With the release of 2.6.9-mm1, Andrew Morton [interview] offered a quick status update on a number of patches in his -mm tree [forum] that are 2.6-mainline hopefuls. For example, regarding the much debated reiser4 filesystem [story], Andrew said that he is still "not sure, really. The namespace extensions were disabled, although all the code for that is still present. Linus's filesystem criterion used to be 'once lots of people are using it, preferably when vendors are shipping it'. That's a bit of a chicken and egg thing though. Needs more discussion". And as for Ingo Molnar [interview]'s preemption and low-latency fixups [forum] Andrew offered, "I haven't really thought about it and haven't looked at the patches yet. Hopefully 2.6.10 material."
Other projects specifically mentioned include the sysfs backing store, the ext3 reservations code, the ext3 resize code, kexec and crashdump [story], perfctr, cachefs, cpusets, and the md updates. Read on for Andrew's comments and the complete -mm1 changelog.
Linux creator Linus Torvalds released the official 2.6.9 kernel today, following what he referred to as "naming confusion" in which a test release named "-final" was first uploaded to kernel.org. Linus went on to add, "excuses aside, not a lot of changes since -rc4 [story] (which was the last announced test-kernel), mainly some UML updates that don't affect anybody else. And a number of one-liners or compiler fixes. Full list appended." Official releases and test kernels can be found at a kernel.org mirror.
Regarding the compiler fixes, a handful of problems were reported on the lkml with some versions of GCC [forum]. Linus replied, "Heh. Clearly there's a gcc bug.. What compiler version? I've got gcc-3.2 and gcc-3.3, and neither seems to have any trouble, but hey, I'm cursed by having fairly up-to-date systems. That said, I know what's up, but it would be good to know what compilers have this problem." Linus provided a fix for older versions of gcc which can be found within.
With the release of Linux kernel 2.6.9-rc1, Linus Torvalds further refined the new kernel development model [story] first proposed at the 2004 kernel summit [story]. The earlier 2.6.8 kernel was quickly followed by 18.104.22.168 [story] to address an oops in NFS. With today's 2.6.9-rc1 Linus explained, "administrative trivia, and one thing I agonized over: should I make the patches relative to 2.6.8 or 22.214.171.124? I decided that since there is nothing that says that 'basic bug-fix' releases for a previous release might not happen _after_ we've done a -rc release for the next version, I can't sanely do patches against a bugfix release."
With Linus having returned from a week-long vacation, he noted that there were "tons of patches merged", specially thanking Andrew Morton [interview] "who synced up 200+ patches". Regarding the specific changes in this release candidate, Linus said they are "all over: arm, ppc, sparc, acpi, i2c, usb, fbcon, ntfs, xfs, nfs, cpufreq, agp, sata, network drivers - you name it. Most of the changes are fairly small, but there's a lot of them."
Linus Torvalds released the official 2.6.8 kernel noting, "the major patches since -rc4 [story] were some sparc64 and parsic updates, but there's some network driver and SATA updates and a few ARM patches too. And a use-after-free fix in MTD." The latest Linux kernel can always be obtained from a kernel.org mirror.
Shortly after the release, an easily reproducible Oops was reported from accessing a mounted NFS filesystem. Linus acknowledged the bug, and decided to release a quick 126.96.36.199, "to make it usable for people with NFS." When asked why it was named this instead of 2.6.9 using the long-standing three-digit kernel versioning, Linus explained:
"Well, we've been discussing the 2.6.x.y format for a while [story], so I see this as an opportunity to actually do it... Will it break automated scripts? Maybe. But on the other hand, we'll never even find out unless we try it some time."