"So it's been a week since -rc1, and -rc2 is out there," began Linux creator Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.27-rc2 Linux kernel. He noted, "there's a lot of random changes in there, and I'm hoping we're starting to calm down, but one particular _kind_ of random change is probably worth pointing out explicitly due to the things it can result in: the fact that a number of architectures ended up using the 'lull' after -rc1 (hah!) to do the 'include/asm-xyz' => 'arch/xyz/include/asm' renames." Linus explained that for people actively developing and merging code with git, "be aware that we've recently had more renames than the rename detection limit in git defaults to, and as a result, if you have a rename<->data change conflict, you may want to increase the default limit." Linus noted that developers with sufficient ram can set "renamelimit=0" to completely disable the limit, and others can set it to a high value such as 5,000, "the default limit is pretty low just to not cause problems for people who have less memory in their machines than kernel developers tend to have..."
Linus continued, "the dirstat (with rename detection on, so as to not show the movement as huge changes) is fairly usual, with most of the changes in drivers, along with an ext4 and xfs update making 'fs' show up pretty high too". He added:
"The shortlog is still a tad too big to make it on the list (again, as usual - normally I end up posting shortlogs for -rc3 and later when they become more manageable) but let me just say that it isn't really all that interesting. Theres' a lot of small changes here, but nothing that makes you go 'Wow!'. Not that there _should_ be anything like that in -rc2, of course, so I'm not complaining."
"About 45% architecture updates (counting the include files too), about 30% drivers, and about 25% odds-and-ends. The odds-and-ends are mainly Documentation, filesystems (mostly cifs) and core kernel (scheduler updates etc)," said Linux creator Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.26-rc2 kernel. He added, "if you read the shortlog and get the feeling that most of it is pretty boring small details, you'd be right. There is little exciting there." He continued:
"A fairly small part of it, but quite possibly the most noticeable one, is how the semaphore changes impacted the BKL (the old 'big kernel lock' that is still used for some legacy code, for you non-core people out there), which in the past had different versions ('regular', 'preemptable'). A few months ago we dropped the regular BKL version, but in 2.6.25-rc1 we then had performance (and then correctness) issues with the interaction between the semaphore implementation and the preemptable BKL, so we're back to the old regular version for now."
"Just to show how _much_ of a winner it is, it's been awarded a coveted 'weasel' series name, which should tell you just how good it's going to be. It's a name revered in Linux kernel history, and as such this brings back the good old days where if you find a bug, you're almost certainly simply mistaken, and you probably just did something wrong. But hey, you can try to prove me wrong. I dare you."
Linus went on to describe some of the changes using '
git dirstat', "in particular, it shows that almost exactly half of the updates are to drivers, with network drivers alone being a third of the whole patch. And of the remaining half, about half was architecture updates, notably to SH." He then noted, "I'm optimistic that this release cycle won't be anywhere near the pain of what 24 was, which is why I'm just going to go off for the long weekend and stay at the beach."
"Yeah, don't remind me - it's late," began Linus Torvalds, announcing the second 2.6.24 release candidate, "there was nothing in particular holding this thing up, I just basically just forgot to cut a -rc2 release last week." He went on to list some of the changes:
"There's not a lot of hugely exciting stuff here. Some arch updates: MIPS, arm, blackfin, x86, sparc, sh, s390.. Also various driver updates: libata, IDE, networking, DVB.. And some more fallout from the scatter-gather changes. Some scheduler cleanups, and also fixing the CPU usage statistics that got scrogged at some point."
Linus noted that while there were no major changes, the shortlog was still too large to post to the list. He suggested using the command
git shortlog v2.6.24-rc1 to see all changes since the last release candidate, "but quite frankly, it's no Leo Tolstoy. If you have trouble falling asleep, you might try to print it out and take it to bed with you: it's not going to be more than just a couple of pages ('use 2nup and save a tree'), but I dare you to actually get to the end. Snooze city."
