IN AN ALMOST unprecedented move, Linus Torvalds has delayed the release of a final build of the Linux Kernel 4.15, instead announcing an unusual ninth release candidate, the first time he had felt he has to do so since 2011.
And you can be fairly sure that Torvalds is not happy with the release because everyone has been busy dealing with the fallout from Meltdown and Spectre, even though the impact on Linux is minimal.
Torvalds has said that there are still some networking fixes to sort, and a "very subtle boot bug" has been discovered as recently as Saturday and so, as he puts it "it just didn't feel right to say that we're done".
Rc9 is "mostly arch(itecture) updates… and drivers. And some core networking. And then there's various random misc fallout".
Torvalds has had to start backing up future pull requests meant for kernel 4.16 until the situation is resolved. Torvalds doesn't expect a further delay, however.
"I really expect no more delays after this. We've had rc9's before, but they have been pretty rare (the last one was 3.1-rc9 back in 2011 - that release went all the way to rc10, and I really don't think we'll do that this time _despite_ all the CPU bug mitigation craziness)."
Torvalds hates going off schedule and that may go some way to explaining his hot-tempered outburst yesterday in which he described Intel's approach to mitigating Meltdown and Spectre as "garbage". But then who likes dealing with being made to compromise over something that wasn't your fault in the first place?
Meanwhile Canonical continues to bring mainstream apps to Linux via its Snap containers. Spotify arrived last year and last week we saw the hugely popular arrival of collaboration platform Slack.
Last year also saw "hell freezing over" as the command line of several Linux distros was added to Windows 10. µ
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