The Linux kernel is an open source monolithic Unix-like computer operating system kernel. The Linux family of operating systems is based on this kernel and deployed on both traditional computer systems such as personal computers and servers, usually in the form of Linux distributions, and on various embedded devices such as routers, wireless access points, PBXes, set-top boxes, FTA receivers, smart TVs, PVRs, and NAS appliances. The Android operating system for tablet computers, smartphones, and smartwatches uses services provided by the Linux kernel to implement its functionality. While the adoption on desktop computers is low, Linux-based operating systems dominate nearly every other segment of computing, from mobile devices to mainframes. As of November 2017, all of the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers run Linux.
The Linux kernel was conceived and created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds for his personal computer and with no cross-platform intentions, but has since expanded to support a huge array of computer architectures, many more than other operating systems or kernels. Linux rapidly attracted developers and users who adopted it as the kernel for other free software projects, notably the GNU Operating System. The Linux kernel has received contributions from nearly 12,000 programmers from more than 1,200 companies, including some of the largest software and hardware vendors.
Larry Ewing, Simon Budig and Anja Gerwinski [Public domain or Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons
Linux Kernel 5.6 released.
So I'll admit to vacillating between doing this 5.6 release and doing another -rc. This has a bit more changes than I'd like, but they are mostly from davem's networking fixes pulls, and David feels comfy with them. And I looked over the diff, and none of it looks scary. It's just slightly more than I'd have preferred at this stage - not doesn't really seem worth delaying a release over. So about half the diff from the final week is network driver fixlets, and some minor core networking fixes. Another 20% is tooling - mostly bpf and netfilter selftests (but also some perf work). The rest is "misc" - mostly random drivers (gpio, rdma, input) and DTS files. With a smattering of fixes elsewhere (a couple of afs fixes, some vm fixes, etc). The shortlog is appended, nothing really looks all that exciting, and most of the discussions I've seen are already about things for the next merge window. Which obviously opens now as of the release, and I'll start doing pulls tomorrow. I already have a couple of pull requests in pending in my inbox - thank you. And while I haven't really seen any real sign of kernel development being impacted by all the coronavirus activity - I suspect a lot of us work from home even normally, and my daughter laughed at me and called me a "social distancing champ" the other day - it may be worth just mentioning: I think we're all reading the news and slightly distracted. I'm currently going by the assumption that we'll have a fairly normal 5.7 release, and there doesn't seem to be any signs saying otherwise, but hey, people may have better-than-usual reasons for missing the merge window. Let me know if you know of some subsystem that ends up being affected. So we'll play it by ear and see what happens. It's not like the merge window is more important than your health, or the health of people around you. Linus