"It's been almost three months since 2.6.25 (87 days to be exact, I think), making this a longer-than-usual release cycle. Or maybe it just feels that way, and we're always getting close to three months these days," said Linux creator Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.26 Linux kernel, adding, "but it's out there now." He continued:
"The diffs from -rc9 are pretty small, with with the bulk actually being Documentation updates (almost 80% is just added docs). The rest tends to be one-liners for some regressions or otherwise pretty small patches. Several regressions did get fixed in the last few days, thanks to everybody involved."
Click the 2.6.26 tag to review all the previous release candidate announcements building up to this release. Source level changes can be reviewed via Linus' 2.6 gitweb kernel tree. The latest kernel can be downloaded from the Linux Kernel Archives.
"I and the other Kernel.org admins would like to announce downtime for ALL kernel.org machines (this includes all of the mirror machines, the public machines and the backend master). The downtime is scheduled to start on or around April 2nd, 2008 on or around 0001 UTC," began a GPG signed message on the Linux kernel mailing list from John 'Warthog9' Hawley, one of the kernel.org admins. Referencing a recent Slashdot discussion that compared Linux and FreeBSD performance, he continued:
"After much deliberation, research and argument in #korg (along with screaming matches between HPA and I over dinner) we are upgrading the kernel.org machines from Fedora Core 5 to FreeBSD 7.0. This decision does not come lightly to the Kernel.org admins, and we would like to point out several key things that helped us form our decision:"
John concluded, "we feel that we can better serve our mirrors, our users and the community by making the switch, and we hope to have the transition done very shortly."
Linus Torvalds announced the release of the 2.6.13 Linux kernel. "The most painful part of 2.6.13 is likely to be the fact that we made x86 use the generic PCI bus setup code for assigning unassigned resources," Linus began. "That uncovered rather a lot of nasty small details, but should also mean that a lot of laptops in particular should be able to discover PCI devices behind bridges that the BIOS hasn't set up." He went on to note, "we've hopefully fixed up all the problems that the longish -rc series showed, and it shouldn't be that painful, but if you have device problems, please make a report that at a minimum contains the unified diff of the output of 'lspci -vvx' running on 2.6.12 vs 2.6.13. That might give us some clues."
During the 2005 Linux Kernel Developer's Summit it was decided that all major changes need to be merged within two weeks of a major release, giving the rest of the development cycle to fixing bugs [story]. Linus implied that the deadline would be pushed out a week this cycle, "I'm actually going to be away for most of next week, but in general we should now try to do all major merges within the first two weeks of the release. After that, we go into calm-down mode, and if you have work that didn't make the cut, you get to wait until 2.6.14." He also noted that going forward this should mean that major releases happen more frequently. You can download the latest kernel from your nearest Linux Kernel Archive mirror [story], and browse through all the changes using the 2.6 kernel's gitweb interface.
The Linux Kernel Archives are perhaps most familiar through their web interface, http://kernel.org/. The latest release of the Linux kernel is easily found here, along with patches by various Linux kernel hackers, and mirrors of other popular free and open source projects. Countless people worldwide happily rely on this archive without giving much thought to the effort behind it.
In a recent announcement to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, H. Peter Anvin detailed a recent upgrade of the infrastructure behind kernel.org. The new servers were donated by Hewlett-Packard, and are each quad Opterons with 24 gigabytes of RAM and 10 terabytes of disk space. Internet Systems Consortium, Inc. donates the bandwidth in the form of two independent gigabit-connected datacenters, PAIX Palo Alto and e200paul in San Francisco. H. Peter Anvin, Nathan Laredo, and Kees Cook all donate time to maintain the archives. KernelTrap recently spoke with Peter Anvin to learn more about the history behind the Linux Kernel Archives.