"So yet another week, another -rc," began Linux creator, Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.27-rc8 Linux kernel. He continued, "this one should be the last one: we're certainly not running out of regressions, but at the same time, at some point I just have to pick some point, and on the whole the regressions don't look _too_ scary. And -rc8 obviously does fix more of them." Linus went on to note that most of the changes since -rc7 are small, "and there aren't even a whole lot of them."
Jiri Kosina cautioned that there is still an unknown bug affecting the e1000e driver currently in the 2.6.27 kernel, "rendering the cards unusable for most of the i-am-not-a-hacker users (and remember, even Dave Airlie bricked his laptop completely to death, when trying to restore eeprom contents)" When asked how to duplicate the bug, Jiri noted that the inability to reliably reproduce the bug added to the difficulty in debugging the problem, "apparently it is some kind of race, as it usually takes multiple cycles to trigger".
"The patches most people hopefully care about tend to be small details," noted Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.27-rc6 kernel. He continued, "and so more regressions should hopefully be closed now, some by just reverting the commits that caused breakage. I don't think anything special merits explicit comment, but you can get a flavor for things by scanning the appended shortlog." Earlier in the announcement email, Linus did note some specifics about which drivers caused the bulk of the patch:
"Same old deal - except it's been almost two weeks since -rc5. That said, the diff is actually about the same size, so I guess that means things are calming down. Most of the diff (bulk-wise) is updates to the new gspca (standard USB webcam) driver, although some of it is also removal of the dead miropcm20* driver."
Linus Torvalds announced the 2.6.27-rc5 Linux Kernel, noting that his "weekly releases" tend to happen every eight days, adding, "the bulk of it is all config updates, and with arm and powerpc leading the pack." Linus continued:
"While the config updates amount to about three quarters of the diff, and if you don't use a rename-aware diff the blackfin include file movement pretty much accounts for the rest, hidden behind all those trivial (but bulky) changes are a lot of small changes that hopefully fix a number of regressions.
"The most exciting (well, for me personally - my life is apparently too boring for words) was how we had some stack overflows that totally corrupted some basic thread data structures. That's exciting because we haven't had those in a long time. The cause turned out to be a somewhat overly optimistic increase in the maximum NR_CPUS value, but it also caused some introspection about our stack usage in general. Including things like a patch to gcc to fix insane stack usage for vararg functions on x86-64. But that one would only hit anybody who was a bit too adventurous and selected the big 4096 CPU configuration. The rest of the regressions fixed are a bit more pedestrian."
"Another week, another -rc," began Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.27-rc4 Linux kernel, continuing, "this time the diffstat is almost totally dominated by the addition of the musb driver that drives the MUSB and TUSB controllers integrated into omap2430 and davinci. That, together with the removal of the auerswald USB driver (replaced by libusb version) is more than half of the bulk of the patch, and obviously most users won't ever notice." Linus added:
"Apart from those bulky USB updates, there's some arch updates (blackfin and ia64), network and input driver updates, and an XFS and UBIFS update. The rest is mostly random stuff all over, probably best described by the appended shortlog. A number of regressions should be off the table, but more remain..."
"Things really _have_ calmed down, and hopefully we've also resolved a lot of the regressions in -rc3," began Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.27-rc3 Linux kernel. He noted that much of the patch size was from the inclusion of the new ath9k wireless driver, with much of the rest of the patch size due to the renaming of many arch include files in the ARM, AVR32 and m68lnommu architectures. Linus continued:
"All the small changes are where the regression fixes are, and other random improvements. And they're all over. The ShortLog (appended) probably gives a taste of it."
"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."
"It's two weeks (and one day), and the merge window is over," began Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.27-rc1 kernel. He continued, "finally. I don't know why, but this one really did feel pretty dang busy. And the size of the -rc1 patch bears that out - at 12MB, it's about 50% bigger than 26-rc1 (but not that much bigger than 24/25-rc1, so it's not like it's anything unheard of)." He reflected, "the pure size of the -rc's _is_ making me a bit nervous, though. Sure, it means that we are good at merging it all, but I have to say that I sometimes wonder if we don't merge too much in one go, and even our current (fairly short) release cycle is actually too big." As for the actual changes, Linus explained:
"Much of -rc1 was in linux-next, but certainly not everything. We'll see how that whole thing ends up evolving - it certainly didn't solve all problems, and there was some bickering about things that weren't there (and some things that mostly were ;), but maybe it helped. There's a ton of new stuff in there, but at least personally the interesting things are the BKL pushdown and perhaps the introduction of the lockless get_user_pages_fast(). The build system also got updated to allow moving the architecture include files ('include/asm-xyz') into the architecture subdirectories ('arch/xyz/include/asm'), and sparc seems to have taken advantage of that already."
Other changes Linus highlighted included merging the UBI filesystem, as well as, "tracing, firmware loading, continued x86 arch merging, and moving more code to generic support (unified generic IPI handling, coherent dma memory allocation, show_mem etc). Bootmem rewrites. [And] some support for further scalability (ie 4k cpu cores)."