Linus Torvalds Announces First Linux Kernel 6.6 Release Candidate

The final release of Linux kernel 6.6 is expected at the end of October or in early November 2023.
Linux 6.6

Linus Torvalds announced today the general availability for public testing of the first Release Candidate (RC) development milestone of the upcoming Linux 6.6 kernel series.

It’s been two weeks since the release of Linux kernel 6.5, which means that the merge window for Linux kernel 6.6 is now officially closed and the first Release Candidate is now available for download for early adopters, developers, and everyone else who wants to get an early taste of the next major Linux release.

Linux kernel 6.6 will come with many new features and improved hardware support, as expected from a new kernel series. Some highlights include new Intel IVSC MEI drivers, a new firmware-attributes driver for changing BIOS settings from within Linux on HP devices, charger mode, middle fan and eGPU settings support for ASUS devices, and keyboard backlight control support for more Lenovo IdeaPad devices.

Also new is support for new Mellanox-powered devices, support for new device tree interfaces and other goodies for the RISC-V architecture, USB MIDI 2 gadget support, new IIO drivers, support for SEV-SNP and TDX guests on Hyper-V, support for the Cirrus Logic CS42L43 audio codec, support for Group Multi-Color (GMC) LEDs, support for the GameSir T4 Kaleid controller, KFENCE, KASAN, KGDB, and KDB support for the LoongArch architecture, and support for NVIDIA T4 GPUs to use Secondary Bus Reset.

Linux kernel 6.6 also promises zoned block device and compression support improvements for the F2FS file system, support for shared mmaps in no-cache mode for the FUSE file system, fixes for netfilter and BPF, a lot of fixes for the AMDGPU driver, regression fixes for MIDI 2.0 support, KASLR support and support for the BPF prog pack allocator on the RISC-V architecture, and better Intel RAPL power management.

“As always, there are way too many individual changes – or even developers – to list for the merge window. We’ve got 12k+ commits from 1700+ individual developers, And 800+ merges to tie it all together. All that is actually quite normal, this seems to be shaping up to be neither a very small nor a particularly large release,” said Linus Torvalds.

The final release of Linux kernel 6.6 is expected at the end of October or in early November 2023. Depending on how many Release Candidate (RC) milestones Linus Torvalds will announce until then, we could expect Linux 6.6 to arrive on October 29th if there will be seven RCs or on November 5th if eight Release Candidates are announced.

Until then, you can download the first Release Candidate (RC1) milestone of Linux kernel 6.6 right now from Linus Torvalds’s git tree or from the website if you want to take it for a test drive on your PC. However, please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version that’s NOT suitable for use on a production machine.

Last updated 8 months ago

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