Linux Kernel 5.8-rc1 Announces

Linux 5.8-rc1
Linux 5.8-rc1

Linus Torvalds announces Linux Kernel 5.8-rc1

5.8-rc1 version is the one of the biggest version of Linux.

Some important updates are as follows

  • RTC updates
  • x86 microcode update
  • x86 cache resource control updates
  • nfsd updates
  • xfs updates
  • drm updates
  • sparc updates
  • networking fixes
  • USB/PHY driver updates
  • tty/serial driver updates
  • staging/IIO driver updates
  • driver core updates
  • char/misc driver updates
  • perf updates
  • EFI updates
  • SMP updates
  • x86 boot updates
  • x86 build updates
  • x86 cleanups
  • x86 cpu updates
  • x86 FPU updates
  • x86 platform updates
  • x86 vdso updates
  • scheduler updates
  • x86 mm updates
  • mailbox updates
  • printk fix
  • ARM fixes
  • MIPS updates
  • arm64 updates
  • i2c updates

Linus Torvalds explain Linux Kernel 5.8-rc1,

As of -rc1, it’s right up there with v4.9, which has long been our biggest release by quite a bit in number of commits. Yes, 5.8-rc1 has a couple fewer commits than 4.9-rc1 did, but in many ways it’s a much more comprehensive release despite that.

The 4.9 kernel was artificially big partly because of the greybus subsystem that was merged in that release, but also because v4.8 had a longer rc series and thus there was more pent up development. In 5.8, we have no sign of those kinds of issues making the release bigger – there’s just simply a lot of development in there.

And there are other kernel releases that have had more new lines – v4.12 ends up being the undisputed size champion in that regard, simply because it had a _huge_ number of new lines due to lots of register descriptions for the AMD GPU drivers. Other kernels have been similarly big due to particular subsystems (v4.2 had another AMD GPU driver line count bump, 2.6.29 had a big staging driver additions, etc).

But again, 5.8 is up there with the best, despite not really having any single thing that stands out. Yes, there’s a couple of big driver changes (habanalabs and atomisp) that are certainly part of it, but it’s not nearly as one-sided as some of the other historical big releases have been.

The development is really all over the place: there’s tons of fairly fundamental core work and cleanups, but there is also lots of
filesystem work and obviously all the usual driver updates too. Plus documentation and archiecture work.

In fact, while 5.8-rc1 is “up there with the best” when it comes to both number of commits and number of new lines, it’s actually the outstanding champion when it comes to number of files changed. And again, that’s not because of some single tree-wide simple scripting thing (the kernels with lots of SPDX license line changes have a lot of files changed), but simply because of lots and lots of development work.

So in the 5.8 merge window we have modified about 20% of all the files in the kernel source repository. That’s really a fairly big
percentage, and while some of it _is_ scripted, on the whole it’s really just the same pattern: 5.8 has simply seen a lot of development.

IOW, 5.8 looks big. Really big.

In pure numbers: over 14k non-merge commits (over 15k counting merges), ~800k new lines, and over 14 thousand files changed.

Linus Torvalds said, It’s worth noting that despite the size, it doesn’t necessarily look like a particularly troublesome release at least so far. Yes, the pure size made this merge window a bit more stressful than I like, because I _really_ like to have a few days of calm at the end to look at some of the pull requests in more detail. This time around that never really happened. But I only really had two pull requests I ended up wanting to go through in more detail, so it all worked out fine.

So the pure size of this merge window did make me (once again) consider making it more of a hard rule that pull requests with new features (as opposed to the second wave of pull requests with just fixes) absolutely _have_ to come in during the first week of the merge window, but honestly, _most_ of the pull requests did in fact do that.

No, not all, and it could have been a bit more organized, and maybe I got snippy with somebody, but on the whole things were pretty smooth despite the large size.

Famous last words. Let’s see what happens during the rest of this release.

But at least right now, while 5.8 looks like a very large release.

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