skipping 2.8 here, or does Linus want to experience the magical three-dot-oh release e

    • I think he succeeded at not getting everyone excited. I haven't been excited by a new kernel version in what seems like a decade. Hardware support under Linux is pretty damned mature. I only wish would catch up with support of hybrid graphics.

    • > Is there a real reason for skipping 2.8 here

      What makes you think there shouldn't be a 2.10.x and 2.12.x?

      Moral: Version numbers are just that, numbers. Personally, I would have preferred 11.05 but as long as the Kernel remains healthy, they can start naming it after cereal for all I care.

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      By skip I assume you think the logical progression was 2.2->2.4->2.6->2.8->3.0 but in reality there could have been any number of kernels between 2.6 and 3.0. Assuming that you HAVE to go from 2.8 to 3.0 is not correct. You could easily go 2.8->2.10->2.12, etc. There's no guarantee that there would be justified reason to go from 2.8->3.0, it _could_ have been smaller changes than 2.4->2.6.
  • Sigh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rennt ( 582550 )
    He really went and did it, eh? Crap. The only thing more annoying then a meaningless bump in version numbers is all the people going to be complaining about how annoying it is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bunratty ( 545641 )
      There's one more thing worse: the people who complain about how annoying the people who complain about the meaningless bump in version numbers are. Boy those guys are real jerks!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Rennt ( 582550 )

        I hear ya bud, but do you know what really grinds my gears?!

        On second thought - lets just drop it... it's jerks from here to infinity.

  • by owlman17 ( 871857 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @08:21AM (#36285654)

    LFS user here. Will 2.6.39 get the LTS treatment just like 2.6.35 down to 2.6.32? Would be nice to have a stable target for years to come. I have a box that's still using 2.6.16 (formerly LTS) and another that's 2.4.37. Moving up from "minor" releases, e.g. from 2.6.35 to 2.6.36 haven't really been as minor as they used to be. They tend to be somewhat nerve-wracking experiences. Personally sticking to 2.6.35 as long I can.

  • ... where "x" > 0 ... The "unwritten rules":

    1. It takes at least until version 3 to get (most of) the bugs out.

    2. Any version that ends in point-zero is a disaster - wait until the next point release (DOS 4.0, DOS 6.0, Windows 3.0, KDE 4.0)

    3. People will now start asking if this means that this will finally be the year of linux on the desktop.

  • When Linux 2.0 release june, 9 1996 was the first stable complete workable versatile version.
    As of January, 25 1999 Linux 2.2, many new distro was available to average user.
    January, 4 2001 Linux 2.4 introduced many device changes. There are still so much embeded devices running the 2.4 kernel.
    Decembre, 17 2003 Linux 2.6 stabilized and enhanced changes from 2.4, introduced the fully able IPv6 stack.

    Now the 3.0 Linux branch is just plain about shiny numbering.

    • If you read Linus' thoughts on the subject of numbering, he has stated numerous times that the Linux development process has moved so far beyond "new version = new features" that forcing it back into that paradigm for Linux 3.0 is broken. He believes instead that "new version = some time has passed + some new feature may be included". The fact that Linux 3.0 will be finalized and released very close to the 20th anniversary of the first Linux kernel is just a bonus.

    • by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @08:57AM (#36285846) Homepage

      Now the 3.0 Linux branch is just plain about shiny numbering.

      Yup, and is all the better for it. What you don't mention in your list is the fact that the development model changed in 2.6, from a break-> stabilise->break-> stabilise model to one of continuous stable development. The version number system stayed the same, which suggests the same development process of stabilisation with no new features, so this is a newer system that fixes that.

    • by ratboy666 ( 104074 ) <fred_weigel&hotmail,com> on Monday May 30, 2011 @09:16AM (#36285940) Journal

      Oh really...

      What about removal of the big kernel lock?
      What about plug-in resource schedulers?
      What about fast ip locking?
      What about kernel video mode switching?
      What about systemtap?
      What about cgroups?
      And much more...

