If all goes well, version 5.8 of the Linux kernel should be released in August. But its creator Linus Torvalds has taken advantage of the launch of the ‘release candidate’ to point out one of the novelties of this new version: “is one of the biggest updates in Linux history”.

It was not expected to be like this: version 5.8 was originally going to be one more update. But contributions and code changes have been accumulating (to the extreme of have modified “about 20% of all files” in the repository), and this has meant that only version 4.9 exceeds it in size.

Thousands of lines of code that will not reach your PC

According to Torvalds, which specifies 4.9 was an exception for the inclusion of multiple controllers,

“The work of developers is seen everywhere: There are tons of basic and ‘clean-up’ work quite necessary, but there is also a lot of work applied to the file system and obviously the usual driver updates; plus documentation and work of architecture. [El 20%] it’s really a pretty big percentage. “

It should be noted that, although the code hosted in the kernel repository is large, only a small part of it will affect our own Linux installations, since much of the source code is specific to each of the (multiple) hardware architectures compatible with Linux.

In fact, in early 2018, Greg Kroah-Hartman (head of code maintenance) stated that “an average laptop uses about 2 million lines of kernel code to function properly “, when at that time, the entire kernel already had 25 million lines of code (which have already increased to more than 28 million).

Torvalds claims that although this update doesn’t have “anything that stands out” especiallyIt is “at the height of the best” releases of new versions they have made.

And even so, they can mention some improvements, among which it is worth noting: Optimization of KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) support with AMD processors, better compatibility with Zen / Zen2, initial support for POWER10 processors, FAT file system optimizations and better performance of the same in MMC memory or SELinux system optimizations.

Track | The Register

Image | Based on an original work by Norbert Schnitzler.


The creator of Linux claims that the next kernel update will be “one of the biggest” in the history of the operating system