"On behalf of the NetBSD Release Engineering team, I am happy to announce the availability of NetBSD 4.0 Release Candidate 2," stated Pavel Cahyna on the NetBSD -announce mailing list. The lower portion of the changelog lists numerous bug fixes since Release Candidate 1, the most important ones highlighted as: "ICH9 support in wm(4); Enhanced Speedstep support for VIA C7/Eden and amd64; many bugfixes for IPF; FAST_IPSEC fixes; wpi(4) bugfix; proplib local DoS fix; fix procfs exposing the real path of an executable inside chroot; msdosfs bugfix; fix of crash dumps on sparc64; ACPI SCI (system control interrupt) bug fix, addresses interrupt storms seen on some machines."
Pavel went on to note, "please note that in this release candidate, the sparc platform has been accidentally omitted. This will be corrected in the next RC cycle. We plan to release another release candidate next week." He concluded, "please help us test these release candidates as much as possible to make NetBSD 4.0 a solid release."
"So I tried to hold people to the merge window," Linus Torvalds began in announcing the 2.6.23-rc2 kernel, "and said no to a few pull requests, but this whole '-rc2 is the new -rc1' thing is a disease, and not only is -rc2 late, it's bigger than it should be. Oh, well." He noted that over 250 people contributed patches between -rc1 and -rc2, adding:
"A lot of the changes are small, and a lot of them really are fixes, but there's a MIPS merge in there too, and some absolutely _huge_ diffs due to some drivers undergoing Lindent cleanups (28 _thousand_ lines changes in advansys.c, and the PNP files got Lindented too, although those weren't nearly as big).
"But if you ignore the Lindent changes, the MIPS merge, the lguest documentation updates, and the MPT fusion driver changes, and the removal of the broken arm26 support, the rest of the changes really aren't that big."
Announcing 2.6.21-rc2, Linus Torvalds noted, "I'm not very proud of this, because quite frankly, -rc2 has way more changes than I really like." The current Linux kernel development model is that the bulk of changes in a new kernel should happen during the -rc1 phase, with the rest of the -rc kernels being primarily bug fixes. Linus explains, "it's largely my fault, because I simply missed a V4L/DVB merge that came in before the merge window closed, but since I didn't notice it didn't make -rc1, and as such it got merged late and is in -rc2 instead." With typical humor he added, "but because I'll flail around wildly and rather blame anything else than my own incompetence, I'll just claim that all the other kernel developers have been irresponsible, and caused -rc2 to be bigger than needed. In some areas (you know who you are) it may even be true.."
Summarizing other changes in the new release candidate, Linus said, "apart from the V4L/DVB merge, we've got a late PARISC update, and a number of driver updates (ata, networking, usb) changes. Along with the normal smattering of random stuff (core networking, selinux, infiniband, agp, mips, arm)." He then pointed to Adrian's regression lists [story] noting that some are fixed but there are more to go. The latest kernel can be downloaded from your nearest kernel.org mirror. You can browse through all the changes using the gitweb interface. Kernel Newbiews maintains a useful summary of all the changes going into the latest version of the Linux kernel.
Following the piratical release of 2.6.14-rc2, a brief discussion looked at the advantages of using git to grab the latest version of the kernel code. A small break in service as the master.kernel.org server was situated in its new home [story] caused the 2.6.14-rc2 patch to not show up right away, and led to people pointing out the advantages of using git. When the ketchup script [story] was proposed as an alternative, it was illustrated how git can keep you up to date with the kernel down to a patch by patch level, or with a specific checkpoint. Linus further explained how git can be used to first track down that a bug was introduced between for example rc1-git3 and rc1-git4, and then to use "git-bisect" to further isolate the problem to a specific change.
As for -rc2, Linus noted, "not a whole lot o' excitement, ye scurvy dogs, but it has t' ALSA, LSM, audit and watchdog merges that be missed from -rc1, and a merge series with Andrew. But on t' whole pretty reasonable - you can see t' details in the shortlog (appended)." Evidently Monday the 19'th of September was International Talk Like A Pirate Day.