      When taken in combination, the growth of the Linux kernel since 2003 definitely warrants a major jump.

      The issue is whether it should be 2.8 or 3.0. I would side with 3.0.

      Because Linux is now ready for serious MP, both on a local and a cluster level. And these features are not "backwards portable".

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Now the 3.0 Linux branch is just plain about shiny numbering.

      Some other people who have posted comments to the topic appear to think that the big change warranting a shiny number is the loss of the Big Kernel Lock in the 2.6 series, which ordinarily would have been done in a 2.7 series before Linus decided not to use a 2.7.

  • by OoberMick ( 674746 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @08:44AM (#36285788) Homepage
    My understanding is that the jump to 3.0 is simply that they no longer want to have the second digit even means stable and odd means unstable versioning any more. So rather than going to 2.7.0 and having everyone assume it's unstable or skipping 2.7.0 and going straight to 2.8.0 just to maintain an old and unused version system, they have went with 3.0.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 30, 2011 @08:53AM (#36285824)

    This is a complete outrage. Not only will it require extensive re-testing but distros will need to change as well.

    I believe it's time for us to fork the GNU/Linux kernel to a more appropriate versioning scheme, while removing all non-libre blobs at the same time. Only then can we depose this dictator Torvalds and his pro-capitalist kernel.

    • by siride ( 974284 )

      This must be a joke post. Even Stallman wouldn't require calling it the "GNU/Linux kernel".

  • by shoppa ( 464619 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @09:12AM (#36285910)
    If linux kernels had microsoft marketing setting the names, we wouldn't have decimal points etc.

    It would be "Linux NT", "Linux 95", "Linux Server 2003", "Linux XP", "Linux Vista", "Linux 7".

    Just think how much more marketable Linux could be and how much more the suits would want to buy it.
  • by McNihil ( 612243 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @09:15AM (#36285930)

    IMHO it should have been done back with 2.6.19 or no later than 2.6.25. Better late than never though.

  • Spartans! Prepare for glory!
  • "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 longe rcomfortably count as high as 40," said Linus [].
  • GNU 3.0.0?

    Then Stallman can say "GNU 3 is not GNU. It should be called GNU GNU. Ouch! My head hurts!"

  • Just think, the marketing flakes will all be able to say "Our new product uses Linux 3.0! Everyone else is using that old, outdated 2.6 stuff."

    I had always subscribed to the methodology that the third digit was for bug fixes. The second was for minor features and the first for a major new version. As I learn (or attempt to learn) about Linux development I see that there are so many little esoteric changes and/or new features every time a new version comes out that I have no idea if upgrading is really wo

  • Now we know exactly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin: 2.6.39. Move along, nothing to see here.
  • In the real (read 'commercial app') world, I've noticed that version numbers go something like this (not all version numbers shown):
    • 0.2 // It's not even working on our developper's PC
    • 0.4 // We can't sell that yet
    • 0.8 // We are trying to sell it
    • 1.0 // We are selling it
    • 1.1 // Now it works, we swear
    • 1.4 // OK, now it's stable
    • 2.0 // We know you wouldn't shell out for version 1.5
    • 3.0 // Just to keep you updating
    • 9 // Honestly we lost track of the minor number too
    • 13 // No real difference with version 9
    • 2005 // Well, our customers were losing track of the major version number too, so that'll make it easier for them
    • 2008 // Hey fatty, time to upgrade, you previous one is 4 years old now, can't you count ?
    • 2010 // No change, but, hey, time passes fast
    • 1.0 // We had to rename it
  • About damn time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spectro ( 80839 ) on Monday May 30, 2011 @11:34AM (#36286936) Homepage

    I could never understand what is with all these digits in version numbers. If it was up to me the kernel would be in version 8.x or 9.x already.

    What's with open source and all these version numbers starting with 0.x?. Why are they so afraid of just a freaking number? I've been using mythtv for about 10 years and they just released version 0.24.1 *facepalm*

    Linus just realized that version numbers are about marketing more than anything else. Microsoft has been doing this for decades. I should buy me some redhat stock.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10