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KernelTrap: Kernel Release Numbering

Mar 03, 2005, 15:00 (1 Talkback[s])

"Linux creator Linus Torvalds started a lengthy discussion on the lkml regarding release numbering for the Linux kernel. Some have complained about kernel stability with the new development model discussed back in mid-2004 in which active development occurs in the 'stable' 2.6 kernel. In his recent email, Linus explained, 'the problem with major development trees like 2.4.x vs 2.5.x was that the release cycles were too long, and that people hated the back- and forward-porting. That said, it did serve a purpose--people kind of knew where they stood, even though we always ended up having to have big changes in the stable tree too, just to keep up with a changing landscape.' His new proposal involves still using an even and odd numbering scheme, but on a smaller level. Thus, the upcoming 2.6.12 would be 'stable' in that it should only contain bugfixes over 2.6.11. Then 2.6.13 would be more development oriented, including some larger changes. These larger changes would again stabalize in 2.6.14, and so on. He adds, 'we'd still do the -rcX candidates as we go along in either case, so as a user you wouldn't even _need_ to know, but the numbering would be a rough guide to intentions. Ie I'd expect that distributions would always try to base their stuff off a 2.6.<even> release...'"

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