"Ok, it's out there, ready for your enjoyment," Linus Torvalds said, announcing the 2.6.25-rc3 kernel. He summarized the changes:
"As usual, most of the updates are in architecture and drivers, with the dirstat showing about 37% in arch (and that's with rename detection: there's some file movement in arch/xtensa that would bring it up to 43% if you looked at it as a traditional diff) and almost 50% in drivers. Much of the include file stuff is also architecture-related updates. The driver updates are mostly fairly spread out, but some of it comes from a couple of new drivers: the mvsas SCSI driver, a new adt7473 driver, and a couple of new watchdog drivers."
Linus continued, "if you ignore the architecture-specific stuff and drivers, the rest is mostly in networking, some Documentation updates, and a few filesystem updates (mainly efs and xfs). Anyway, the upshot of it all? Quite frankly, it's all over the place. The changes in -rc3 are bigger than -rc2, probably mostly because we had some more time (-rc2 was a couple of days early because of the long weekend in the US), but hopefully also because people have started to find regressions." Among the bug fixes, he highlighted, "we had a nasty SLUB corruption issue in -rc2 that is fixed (not that very many people probably saw it), and we've hopfully fixed a number of regressions in networking and suspend/resume."
Linux creator Linus Torvalds released the 2.6.22-rc7 kernel saying, "it's hopefully (almost certainly) the last -rc before the final 2.6.22 release, and we should be in pretty good shape. The flow of patches has really slowed down and the regression list has shrunk a lot." He briefly summarized the changes in this latest release candidate, "the patches are mostly trivial fixes, a few new device ID's, and the appended shortlog really does pretty much explain it," adding, "final testing always appreciated, of course".
The previous stable kernel, 2.6.21, was released a little over two months ago on April 25'th [story]. An overview of all the changes merged into the latest version of the kernel is maintained in the Kernel Newbies wiki. Included in the list of changes are the SLUB allocator which replaced the slab allocator, a new wireless stack, a new firewire stack [story], and support for the Blackfin architecture. Source level changes can be tracked via the gitweb interface to Linus' kernel tree.
"Ok, the merge window has closed, and 2.6.22-rc1 is out there," Linus Torvalds announced on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. He noted that there were a large number of changes, "almost seven thousand files changed, and that's not double-counting the files that got moved around." As to what was changed, Linus summarized, "architecture updates, drivers, filesystems, networking, security, build scripts, reorganizations, cleanups.. You name it, it's there." He went on to add:
"You want a new firewire stack? We've got it. New wireless networking infrastructure? Check. New infiniband drivers? Digital video drivers? A totally new CPU architecture (blackfin)? Check, check, check.
"That said, I think (and certainly hope) that this will not be nearly as painful as the big fundamental timer changes for 2.6.21, and while there are some pretty core changes there (like the new SLUB allocator, which hopefully will end up replacing both SLAB and SLOB), it feels pretty solid, and not as scary as ripping the carpet from under the timer infrastructure."
Following up to feedback on his merge plans [story], Andrew Morton [interview] posted an updated summary of what he is pushing upstream for inclusion in the upcoming 2.6.22 kernel. His list included, "a few serial bits, a few pcmcia bits, one little security patch, the blackfin architecture, small h8300 update, small alpha update, swsusp updates, m68k bits, and lots of UML updates." He also noted that he'll push some of the memory management queue including, "an enhancement to /proc/pid/smaps to permit monitoring of a running program's working set. The SLUB allocator, it's pretty green but I do want to push ahead with this pretty aggressively with a view to replacing slab altogether. Generic pagetable quicklist management. We have x86_64 and ia64 and sparc64 implementations, but I'll only include David's sparc64 implementation here. I'll send the x86_64 and ia64 implementations through maintainers."