Linus Torvalds Announces the First Linux Kernel 6.9 Release Candidate

The final release of Linux kernel 6.9 is expected to hit the streets in mid-May 2024, either on May 12th or May 19th.
Linux 6.9 Release Candidate

The development of the Linux kernel continues with Linux 6.9 as the next major kernel series, and Linus Torvalds announced today the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC) milestone for public testing.

That’s right, it’s been two weeks since the release of Linux 6.8, and the merge window for Linux kernel 6.9 is now closed, which means that the time has come for the community to test drive the Release Candidate (RC) development versions, which are usually targeted at early adopters, distro maintainers, and bleeding-edge users.

According to Linus Torvalds, Linux kernel 6.9 looks to be a “fairly normal” release that promises more improvements for the AMDGPU graphics driver, improved performance of timers, updates to the workqueue subsystem, architecture updates, the removal of the old NTFS code, core networking updates, VM and kernel improvements, as well as tooling and documentation improvements and lots of new drivers for better hardware support.

“The timer subsystem had a fairly big rewrite, to have per-cpu timer wheels to improve performance of timers, which can be a big deal, particularly for networking,” said Linus Torvalds. “The other fairly notable core update is to the workqueue subsystem, where one notable addition is for BH workqueue support. That’s notable mainly because it means we finally have a way away from tasklets. The tasklet interface has basically been deprecated for a long while, but we’ve never really had any good alternatives.

Linux kernel 6.9 also promises more improvements for the bcachefs file system introduced in Linux kernel 6.7, AMD P-State “preferred core” support, support for larger Linux console fonts for 4K displays, improvements to the new Intel Xe driver introduced in Linux kernel 6.8, passthrough mode for the FUSE file system, and much more.

The final release of Linux kernel 6.9 is expected to hit the streets in mid-May 2024, either on May 12th or May 19th, which depends on how many Release Candidate (RC) milestones Linus Torvalds will release until then.

If Linus Torvalds announces seven RC versions, we should expect Linux 6.9 to arrive on May 12th. But if he’ll announce eight Release Candidates, we’re looking at May 19th for the final release of Linux kernel 6.9.

However, just like Linux kernel 6.7 and Linux kernel 6.8, the Linux 6.9 kernel will be a short-lived series supported for only a few months with security and bugfix updates, so if you’re counting on long-term support, you should use one of the available LTS kernel branches available on kernel.org.

Until then, you can take the first Linux kernel 6.9 Release Candidate for a test drive on your GNU/Linux box by downloading the tarball from Linus Torvalds’ Git tree or the kernel.org website, but please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, so don’t install or use it on a production machine!

Last updated 3 weeks ago

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