When asked how to best refer to kernels between official releases and release candidates, Linus Torvalds pointed to his automated git snapshots. "I still call them 'nightly snapshots', but they do in fact happen twice a day if there have been changes, so that's not technically correct," he noted. The latest snapshot is 2.6.23-git15, "this is an exact name, because you can go to kernel.org and look up the exact commit ID that was used to generate it (there's an 'ID' file associated with each snapshot there)." For git users, he suggested using the "
git describe" command to get the git name, with the current head being named v2.6.23-6562-g8add244. He went on to explain that the name "tells you three things: (a) it's based on 2.6.23 (b) there's been 6562 commits since 2.6.23 and (c) the top-of-tree abbreviated commit is '8add244'."
When asked about the previously discussed usage of "-rc0" and other similar proposed naming conventions, Linus replied:
"Please don't use those names. They don't actually tell anything about where in the cycle it is, and as you can see above, there's been 6500+ commits since 2.6.23, so saying '2.6.23-rc0' or similar really isn't very helpful if anybody actually cares about just where in the release cycle you are."