First Linux Kernel 5.12 Release Candidate Is Now Available for Public Testing [Updated]

Linux kernel 5.12

Here we go again! Linus Torvalds just announced today the general availability for public testing of the first Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming Linux 5.12 kernel series.

The merge window that opened with the launch of the Linux 5.11 kernel series two weeks ago is now closed and Linus Torvalds published the first Release Candindate in the upcoming Linux kernel 5.12 series, giving us an early taste of the new features and improvements.

While Linux kernel 5.12 will be packed with more new and updated drivers to improve hardware support, it looks like it will be an overall small release compared to previous branches, and that’s part because of the Spring cleaning the kernel developers did.

For example, Linux kernel 5.12 removes the legacy OPROFILE support as the user tools used the “perf” interface for many years now, several legacy SoC platforms, as well as some unneeded drivers.

Of course, “smaller” is all relative, but instead of the 12-13+k commits we’ve had the last few releases, linux-next this time only had 10+k commits lined up. So that helped things a bit,” says Linus Torvalds. “So even if we more than made up for that with all the new drivers and code we added, that kind of cleanup is always nice to see.”

The final release of Linux kernel 5.12 is expected to hit Linux distros sometime this Spring in late April 2021, either on the 18th or the 25th, which depends on how many Release Candidate milestones will be published during the entire development cycle.

Until then, if you want to take the first Release Candidate of Linux kernel 5.12 for a test drive, which I don’t recommend unless you know what you’re doing, you can download the source tarball right now from Please keep in mind NOT to install this pre-release version on a production machine.

Update 03/03/21: Linus Torvalds announced that the RC1 milestone of Linux kernel 5.12 includes a serious bug that makes swap files not working correctly, which may lead to catastrophic end results where your file system will be overwritten by random swap data. Torvalds recommends you wait for the second Release Candidate, due out on Sunday, March 7th, if you want to test Linux 5.12.

Update 05/03/21: The second Release Candidate of Linux kernel 5.12 was released on Friday, March 5th, 2021, two days earlier than originally scheduled to fix the issue mentioned above. Those who want to test Linux kernel 5.12 are encouraged to download the RC2 milestone from

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