Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Development of Linux Kernel 5.8 as the “Biggest Release of All Time”

Linux kernel 5.8

Linus Torvalds has kicked off the development cycle of the upcoming Linux kernel 5.8, which he dubbed it as one of the “biggest releases of all time”.

Two weeks after the release of the Linux 5.7 kernel series, the merge window for the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel is now officially closed and the first Release Candidate (RC) milestone hit the streets for public testing.

And it looks like Linux 5.8 is shaping up to be one of the “biggest releases of all time,” according to Linus Torvalds, who said that it’s almost on par with the Linux 4.9 kernel and could be even bigger due to a lot of development for new features and improvements across all components, including architecture, file systems, drivers, and documentation.

“The 4.9 kernel was artificially big partly because of the greybus subsystem that was merged in that release,” said Linus Torvalds in a mailing list announcement. “In 5.8, we have no sign of those kinds of issues making the release bigger – there’s just simply a lot of development in there. […] 5.8 looks big. Really big.”

In numbers, Linux 5.8 received more than 14k non-merge commits (with over 15k counting merges), around 800k new lines, and more than 14k files were changed.

But despite being so big, Linux 5.8 doesn’t look to have any strong points, except maybe for a few major changes around the atomisp and habanalabs drivers. Also, Linus Torvalds says Linux 5.8 doesn’t look to be a troublesome kernel release.

If you want to get the first release candidate of Linux kernel 5.8 for a test drive, you can download the source tarball right now from the website. But please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, so don’t install it on your production machines.

The final release of the Linux 5.8 is expected sometime in early August, either on the 2nd or on the 9th, depending if the development cycle will have seven or eight Release Candidates.

Last updated 4 years ago

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