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
Nothing particularly odd going on this merge window. I had some travel in the middle of it, but to offset that I had a new faster test-build setup, and most of the pull requests came in early (thank you) so my travels didn't actually end up affecting the merge window all that much. We did have a few late pull requests too, but since that meshed fairly well with my schedule as per above, and people generally made the proper noises ("sorry for late pull request, I had good reasons: xyz") I didn't mind this time. But let's try to not repeat that, ok? Things look fairly normal. Just about two thirds of the patch is drivers (all over), with the bulk of the rest being arch updates, tooling, documentation and vfs/filesystem updates, of which there were more than usual (the unicode tables for ext4 case insensitivity do end up being a big part of the "bulk" side). But there's core networking, kernel and vm changes too - it's just that the other areas tend to simply be much bulkier. Drivers etc tend to just have a ton more lines to them, if only by virtue of there being so many of them (although admittedly also sometimes because some drivers tend to just be very verbose and have a lot of register definitions etc). Size-wise things look fairly normal. 12k+ commits (plus another ~750 merge commits) is about normal for us by now. And hard to summarize in a release email. So appended is obviously just the usual shortlog of merges I did and their sources, for a kind of overview of the _areas_ that have changed, rather than any real detail. You'll need to go look at the git tree to see the details. Go forth and test, Linus